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Authoritative Parenting using Discipline Model

Authoritative Parenting using the Discipline Model

Authoritative parents take the following approach to the components of discipline.[i]  They . . .

Devotion

  • Are devoted to the process of childrearing with the primary goal of developing their child’s character and competence.
  • Are appropriately responsive to their child’s needs.
  • Unselfishly demonstrate loving care for the child.
  • Monitor their children’s activities and know their whereabouts.
  • Are both demanding and responsive. They integrate and balance high levels of responsiveness with high levels of demandingness in ways that are beneficial to children’s development.

Instruction

  • Require mature behavior within the child’s range of ability, and base demands and prohibitions on their child’s attributes, abilities and developmental level.
  • With power-assertion demands, they accompany their demands with explanations to help the child understand the parent’s concept of appropriate behavior.
  • Use reason and discussion to obtain compliance and are willing to negotiate when they deem their child’s objections to be reasonable.
  • Model what they preach in areas such as self-control, generosity, and appropriate behavior.
  • Encourage individuality and independence.

Affirmation

  • Praise worthy behavior and achievement
  • Are warm, responsive, and support the child’s autonomy.
  • Show respect for their child in all their actions
  • Are warm and understanding of their child’s perspective.

Correction

  • Logically connect their corrective sanctions to the consequences of their child’s actions.
  • Don’t hesitate to criticize their child’s actions that require change.
  • Use behavioral control that is overt and confrontive aimed at achieving compliance with their directives; rather than being covert and intrusive.
  • Willing to use appropriate disciplinary spanking when necessary to achieve behavioral control and confrontive discipline.
  • Refuse to use manipulative forms of behavioral control, such as psychological control, coercive power, wounding words, and harsh physical punishment.

Because authoritative parents are warm, responsive and autonomy-supportive as well as power-assertive, their children are motivated to restore family harmony by complying or else by constructively dissenting in an effort to change their parent’s mind rather than to defiantly or evasively disobey.

References

[i] Adapted from Baumrind D. “Authoritative Parenting for Character and Competence.” found in Parenting for Character: Five Experts, Five Practices edited by David Streight. 2008. Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. ISBN: 978-1-881678-76-2.