Is Your Parenting Style Based On Positive Authority?

People don't really understand the concept of authority when it comes to child-rearing. Today's article will discuss how it must be positive.
Is Your Parenting Style Based On Positive Authority?

Last update: 31 July, 2021

Certain paradigms like authority seem to change with every new generation in this constantly changing world. Logically, many parents wonder if they’re doing it in a positive way. In other words, they wonder if they’re using a proper parenting style to educate their children.

In the past, it was common for a family to have a working father and a mother at home. Her job was to raise the children. This is no longer the case, as it’s much more common for both parents to work.

There are many new complex circumstances, ranging from the stress caused by lack of resources to the anxiety produced by long workdays. This is because parents are away from home, meaning that they don’t spend enough time with their children. In addition, the little time they do spend with their offspring often makes them tired or leaves them in a bad mood.

All this causes restlessness, insecurity, and anxiety. Thus, there’s guilt and a lack of energy to cope with the difficulties that arise. And this is when there are doubts regarding parenting, limits to children, discussions, and, in short, family dynamics.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

-James Baldwin-

What exactly is positive authority?

Many parents shiver when they hear the word “authority”. This is because a certain suspicion surrounds a term that people don’t fully understand. In fact, many adults are afraid of being thought of as authoritarian.

What exactly is “authority”? Obviously, children need limits and someone to enforce them. How to do it? Well, the voice is an important part of it, as it must be firm and assured. There must be no shouting or threats or punishment and certainly no physical and verbal aggression.

It seems that authority is necessary for a healthy coexistence. The thing is that you must banish the negative connotations that come with it. That is, be firm but remain positive and calm while encouraging healthy conversations.

Now you know that positive authority is the teaching of responsibility to children. Thus, both parents and children must accept limits, the need to act responsibly, and to incorporate both rights and duties in their daily chores.

A man talking to a girl.

Ways to responsibilize children through positive parenting

Let’s see what you can do for your children in this regard.

Clear rules

Communication with children is basic for them to understand their rights and duties. This is why it’s important to make an effort to clearly transmit the specific rules a child must comply with.

For example, it won’t do much good to tell the child to be good. Instead, be specific and say, for example, “It’s important that you keep your room tidy”. Then, in addition, help the child understand why they should keep their room tidy and why they have to behave in a certain way. Thus, they’ll understand better and, of course, will also learn to negotiate and reach agreements.

Consistent rules

Consistency is key in this whole process, especially if the child is older. Then, there’ll be times when parents will have to sit down and negotiate.

The child will be more likely to comply with the rules if they’re fair. They’ll also help the child accept the positive authority of the adult and consider them fair.

Clear consequences and positive authority

It’s important for the child to be clear about the consequences of their actions, both positive and negative. For example, chances are they won’t find their toys if they don’t keep them where they belong. So it isn’t up to you, the adult, to keep them organized for them.

Thus, when the child loses their favorite toy or runs out of ice cream because they didn’t finish eating, it’ll be easier for them to understand that certain actions lead to negative consequences. They’ll learn that admitting positive authority is always better for them.

Age-appropriate negotiation

You must be sensitive to your child’s developmental stage as a parent. It’s logical to think that you can’t expect the same results from a five-year-old as you would from a ten-year-old.

This is why it’d be convenient to take it into account when negotiating with your little ones about their needs, possibilities, rights, obligations, routines, etc.

A woman talking to a boy.

Exceptions

In addition, you must also value exceptions as an adult. You must get to know your children in order to know their limits, talents, desires, and real possibilities, and for complying with certain rules, for example.

Thus, you’ll have to make decisions based on the way your child is. Then, you’ll know if it’s a good idea to make an exception.

Acknowledgment and positive authority

It’s always good to acknowledge your mistakes as a parent. In addition, you should also validate the efforts children make to do their chores. And, of course, you’ll allow them to make mistakes so that you can use it as a learning experience.

Positive authority-based parenting can be positive if you understand your child’s weaknesses and strengths. For this purpose, you need balance, knowledge, time, good predisposition, a sense of humor, and, above all, to know how to manage your authority. Let there be no lack of it so that you can dissolve tensions and lead family life along the most appropriate path.

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  • Albert, L. (2019). Educando en el respeto: Hacia una pedagogía viva y activa. Almería: Círculo Rojo.