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They Say: Authoritative Parents Breed Leaders

Do you set limits for your kids, and then watch as they test test test them constantly until you wonder if you are in fact just talking to yourself?

Just my house then? OK.

parenting-styleA new study from the Rotman School of Management in Minnesota found that children who were raised with an authoritative parenting style — that is, one with clear and firm boundaries but where children are supported and allowed to question the rules — are more likely to be leaders later in life.

And interestingly, the study also found that kids who did some rule-breaking were more likely to be leaders. Those who seriously broke the rules were less likely to assume leadership positions, but some minor boundary-testing is actually a good thing. It allows parents an opportunity to discuss the reasons behind the rules with their kids and lets the kids understand them as less arbitrary and more reasoned.

The usual caveats apply — the press relase has no information on the methodolgy, the number of kids studied, or anything else. But still, it’s intriguing to those of us who have kids who are testing their limits all the time. We’re pretty sure our daughter, who is constantly testing the boundaries and also has a bossy streak a mile wide, is headed for a future as a benevolent dictator of a small nation somewhere.

How do you handle it when your kids test your limits? And how do you rate your parenting style — permissive, authoritative or authoritarian?

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