Comparison of Permissive & Authoritative Parenting Styles

Each family has its own strategy for raising children, and these strategies fall into different categories. Two such categories, permissive and authoritative, describe polar opposite parenting techniques. Parents employing one of these styles may be curious as to how these two styles compare to one another. Knowing the differences between these parenting styles might influence you to make some changes in how you raise your children.

Permissive Parenting Definition

Permissive parenting stems from the natural desire to show your love for your children. Moms and dads employing this form of parenting find it hard to say no to their children, which results in a rather lax style of parenting. Children of parents who are permissive must set their own boundaries. Because they are accustomed to getting most of what they want from their parents, they tend to be the main decision makers in terms how they are raised.

Authoritative Parenting Definition

Parents using the authoritative style set firm limits for their children. However, they tend to incorporate their children in designing these limits, encouraging them to discuss how they feel and explaining why these rules or limits are beneficial. The authoritative parent, while firm with her children, allows herself to be open to discussion, encouraging her children to be active in expressing their needs.

Permissive Parenting: Pros and Cons

Compared to authoritative parents, permissive parents may seem warm and fuzzy. However, this surface-level charm comes at a price. Parents using the permissive style tend to raise demanding children who have little respect for adult authority. This can make a child’s social life hard to manage, as he is likely to be unprepared for rejection. While permissive parenting does stem from love, overly permissive parents would be well-advised to be firmer with their children so as not to raise overly impulsive and immature kids.

Authoritative Parenting: Pros and Cons

Unlike permissive parenting, which is undemanding and unresponsive, authoritative parenting is both demanding and responsive. Authoritative parenting does have one aspect in common with permissive parenting, though: it allows children to practice making major life decisions. However, unlike permissive parenting, authoritative parenting gives parents the final call, which can protect children from making poor or dangerous choices. Children raised under the authoritative style tend to be autonomous and respectful of authority. Parents not currently using the authoritative parenting style may want to consider adopting some of its strategies.