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One goal of parenting is raising competent children who are healthy and demonstrate good judgment and character. Experts often recognize authoritative parenting as one of the most effective ways to achieve this. This approach has many benefits and is an effective way to foster independence, individuality, autonomy, and assertiveness while also encouraging children to be prosocial and cooperative with others. While authoritative parenting is not the only parenting style, evidence supports its efficacy.

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1. Parenting Styles

The best way to understand authoritative parenting is to look at it in contrast to other parenting styles. Three of these are often defined as:

  • the permissive parent who is afraid to set limits,
  • the unengaged parent who is detached and neglectful, and
  • the authoritarian parent who ignores the child's point of view and is associated with the phrase "I told you so."
Parenting Styles Responsive Flashpop / Getty Images
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