Authoritative parents have high expectations but also respond to the emotional needs of their kids. They set clear rules, utilize positive reinforcement, and encourage independence. 

According to Developmental Psychologist Dr. Diana Baumrind, authoritative parenting is the “optimal” parenting style, as it enables kids to build self-esteem, perform well at school, and develop superior social skills. 

Here are 3 tips for practicing the authoritative style of parenting yourself:

One, listen. Authoritative parents pay attention to what their kids have to say, whether they’re expressing their emotions, sharing a silly idea, or telling a drawn-out story. Whatever it is, welcome and listen to what they have to say. This positive attention shows your child that you care and helps to prevent behavioral issues, too.

Two, look for teaching moments. The rules authoritative parents set help their children learn the difference between good and bad. With that in mind, don’t ever shame your child when they misbehave. Instead, apply the fair and logical consequences you’ve decided on. Then, have a conversation with your child about why their behavior was wrong and how they can do the right thing in the future. 

Three, let your child make little choices. Authoritative parents empower their kids to make big decisions later by letting them make small decisions now. For example: “Do you want green beans or broccoli with dinner?” or, “Do you want to read a story before or after you brush your teeth?” Just make sure you can handle each option you present them with.

These three strategies will help you practice the authoritative parenting style and support the healthy development of your child.