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Authoritative Parenting vs Co-Parenting

Exploring Parenting Style: Authoritative Parenting vs Co-Parenting

More than 3.6 million babies are born every year in the United States, so there are a lot of children living in America. However, each childhood will be different depending on where a child lives and who is raising them. 

Different approaches to parenting, such as authoritative parenting, can have a huge impact on your child’s development. So it is incredibly important to be aware of your parenting style. 

After a separation, you and your ex-partner need to agree on a parenting style. Talking parents often find it easier to create cohesion for their child across both households. So set aside time with your ex to figure out your parenting strategy.

Want to know more about how to maintain an authoritative approach to parenting after getting divorced? Then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know about authoritative parenting and co-parenting. 

What is Authoritative Parenting? 

An authoritative approach to raising children focuses on boundaries and communication. 

Authoritative parents set rules and consequences but always explain why these rules exist. They also take their child’s emotional reaction to rules and boundaries into account.

For example, you might say, “I understand that you find this frustrating, do you understand why this rule is important?” You may also have conversations about how they feel if they have been told off.

The goal is to create a safe, familiar, and positive environment for your child. Communicating with them validates their feelings and helps them understand the world around them. 

How Do Children Benefit From Authoritative, Talking Parents?

Authoritative parenting helps your children grow up in a secure environment.

Studies show that this kind of parenting promotes secure parent-child attachment styles. So your children feel comfortable discussing their feelings and asking for help.

This also improves emotional intelligence in adulthood.

Authoritative Parenting in a Co-Parenting Arrangement 

Authoritative parenting encourages your child to speak about their emotions. Because of this, it can be very valuable during and after a separation.

It also encourages you to recognize that your children might “act out” for different reasons. So you can explore this with them in more depth. 

However, it is very important that both parents engage in this parenting style. Otherwise, your children may find going between their different households very emotionally confusing.

So can you successfully co-parent while taking an authoritative approach? Let’s take a closer look at ways to integrate this parenting style into a co-parenting arrangement. 

Focus on Your Child’s Relationship With Both Parents 

Authoritative parenting helps to strengthen the relationship that you have with your child. However, after a separation, it is important to focus on the relationship that your child has with both parents. 

As exes can do this by supporting one another’s parenting approach. For example, your child might ask you why the other parent asked them not to do something.

Reinforcing the importance of this boundary and explaining it to your child will help them understand it better. So they feel more comfortable opening up to both parents.

Make Sure That You Are on the Same Page 

Authoritative parenting only works if it is consistent. So you and your ex need to be on the same page about certain rules and boundaries. If you aren’t, this can become confusing for your children. 

Set aside some time to talk to your ex about your parenting approach. You can also use this discussion to create consistent: 

  • Routines 
  • Bedtime schedules 
  • Rewards
  • Rules 
  • Consequences for breaking rules

This also makes it easier for your child to transition from one household to the other. 

It is important that you don’t do this in front of your children. This shields them from any conflict or disagreements that you might have. It also helps your children see you as a united front even though you have separated.

Talking Parents: Communicate About Issues When They Come Up

If your child does open up to you about how they’re feeling be sure to share this with your ex. 

This might involve encouraging them to have a conversation with your child. Or it could be as simple as mentioning that they have been anxious, worried, or confused by something that week.

This helps both of you to stay aware of what is going on with your children. So you can keep an eye out for emotions that might affect their behavior.

You could even set aside some time to talk about these issues together as a family if your child feels comfortable with that. This will support parent-child communication in both households.

Pick Your Battles 

No parent is perfect and even authoritative parenting can slide sometimes. It can be frustrating when this happens after a separation. However, it is important to pick your battles with your ex. 

For example, it probably isn’t worth calling your ex out if your child says they ate ice cream every day on vacation!

Certain rules, such as bedtimes or screen time, may also be less strict during vacations. This is to be expected and you can talk to your child about changes as they happen. 

That said if you notice that your ex isn’t enforcing the same boundaries as you on a regular basis, it is a good idea to discuss this with them.

Try to frame this conversation around your collective approach to parenting. Focus on promoting the benefit of boundaries and consistency for your child. This will help you keep these discussions focused and non-confrontational.

Get Support With Your Co-Parenting Arrangement

Authoritative, talking parents can be incredibly supportive of their children after a separation.

Authoritative parenting gives your children space to talk about their worries and other feelings. This will help to strengthen the relationship they have with both you and your ex. 

Are you looking for more support managing your co-parenting schedule? Then start your 14-day trial of 2houses now. We’re here to help.

Why 2houses?

We are a co-parenting facilitator!


A calendar for everyone, getting organised when you’re divorced is a priority. 2houses provides you an online shared schedule, with many editing, adding, and sync features.


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Communication is key, this is why 2houses offers you an online messaging tool, simple, efficient and secure.


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