The Difference between Authoritative and Authoritarian Parenting Styles and How They Affect Your Child's Development

Parenting styles–as suggested- are various strategies many parents try to incorporate to raise their children. From parental behavior, personal preferences, and choices to the emotional atmosphere kids are raised in, parenting style includes everything. 

Interestingly, individual parenting style has long been a subject of study for many developmental psychologists. The purpose is to find the effects of “parenting style” on the development and growth of children.   However, there is no denying that finding the specific effect of a parent’s action that produces a specific action or behavior in children is a daunting task.  

We say this because certain individuals who have experienced contrasting upbringings as children can eventually develop strikingly similar characteristics. On the other hand, siblings residing in the same household and exposed to identical environments may exhibit notable differences in their personalities as they mature. 

Despite these difficulties, researchers have proposed connections between various parenting styles and their impact on children, with some suggesting that these effects can persist into adulthood. 

Authoritative and authoritarian are two popular and significant parenting styles scientists believe are common in parents and can impact children’s behavior.  

Whether you’re already a parent or going to embrace parenthood soon, learning about these two prominent parenting styles can help you unleash the potential within your children, enabling them to become confident, resilient, and well-adjusted individuals. 

Impact of Parenting Styles

Parenting styles, like constellations in the night sky, hold immense power in shaping your children’s lives. They influence children’s behavior, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, and cognitive development. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the nuances of different parenting styles to create a nurturing environment that supports their growth. 

Therefore, it is crucial to understand the nuances of different parenting styles to create a nurturing environment that supports their growth.

Like constellations in the night sky, parenting approaches significantly influence how your kids turn out. Children’s behavior, self-worth, emotional intelligence, and general cognitive development are all influenced by the parenting style you choose for your children.

Therefore, it is essential to comprehend the subtleties of various parenting philosophies to foster a supportive environment that promotes their development.

Authoritative Parenting Style

Leading with compassion and love, the authoritative parenting style is a shining example of good parenting. Typically, warmth, communication, and understanding define this strategy. While offering emotional support and encouragement, parents who employ an authoritarian manner establish clear boundaries and expectations. They work to establish a solid parent-child bond based on trust and candid communication.

In an authoritative parenting style, parents serve as mentors, offering a supportive environment in which their kids can explore and develop. They recognize the value of enabling their kids to make decisions within appropriate bounds while maintaining a healthy balance between independence and discipline. This parenting approach encourages independence and self-assurance, empowering kids to think critically and make appropriate decisions.

For instance, if you’re an authoritative parent, you will more likely engage with your child when facing a challenging scenario. You use constructive dialogue with them to explore various perspectives and encourage them to weigh the consequences of their actions.

You try to involve them in decision-making to empower them and help them develop problem-solving skills and a sense of accountability.

Authoritarian Parenting

In contrast, the authoritarian parenting style is the constellation of control that casts a different light on the parent-child relationship.

Authoritarian parents prioritize strict rules and discipline, enforcing their expectations without opportunity for compromise. Remember that in this type of leadership, conformity and obedience are prioritized above uniqueness and independence.

Parents who establish a hierarchy ensure that their power is unchallenged. They ignore the viewpoint or feelings of the child as they impose rules through punishment and control. Though the parenting styles work in some situations, this approach may restrict a child’s individuality and impair their capacity for decision-making and critical thought, even though structure and discipline are vital.

For instance, in an authoritarian environment, if your child doesn’t match your expectations, you won’t allow them to share their opinion and punish them severely. Although this strategy might result in obedience, it might also lack the understanding and emotional support essential for a child’s healthy development.

Here are the key features of both parenting approaches to help you understand better.

Authoritative Parenting
Authoritarian Parenting

Emphasizes building a strong connection with the child while setting limits 

Emphasizes parental authority 

Utilizes reasoning and explanations to establish limits 

Expects children to obey without questioning 

Provides warmth and nurturing support 

Lacks warmth and may be less nurturing 

Encourages independence within the boundaries set 

Discourages independence and discourages questioning 

The Effect of Parenting Styles on the Development of Your Child

You can impact the growth and development of the child by choosing an authoritative or authoritarian parenting style. Let’s find out how these methods affect important growth areas:

Emotional Health

You can develop a good awareness and understanding of emotions in your children through an authoritative parenting style. It promotes emotional intelligence and empathy. Keep in mind that authoritative parents encourage open communication and accept their children’s feelings by creating a nurturing environment, enabling them to face obstacles with resiliency.

