In Defense of Authoritative (Not Authoritarian!) Parenting

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“My 14-year-old decided he’s not taking his ADHD medication anymore.”The first time I fielded this question I was floored. I thought to myself, What if he had diabetes and said, “I’m no longer taking my insulin” Would you allow that?A gradual shift in parenting began in the early 1990s and I now feel we have traveled to the opposite end of the spectrum from the strict, stern authoritarian style that insists on quiet obedience and enforces behavior through punishments, not rewards.

Where we have landed today is the territory of permissive parenting, which is warm and responsive but also lacking in structure and authority.

Children of permissive parents often see and treat them more like friends than parental figures.In between these two extremes is authoritative parenting, a distinct style that decades of research has shown to be the most effective.

Authoritative parents are nurturing and empathetic, but they also set very clear expectations and reliably hold their kids accountable.

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