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What is Assertive-Democratic Parenting?

By: Sarah Edwards - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Assertive Democratic Parenting Child

Assertive Democratic Parenting Style is also often known and referred to by experts as the Authoritative parenting style. Assertive Democratic parenting produces children who are generally well balanced and able to cope with situations well. It is a parenting style that is adopted by many parents as it is a reasonable way for parents to manage expectations and encourage and reward good, positive behaviour.

Encourage Responsability

Children are actively encouraged from a reasonably early age to be responsible for themselves and to be able to think clearly about their behaviour and the effect it can have on other people and situations.

Parents who adopt this style of parenting achieve their aims and objectives by making sure their children have very clear and simple expectations for their children. They ensure that they always explain things to their children, and make it clear to them that they expect a certain level and standard of behaviour, and why those standards are so important.

Consistent Advice

Assertive Democratic or Authoritative parents always keep a close eye on their children’s behaviour and try to make sure that their advice to their children is consistent. They make big efforts to try and observe their children when they are being good so that this positive behaviour can be rewarded. By regularly reinforcing their children’s good behaviour and making a big deal about rewarding them, Assertive Democratic parents try not to focus on negative behaviour.

Explanations and behaviour

When their children do not behave themselves, Assertive Democratic parents explain to them why they are not happy with their behaviour and try to help them to understand the repercussions that their actions may have on others, particularly if their behaviour may injure another child. This way children learn from an early age that they have to demonstrate a certain level of responsibility for their actions.

Help Around The House

Children who have Assertive Democratic parents will be encouraged to get involved with helping around the house with domestic chores. Families like this will often have a family rota or schedule with everyone having their own list of jobs to do during the week. Decisions about the kind of job that each child will be given, will depend on their age and ability-there is a strong focus on rewarding a child for good or positive behaviour and therefore it is important that they will be able to achieve the task they are asked to perform.

Choices Are Important

Assertive Democratic parents like to offer their children choices and again these are dependent on the age and ability of each child. A preschool child might be given the option of what to wear, in other words “a red shirt or a blue shirt?” whereas older children might be given the choice of what to eat, or what to play.

As children progress through the education system, their choices of GCSEs and A levels will become hot topics of conversation, and by this stage these children will have developed into well-balanced and confident young people who have excellent communication and decision making capabilities.

Assertive Democratic parents do not allow the large amount of freedom that permissive parents deem to be acceptable, and neither do they adopt the rather old-fashioned and outdated approach of the authoritarian parent. Instead, they prefer to look at each child as an individual and allow them the room and opportunities to grow and develop. There is a firm focus on cultivating independence from an early age, ensuring children remain aware of the outcomes of their actions and behaviour, and being able to cope well and thrive in any social setting.

Interest And Curiosity In Life

Children have an interest and curiosity in life in general, and tend to do well at school. They have a varied and secure social life and an ability to communicate at all levels, whilst also being very aware of social and behavioural boundaries and the consequences of their actions.

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The style you describe is probably the approach most parents naturally take. Cling too tightly to your children and you’ll find them rebelling in their teens when they feel oppressed. This way they’re encouraged to become more independent, and that climb towards independence really begins at birth. As you see them grow and become happy with themselves and the world you know you’ve done a good job.
Linda - 3-Oct-12 @ 11:42 AM
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