Authoritarian vs Authoritative: Difference and Comparison

The goal of the studies of Authoritarian and Authoritative was to examine the parent’s point of view and how it affects the development of the child. Naturally, it was never really that easy. We tend to categorize parenting as authoritative or authoritarian from the start. These are the two parenting philosophies that differ from one another the most.

Key Takeaways

  1. Authoritarian parenting involves strict control, punishment, and a lack of warmth or responsiveness.
  2. Authoritative parenting promotes a balance of nurturing, guidance, and firm boundaries, fostering autonomy and self-regulation.
  3. Children raised by authoritative parents tend to exhibit better social, emotional, and academic outcomes than those raised by authoritarian parents.
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Authoritarian vs Authoritative

Authoritarian means to force others to show complete obedience by taking full control over their freedom and rights to live freely. This political system makes use of centralized power to summon masses behind their objectives. Authoritative refers to a person or information which has full command and confidence to set rules and give orders.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAuthoritarianAuthoritative
FreedomThere is room for freedom and autonomy.There is NO room for freedom and autonomy.
ControlGive freedom within comprehensible bounds.Kids are under control and expected to obey parents.
DisciplineEmphasize teaching appropriate conductPrioritize punishing improper conduct
InvolveLess involved in kids’ lifeMore involved in kids’ life
TeachEncourage children to utilize consequences to avoid future mistakesInstruct children in using positive punishment

What is Authoritarian?

Parenting with a strict authority adheres to an older school of thought. It makes use of expressions like “because I said so” and is built on the idea that children should only be seen, not heard. A lack of encouragement and positive reinforcement characterizes this parenting approach. Authoritarian parenting techniques include stringent guidelines and high standards. They also fall short of giving kids the tools and encouragement they need to succeed.

Little room exists for children to develop their own feeling of independence since they follow their parent’s instructions. Parents want perfect compliance from their kids, and if they don’t, they’ll discipline them or put a stop to any defiant behaviour. When a child doesn’t listen or act properly, harsh repercussions come fast after. In a sense, the child was set up for failure and punished for it. Along with a general feeling of disapproval, common motifs include shame, embarrassment, and guilt.

The major responsibility of authoritarian parents is to compel the child’s will to submit to the authority of the parent, the church, or the teacher. It is believed that sin, bad behaviour, and sadness all stem from willfulness. Therefore, a loving parent is one who makes an effort to break the child’s will.

What is Authoritative?

When we refer to someone as authoritative, we mean that they exhibit traits associated with someone in charge or who is well-known or respected. Being authoritative as a parent entails exercising firm control over the child, requiring maturity, and establishing fair rules that the youngster must follow. Authoritative Parents are probably friendly, nurturing, and receptive.

Secure attachments make kids happier and healthier. Numerous studies show that children of authoritative parents are, in fact, happier than children of authoritarian parents. Children from authoritative households have good emotional control because authoritative parents are sensitive to their kids’ emotional needs. They become resilient and are fast to bounce back from setbacks. Parents who are authoritative let their children pursue freedom and autonomy. They closely observe their children’s conduct instead of exerting strict control and disciplining them when necessary.

For instance, as an authoritative parent, you would approach your angry child with compassion and care while remaining cool and methodical. Instead of responding in a hostile or frustrating manner, you enforce your rules and advise your child on how to manage his emotions.

In this approach, authoritarian parents make sure that the child learns from their mistakes in addition to being obedient.

Main Differences Between Authoritative and Authoritarian

  1. Authoritative parents promote independence and autonomy in their children, while Authoritarian parents do not.
  2. Authoritative parents don’t use any severe types of discipline, while Authoritarian parents do.
  3. Authoritative parents exercise judgment and control, while Authoritarian gain high control.
  4. Authoritative parents enforce strict authority over the child, demand maturity, and establish fair rules, while Authoritarian parents believe in order, conformity, parental supervision, and compliance.
  5. Authoritative parents are extremely rigorous but also receptive, while Authoritarian parents are less responsive

Last Updated : 25 November, 2023

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