Authoritative parenting and its effects on learning

(NB This is not to be confused with our earlier blog entitled Authoritarian parenting style & how it affects a child’s achievements.)

Unlike authoritarian and permissive parenting styles which are extremes in their way, authoritative parenting provides the right of balance a child needs. This approach to parenting combines warmth, sensitivity, discipline, and the setting of boundaries in child-rearing. These types of parents understand they are responsible for their child but that the child is an individual with different needs and wants.

Authoritative parenting takes creating a relationship with the child very seriously. They explain the reason for their rules, and punishments and are willing to listen to the child’s personal needs and provide them (if necessary).

This article will look at the positive and negative effects of authoritative parenting on a child’s academic performance.

Encourages independence

A child is a parent’s responsibility but is still independent of the parent. They have their own way of doing things and learning which should be encouraged but monitored. An independent child will learn to make decisions with their parent’s guidance.

Good communication

For a child, nothing beats having an understanding parent. A parent who is easy to talk to and who listens. Because they can talk easily to their parents, they find it easy to talk to teachers about their challenges and ask questions when in doubt. They also converse easily with their classmates and easily build healthy relationships.

Parents must be good role models

Despite the level of communication and discipline in the house, if a parent is a bad example, the child will pick up bad traits. This parenting style is based on mutual respect so children hold their parents to be accountable. A child will lose respect for the parent if the child finds the parent does not live by example. This breeds rebelliousness and resentment in the child which could affect their studies.

Learning styles

With authoritarian parenting, children learn out of fear, but children are taught to desire to learn with authoritative parenting. They are taught learning strategies, and patterns and provided the necessary books. They are also allowed to make their own learning decisions with self-regulation and can decide what path or course they want to focus on.

Focus is on the child

Authoritarian parenting focuses on the parent. What the parents want and how they want it. Authoritative parenting focuses on the child. What the child needs, how it should be gotten, what goals they can achieve at their level and the right amount of discipline and punishments.

Authoritative parents learn to communicate with their children to better understand the child and their needs.

Too much dependence on parents

A child with a healthy relationship with their parents might find themselves depending too much on the parent for emotional and social support, as the parent embodies two roles – a parent and a friend. They may be cordial and respectful of those outside their home, but may not see the need to form meaningful relationships.

Good academic performance

Parents are directly linked to the performance of their children. Children raised with stability and security tend to do very well in their grades. They have the right support and discipline needed for it.

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