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How authoritarian parenting style is different from unconditional parenting

authoritarian parenting style

Parents are the biggest influence in their kid’s life. It is their perception of the way a child thinks and should be brought up that is vital in determining their child’s behaviour. Because parenting style is crucial for the development of a child it is essential to carefully select a parenting style that will offer love, support, guidance and discipline for creating a happy, healthy child.

Understanding authoritarian parenting style

In this parenting style, children are expected in following strict rules and regulations set by the parents and failure to follow which will result in punishment. The authoritarian parents do not have a valid reason behind setting these rules. Such parents generally have high demands, yet are not responsive towards their children. An authoritative parent is generally status and obedience-oriented and expect all their orders in being obeyed without explanation. They feel that they are actually the boss and their kids without question are bound in confirming to their demands.

Facts about unconditional parenting style

This is a relational analysis of parenting where children learn via the relationships with every vital people in their life. With the spirit of cooperation, understanding and tolerance that parents generally model for their kids’ appropriate ways to interact with the world following which children learn in incorporating these behaviours in their skill set.

Practicing unconditional parenting signifies that even when a child is throwing tantrums, screwing up or merely being downright bothersome in simple terms, parents do not scold them, discipline them or ignore them but rather keep their calm and continue showing them that they love them. In this style of parenting, parents treat their little one with unconditional positive regard.

Broad comparison

Below is a broad comparison between authoritarian and unconditional parenting based on four vital components of parenting namely affection, discipline, support and needs.


As per authoritarian parenting style, affection depends on behavior and shown only when the expectations are met. Unconditional parenting style on the other hand regards that parents should unconditionally show affection, acceptance and love to their child and this should never be measured based on behaviour or accomplishments.


Authoritarian parenting style rests on external forces where behaviour is an outcome of punishment or rewards. On the other hand, unconditional parenting style will find out the needs of the child and work accordingly instead of going against them.


As per authoritarian parenting, children behave for getting praises yet do not get any unconditional support. On the contrary, proponents of unconditional parenting style feels that kids require support instead of praise.


Authoritarian parenting style does not give significance to a child’s needs but instead focus on responsibility and maturity. Unconditional parenting recognizes individuality and realizes that every kid is different so his or her needs should be favoured over punishment.


Some parents are of the view that authoritarian parenting is too strict as it limits a kid’s ability to develop into a secure, happy child while unconditional parenting enables a child in exploring his/her desires and interests to develop their personality devoid of losing the support, affection, acceptance and love of parents.

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