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“Mom! Can I use my money to buy 800 Robux?” My son’s voice gets louder as he approaches the living room to make his request face to face. I reply, “So that money you just earned, you want to spend on Robux? Is that a good idea?” I can practically see his inner struggle. Do I save my money for a “real” toy, or buy a new skin for my Roblox dude? Part of me wants to forbid wasting money on in-app purchases. Then I think, It’s his money, so I should talk it through with him.

Turns out this interaction is an example of authoritative parenting. I don’t always respond this way, but (praise the Lord!) research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family shows kids raised by authoritative parents are more likely to become independent, self-reliant, socially and academically successful, and well-behaved. Think you fit the bill? Here are 5 signs you’re an authoritative parent and ways to adapt to take on more of this style.

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