The aim of the article is to analyze the concept of a parent’s provision of structure as proposed in the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Basic assumptions and thesis of SDT concerning autonomous motivation are discussed. According to SDT, autonomous motivation develops by internalization of initially externalized motivation. Parents can facilitate this process by responding to a child's basic psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness and competence. The need for competence is satisfied by providing a structure, which allows children to feel in control of their environment. Parental structure promotes development of autonomous motivation only when parental support is present. In the article the concept of providing a structure is linked to other similar constructs: scaffolding, control and setting limits, to show the specificity of the SDT perspective.