Characteristics of an authoritative (democratic) style of parenting in the family

Authoritative (democratic) parenting style: characteristics

Rules and restrictions

Certain rules are developed that are unbreakable and operate within the family, regardless of gender, age or level of power. That is, everyone is obliged to comply with them, be it the father or the youngest child. This allows you to form a certain value system that will be a support in the child’s future life, when he “enters” society, gets on his feet and even starts his own family.

For example:

  • In our family it is not customary to hit each other, even if you are very angry;
  • If someone needs to be alone, we definitely give this opportunity;
  • We are honest with each other and so on.

It is important that the rules do not only apply to children, this indicates that within certain limits everyone is equal. This means that they respect each other’s personality and are not omnipotent, actively demonstrating their power.

As usually happens in relationships where authoritarianism reigns. When a little man is beaten as punishment, and violence towards other people is strictly forbidden. If you disobey, they beat you again.

This approach causes conflicting feelings, and in some cases, psychological trauma and some personal limitations. Because the duality of messages shakes the psyche.

Balance between punishment and reward

If we talk about the punishments themselves, then they are not aimed at intentionally causing harm, both physically and mentally, in order to humiliate or relieve one’s own tension. As well as there is no connivance, or completely unfounded encouragement, which only causes harm.

In general, balance and harmony are maintained. If he deserved it, he received a reward; if he was guilty, he took responsibility and corrected the situation. Or he endured temporary restrictions, for example, losing his phone for a day.

This approach creates awareness. The kid, before doing something, will think about the consequences. And it is important that he is not afraid of getting hit in the butt, but understands why this act will upset his family and complicate his life.


When a person is able to accept the feelings of another, it brings people closer together and also creates a trusting, warm relationship. Usually in families where the emotions of a little person are ignored and there is so-called coldness and aloofness, troubles occur.

In terms of plan, he can run away from home, use alcohol and drugs, steal and much more. Trying in this way to attract attention and gain recognition at least from people like him.


In a family with a democratic upbringing style, there is no imposition of one’s own system of values, tastes, preferences and type of behavior. There is no pressure, if an adult wants to teach his child something, he does it with the help of his own example.

It’s quite difficult to convince a person not to lie, while constantly deceiving him, don’t you agree? Children are the same, they don’t pay much attention to words, they are more guided by the knowledge they receive by watching adults. This is how they learn from experience, initially listening to themselves whether this development of events suits them or not.


It has been mentioned more than once that parents raising a child show respect and sensitivity to his personality, desires, and needs. Therefore, they are not forced to “stuff down” their unloved borscht. But they simply offer him something else for lunch, since that’s what they cooked.

In fact, it helps to understand that I am valuable, important. Accordingly, no one has the right to treat me badly, hurt me and ignore me.

Children who were treated unfairly in childhood, abused power, criticized and limited in some way, are prone to victimized behavior.

That is, they are mainly in the position of a victim. They literally attract trouble and allow themselves to be humiliated, offended and hurt, believing that they deserve such treatment.

Openness and clarification

An authoritative style is characterized by a readiness for dialogue. When a parent not only prohibits, but explains why it’s not allowed. When the baby has the right to receive an answer. And not only does he have the right, but he is also not afraid to appear stupid and be inappropriate.

By the way, this approach keeps the nervous system in order. Because when everything is clear, there is no need to dump anger on the one who provoked it with a ban, even for safety reasons. And also the point of doing an act that will not bring anything good, or simply endanger your health.

For example, knowing what can result from inattention on the road or ignoring traffic rules, he will use the pedestrian crossing without crossing in the wrong places.

If you just scold every time, resistance will arise. And with an adult, perhaps, he will control himself, but being without control, he will take up the old ways. Because nothing has changed in consciousness. And for something to change there, it is important to explain and be open to dialogue.

Encouraging independence

Parents provide the opportunity to make decisions and choices independently. They allow you to make mistakes without making failures a tragedy. On the contrary, they support and encourage new attempts to cope with the task, to try their hand.

They organize the space so that the child himself seeks help if necessary, that is, they do not interfere, showing that he is able to find a way out of the situation without the participation of other people.

