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Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs
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The Big Answer

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The Relation of Parenting Style to Adolescent School Performance

an article by S. M. Dornbusch, P. L. Ritter, P. H. Leiderman, D.F. Roberts and Michael J. Fraleigh

(our site's article review)

Their studies show that families that have higher degrees of parent education (e.g., P.E.T.) were lower in authoritarian and permissive parenting styles and higher in authoritative styles, which confirms what many have realized in the last twenty years or so: The most knowledge, education, and awareness is highly correlated with authoritative parenting. The study checked out nearly 8,000 highschool students, finding that both authoritarian and permissive parenting styles were negatively associated with grades, and authoritative parenting was positively associated with grades. Authoritative parenting, which is characterized by establishing clear standards, enforcing rules, and encouraging discussion and joint decision making, is positively associated with student achievement for elementary and secondary students.

Since the application of the highest levels of knowledge to life in the 21st century is a defining characteristic of the Third Wave, that makes authoritative parenting—which epitomizes the Tofflers’ contention that sufficient (neither excess nor inadequate) social control is the most important social strategy—the best choice for Third Wave parenting.

The types of parenting with the least evidence of excess control and the most evidence of effectiveness are P.E.T., Aware Parenting, Connection Parenting, Discipline Without Distress, Nonviolent Communication (N.V.C.), and Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting)—they don’t use logical consequences since they believe that all logical consequences are punitive by definition and are experienced at least partially as punishments by children.

Dornbusch et al. reconfirms that authoritative parenting produces kids who get the best grades in school. The lowest grades of all came from students whose parents practiced inconsistent parenting styles, especially if one of the styles in the combination was authoritarianism.

Authoritative parenting produces kids who get the best grades in school
Authoritative parenting produces kids who get the best grades in school