Parenting Styles


What’s the difference between an authoritarian parenting style and an authoritative parenting style? Is there a better way to distinguish between them?

If you look at the n and the v, there’s a mnemonic device to not mix them up. Authoritative is the parenting style that creates an independent, confident child. The “v” looks like a smile, so it’s the good parenting style, and these parents are firm and loving while setting boundaries. Authoritarian style is parenting that gives rules without explaining and does not offer kindness or nurturing. The “n” looks like a frown, so it’s the less desirable parenting style and children are less social, do not trust their decisions, and have less self-confidence.

Authoritarian is very strict without providing a lot of emotional support, while authoritative has rules and expectations but provides emotional support. The easiest way to remember is with the following mnemonic: the “n” in authoritarian would make a frowny face because it is not an effective parenting style, while the “v” in authoritative would make a smiley face.

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Thank you! :slight_smile:

Warmth and Control
Authoritarians = lots of control, little warmth
Permissive = lots of warmth, little control
Authoritative = some warmth, some control
Disengaged/uninvolved = no warmth, no control

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Authoritarian parents believe that children are, by nature, strong-willed :neutral_face:and self-indulgent :money_mouth_face:, while authoritative parents are also strict :unamused:, consistent, and loving :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:, but their values and beliefs about parenting and children are markedly different.

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