On the other hand, authoritarian parenting may result in emotional repression or problems with appropriate emotion management since children may feel hesitant or afraid to communicate their genuine sentiments.

Sense of Independence

An authoritative approach encourages children to make choices within predetermined limits, which fosters independence. You inculcate a sense of self-determination in your children and value their perspectives when you’re an authoritative parent.

As an authoritative parent, giving autonomy provides opportunities for development and education, enabling your kids to gain decision-making abilities and a sense of accountability.

On the other hand, by choosing authoritarian parenting, you may foster a reliance on outside authority, obstructing the development of autonomy and impeding your child’s capacity for independent thought.

Honest Communication

The authoritative parenting style of open and encouraging communication fosters trust wholesome relationships, and efficient problem-solving abilities in children. By actively listening to your kids, you can use this approach to establish a culture of open communication.

Parents in charge of the conversation teach their kids how to express themselves and handle disputes healthily. On the other hand, children may be afraid to voice their opinions or worries owing to the severe and rigid character of the parent-child interaction, leading to communication hurdles and strained relationships.


Did you know children gain a strong feeling of self-worth, confidence, and resilience with the guidance and support of authoritative parenting?

These parents encourage their children’s efforts and offer constructive criticism, helping them develop positive self-images. As an authoritative parent, you can cultivate a sense of self-worth in your children by praising their accomplishments and highlighting their qualities.

On the other hand, authoritarian parenting may promote poor self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy because of continual criticism and strict demands, which can undermine a child’s sense of self-worth and confidence in general.

Let's Sum It Up

The decisions you make about your parenting style can significantly impact the growth of your kids in the cosmic tapestry of parenting. Understanding the distinctions between authoritative and authoritarian parenting techniques will help you create an atmosphere promoting development, self-assurance, and well-being.

Let’s set off on this magnificent journey, led by love and compassion, to nurture our kids’ futures and bring forth their limitless potential. Keep in mind that by adopting an authoritative parenting style, we awaken the star within each child, empowering them to shine brilliantly and forge their path on this enchanted adventure called life.

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  • Cherry, K. (2022, December 1). How Different Styles of Parenting Impact Children. Verywell Mind.
  • Witmer, E. H., Jaclyn Lopez. (n.d.). Why experts consider authoritative parenting the best approach, and how it differs from authoritarian parenting. Insider.
  • Ghosh, O. (n.d.). Effect of Authoritarian Parenting Style on Psychopathology.
  • Dewar, G. (2017, July 2). The authoritative parenting style: An evidence-based guide. PARENTING SCIENCE.

What are your thoughts? We'd love to hear them!

6 Responses

  1. One of kids has ADHD and ODD, what do you recommend I do as a parent to make things better at home? We are struggling with behavioral issues.

    1. Authoritative parenting can greatly benefit a child with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. This style of parenting involves setting clear expectations, providing consistent discipline, and offering emotional support and guidance. By setting boundaries and rules, children with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder can learn to manage their behavior and make appropriate choices. Authoritative parents also nurture their child’s emotional well-being, which can help with anger management and impulsivity often seen in these disorders.

      At Quantum Montessori, we incorporate the Montessori method, teaching self-government, and Quantum Human Design into our approach. Montessori and teaching self-government empower children to become more independent, take responsibility for their actions, understand their emotions, and learn self-control. Quantum Human Design help parents better understand their child’s unique personality and needs, and provide personalized strategies for their child’s learning and behavior. We can help your child reach their full potential together by ensuring consistency between the home and school environment. We’ll provide tools and resources to manage behavior and reinforce and encourage positive behavior.

  2. I think all of us born in the 70s and 80s know what it’s like to have authoritarian parents. We’re doing this differently for our kids.

  3. Excellent read. I was raised in a strict home so now I try to do things differently with my kids

    1. We like to believe that our parents all did the best they could with the tools and resources they had at the time. 🙂 Thank you for commenting

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