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Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs
(Comparison Chart)

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The Big Answer


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Raise Your Child's Social IQ

a book by Cathi Cohen

(our site's book review)

Cohen outlines a customized program that can be taught at home, by parents. With this program parents can teach their children:
1. to handle teasing
2. to join in successfully with other children
3. to read social cues
4. to feel better about themselves
5. to express anger appropriately

learn to handle teasing
Learn to handle teasing


learn to handle annoying
Learn to handle annoying


learn to handle bullying
Learn to handle bullying


Cohen say that: “Through using these easy-to-understand and fun-to-use exercises with your children, you'll delight in the new social skills your children demonstrate.”

Cathi Cohen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Group Psychotherapist. She is a leading expert in the field of social skills training in children. “This book is based on the nine years of collected data and experience of Stepping Stones, a social skills training program for children and their parents, which Cohen created in 1990 in the metro Washington, D.C. area.”

It cannot be overstated that the social skills taught at home and school often fall short. Cohen’s program addresses many of these issues. It should replace worthless aspects of curriculum like memorizing dates in history class, almost all of which are—thankfully—forgotten within weeks. After all, once you know 1776 and 1492 (we are citizens, after all), of what use are the rest of the trivia? Learning history is critical—so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. But it’s the meaning of the events, not their dates, that is important.

While they're at it, it would be super if they'd include parenting as a one-year required course in high school. The average parent shows ineptness and ignorance in this area to a breathtaking degree. Most just figure they’ll figure it out as they go along. Very few do. This just ensures that parents continue to abuse kids with such things as spanking, humiliating, and name calling, since that’s what their parents did to them and the emotional pain of this is like a button just waiting for an innocent child to push.

Authoritarians would be up in arms in some schools when only Authoritative* parenting was being taught, but they are free to tell their kids when they get home that all the research that proved beyond any doubt that Authoritative parenting is the only effective method is all just a bunch of lies and also that said research never occurred or is a fraud or is all wrong or is a left-wing conspiracy. What the heck? Many of them already do this with evolution anyway. While they're at it, they can tell their kids that the Enlightenment was a hoax, that science itself is a hoax, and we should all revert to the time, centuries ago, when the Church was the controlling entity of society. Perhaps that would please them immensely! Of course, hypocrisy being what it is, they'd continue to enjoy all the fruits of science such as medicine, central heating, television, DVDs, iPods, ad infinitum. Funny thing—weren’t these based upon the exact same scientific research principles as parenting research? Ain't hypocrisy grand?!

the Church
The Church

We figure that Cohen’s program would be a fine addition to not only school curriculums but parenting toolboxes as well. Social IQ raising is a grand idea but we sure wish parenting would become part of the overall program, considering the dysfunctional state of our society.

*Note: We consider P.E.T., Aware Parenting, Connection Parenting, Discipline Without Distress, Nonviolent Communication (N.V.C.), and Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting, to be Authoritative Lite, although they don't necessarily consider their methods "authoritative" since they reject control and logical consequences. The rest of the authoritative methods embrace nonpunitive logical consequences as an important learning tool. Research shows that ALL the authoritative methods work well, Authoritative Lite and Authoritative (plain) methods both showing themselves to be fine methods, although these two groups love to point out that their method is best. There are small variations in the results that Authoritative Lite and Authoritative (plain) methods achieve, with Authoritative Lite seeming to come out a bit better. But these differences are small compared to the differences between the results of Authoritative parenting and the results of ALL other parenting methods (Authoritarian, Neglectful, and Permissive). The jury is NOT still out. The results of a huge body of research has been analyzed. Authoritative Lite and Authoritative (plain) methods are best by far. Therefore they should be taught in all our schools!