Dads: Your parenting style matters more than you know

Dads: Your parenting style matters more than you know

Another Father’s Day has come and gone, but here’s something for dads to consider all year long:

A dad who is an “authoritative parent” rather than an  “authoritarian” enjoys a closer relationship with his children, according to a recent Brigham Young University study.

Example: Authoritative dads may see their children struggling to choose a major in college, but won’t tell them what they think their majors should be.

“Instead, they’ll say, ‘Have you ever considered this’ or “here’s one advantage of that.’ And when the child makes a choice, they say, ’I’m proud of you.’” says study author Larry Nelson, a BYU family life professor.

Authoritarian (or helicopter parents) on the other hand, try to swoop down and fix everything themselves.

“The outcomes are better when parents aren’t controlling, Nelson said.

Authoritative parents know what’s going on in their children’s lives because kids are willing to tell them, Nelson said.

In his analysis of fathers of young adults, those who blend love, high expectations and respect for the child’s autonomy stood out as having a closer relationship with their children. And the children demonstrated higher levels of kindness and self-worth, according to the study.

The data for Nelson’s study came from PROJECT READY, a look at  young people and the transition to adulthood. His research appears in the June issue of Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Source: Brigham Young University news release.

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