As a last resort, they offer to think about a solution together. That is, they do not do something instead of him, but as if they are nearby, suggesting what might be useful in this case, sharing their experience. As a result, the baby feels joy and pride in himself. And he’s not upset that he’s good for nothing.

Finding context and true need

Behind every “I don’t want” there is always something important, so much so that it provokes resistance. For example, if a child does not want to go to school, this is not necessarily a manifestation of laziness or stupidity, as adults usually think.

It is important for an authoritative parent to understand the reason for this behavior. Therefore, with the help of questions, provided that there is trust in the relationship, he tries to clarify the situation. Perhaps he doesn’t get along with some teacher, or he quarreled with his classmates.

Sometimes he simply doesn’t have time to complete assignments and is shamed by the teacher. He doesn’t believe in his abilities, which is why he lowers his grades. In this case, there is no point in cursing and demanding that you love learning. Forming an even greater dislike for school and pushing away from oneself due to misunderstanding.

Admitting your mistakes

There are no ideal people, even if someone has achieved a lot, this does not mean that he is sinless and never makes mistakes.

When, for example, a mother admits her guilt and wrongness, she shows that she is actually alive, real and you can get closer to her. And not to feel that it is an unattainable image that makes no sense to imitate.

This approach, by the way, also teaches that mistakes can be corrected. And also ask for forgiveness for your words and actions. What it means is to take responsibility for them, and not come up with excuses, wanting to seem better than you really are.


Every family member has responsibilities, even the youngest. They must be within the capabilities of age and skills. Over time, you can increase the load. If at first it is enough to be able to change clothes on your own, then a little older you need to make your bed in the morning, wash your plate or help set the table.

Only doing homework should be motivated not by reproaches and punishments, but on the contrary, by explaining that help is important and pleasant. That you are part of one big mechanism, and for it to function efficiently, every detail, even the smallest one, is important.

The more free time parents have, the more time they spend together going for a walk or playing.

Liberal model

This style is also called permissive. It is usually used in families where parents are overly indulgent. They do not forbid anything for children, do not impose any restrictions on them, and strive in every possible way to show how much they love them. A child who has been brought up this way often manifests himself in the following ways:

  • does not deny himself anything;
  • avoids physical and mental labor;
  • demonstrates impulsiveness;
  • shows aggression;
  • has high self-esteem;
  • likes to show off;
  • characterized by increased conflict.

The liberal parenting style cannot be called the optimal model. Parents should understand that it is not suitable for everyone. The following options for personal development are possible:

  • An independent, decisive and active person with normal self-esteem, distinguished by some detachment. He does not know what attachment is, avoids close relationships, cares exclusively about himself. This is a loner who prefers to keep people at a distance, not letting anyone too close.
  • An antisocial personality who does not accept any social framework. Such a person knows no restrictions, he is sure that he can get away with anything. Often such people connect their lives with crime, do not keep their word and show irresponsibility.

To choose the optimal model, it is very important to take into account the natural inclinations of the baby. Psychologists still recommend spending more time with your son or daughter and introducing at least simple rules and responsibilities. Under no circumstances should the baby be allowed to remain without the slightest control.

Advantages and disadvantages

As you can see for yourself, an authoritative style of family education is the most harmonious for a still small growing individual. It allows you to reveal her characteristics, talents and become more mature, conscious, and with self-esteem.

The downside is that adults who choose this particular path need to make a lot of effort to develop. Deal with your own limitations and be a role model.

And there are not always resources to seek a compromise and offer cooperation. Instead of the usual order, which should be strictly followed because “I said so.”

Overprotective parents

Parents with increased anxiety transfer their feelings to the baby, all the time expecting that something bad might happen. They do their best to protect him from possible troubles by introducing numerous restrictions. The child is prohibited from communicating with “unfavorable” peers, going for walks in the evening, or playing sports.

This style can manifest itself in completely different ways. Sometimes these are attempts to “tie” the baby to yourself and control him all the time. Sometimes anxious adults are overly concerned about their child’s health. Some parents treat their child like a small child, even when he becomes a teenager.

