A Case for Authoritative Parenting

OCTOBER 7, 2019

In his book titled Loving by Leading: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy and Responsible Children, Dr. Den Trumbull explores the research on parenting styles. He cites four specific styles as described by developmental psychologist, Dr. Dianna Baumrind. Trumbull explains, “The most successful parenting style, the authoritative style, used a balance of positive encouragement and high behavioral control” (Trumbull, 2018). Positive encouragement includes an approach that is warm, affirming, rational, and receptive. High behavioral control consists of firm discipline and supervision of the child by the parent. The authoritative path successfully uses both components. 

Specific ways in which authoritative parents interact with their children are: 

  • They direct the child in a rational, intentional manner 

  • They encourage verbal give-and-take from the child, they share the reason behind their directives, they value expressive attributes of the child, and yet they exert firm control over the child’s behavior

  • Their use of control is often combined with reasoning

  • They affirm the child’s qualities, yet set standards for future conduct

  • They make reasonable demands of their children and promote respect for authority

  • They are more consistent with the discipline

This is not to say something is inherently wrong with those parents who don’t follow or identify with this list. There is, however, always room for improvement. 

The overarching theme of parenting is to love your child and seek his or her best interests. So, investing time to learn more about parenting is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. If authoritative parenting is indeed one of the best methods, perhaps it would be worth learning more about how to implement it. If this has sparked your interest, take a look at the following articles which go deeper into the topic. 


Trumbull, DA. Loving by Leading: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy and Responsible Children. 2018; pp 16. ISBN 9781732659810

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