The method of education greatly influences the situation in the family. Often, adults manage to take care of their children, protecting them from difficulties even when they are presented with homework or responsibilities around the house. Such an educational method ultimately leads to the following development options:

  • A person is convinced of his own superiority over others. Since childhood, he has become accustomed to manipulating others and treats them with great distrust. At the same time, he makes high demands on people, not giving them the right to make mistakes and not taking into account their point of view.
  • Not a self-sufficient person, prone to dependent behavior. A person who is unable to solve his problems on his own. He is helpless, uninitiative, and cannot make decisions without relying on someone else’s opinion.

Parents who have realized that they are prone to overprotection should not be upset or worried about this. It is better for them to listen to some recommendations from experts. Psychologists advise anxious adults:

  • Find some middle ground. All children need attention and care, but there is no need to overdo it either.
  • Do not try to solve all of your child’s problems. It is better to give him valuable advice and help him overcome the difficulties that have arisen.
  • Do not interfere with the interaction of your son or daughter with peers, do not limit the child’s communication to just one family;
  • Accustom your child to discipline, but do not prevent him from showing independence.

The future lies in partnerships

It is much easier to build authoritarianism in a married couple than, through many difficulties, to try to create your own cozy home on the basis of mutual understanding and respect, equality and support.

A democratic family is the future of any developed community. According to statistics, in most developed countries the policy of creating such marital unions is positive.

As proof of the perfection of partnerships, it can be noted that democracy is characteristic of the urban population, and authoritarianism is characteristic of people in rural areas, where traditions are of paramount importance. And according to tradition, the husband is “in power” when the wife does all the housework and obeys (sometimes tolerates) her husband.

There are, of course, other types of family relationships, but democracy is objectively the best solution for consolidating the marital union in the 21st century.

Family functions

It doesn’t matter what goals a married couple pursues or what type of family relationship they want to build. Forming a family involves the emergence of certain functions, including:

  1. Birth of children.
  2. Interaction with children and development of motherhood/fatherhood skills.
  3. Development of economic relations, satisfaction of the material needs of all family members.
  4. A source of love, respect and psychological protection.
  5. Communication with family members, mental relaxation.
  6. Primary socialization.
  7. Intellectual and physical relaxation.

In real life, it is not always possible to see the fulfillment of all the listed points, but a “standard” example of the presence of all functions is a democratic family. What it is? What features does this type of marital union have?

What is family?

From a specialized dictionary, a family is a small social group whose members are related by marriage or blood, and are also interested in organizing cohabitation and mutual assistance.

If we compare our society with a whole organism, the family in it will be a separate cell. The proper functioning of the entire mechanism depends on these “cells.” Therefore, the family is a unit of society, the well-being of which directly affects the present and future.

Absolute harmony

Such upbringing involves accepting the baby as he is. Adults do not impose their vision of life on him and do not strive to correct minor shortcomings. There are prohibitions in the family that apply to all members, but there are few such restrictions.

Children's needs are satisfied within reasonable limits, which does not lead to infringement of the interests of elders. The child chooses his own development path. Adults do not put pressure on him and do not force him to attend clubs that the baby does not like, while encouraging the baby’s independence. If the need arises, they give advice to the baby.

Thus, there are different styles of parenting in the family. If parents want to raise a self-sufficient person with healthy self-esteem, they should learn to optimally combine democracy and control, without overdoing it. A wise and empathic parent always feels which educational method is best to use for a small person with specific natural inclinations.

Subtypes of partner family

Above we have given a description of an ideal union where equality comes first. There are also different interpretations of the partner family, which have a number of features.

1. Patriarchal democratic family.

The peculiarity of such a union is the dominant role of the husband in various matters. Such a family is built on the same principles: respect, patience, concessions. However, equality is already eroding.

At the same time, it would be wrong to consider such a family purely patriarchal. Although the man has the last word, he will still listen to his wife. There is no violence or other destructive processes that can appear in pure patriarchy.

2. Matriarchal democratic family.

In such a community, everything is the other way around: leadership is transferred into the hands of a woman. Democracy manifests itself in situations where a husband can still influence his wife’s decisions, and children have the right to express their opinions and be listened to by their mother.

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