Authoritarian Parenting

Published on by CMe


What is Authoritarian Parenting Style?
Authoritarian parents believe in holding their children to a very high level of achievement and status. The desire for discipline is often so paramount in this relationship that the relationship, itself, is devoid or low on love, affection and nurturing. This is not to say that an authoritarian parent does not love her child but the child often does not perceive the love as being unconditional. Many children of authoritarian parents equate success with love.

A parenting style based on extremely strict disciplinary rules, imposed on the children with minimum amount of freedom in exercising their own choices or opinions, is called as authoritarian parenting style. Authoritarian parents demand too much from their child, without giving any response to the child's obedience. Authoritarian parents provide well structured facilities and environment to the child, however, they are very strict with their rules and regulations. Authoritarian parents may at time turn to be autocratic in handling their children.

One of the problems with authoritarian parenting is that children, when in need of guidance and problem-solving assistance, naturally turn to someone they feel loved and accepted by. This is often not the authoritarian parent. So while these parents often hold such high standards out of a desire to create high-achieving and successful adults out of their children, they often miss out on real opportunities for guidance when the child needs it most.

Authoritarian parents often confuse punishment for discipline. Discipline occurs from within, punishment occurs externally. Children raised with authoritarian-style parents are often very good at obeying authority but seldom have a strong sense of inner discipline as this is not something that is encouraged in childhood by authoritarian parents.

Likewise, the punishment style of authoritarian parents is often harsh and does not "match the crime", so to speak. It isn't uncommon for parents to use spanking as a primary means of punishment in an authoritarian family. One problem is that spanking used primarily for discipline leaves no other effective tools in one's parenting tool belt. For parents who are desperate for control over their children, when spanking doesn't work (and often, it will not), the relationship turns abusive, either physically or emotionally or both.

We know through time that authoritarian parenting does not work. Authoritarian parents are better off trying for a more balanced approach. Having expectations and limits is a healthy part of parenting but it becomes unhealthy if there isn't also a balance of love and affection.


Authoritarian Parenting Pros and Cons
The proponents of authoritarian parenting, proclaim in their loudest voice, that there are various authoritarian parenting benefits. According to the parents adopting authoritarian parenting, their children will grow up to be obedient and responsible citizens, as they are always in an environment that demands discipline and hard work. While there is certain element of truth in this fact, authoritarian parents tend to forget that they are dealing with human entities, who are still in the developing age. Authoritarian parents no doubt love their children, however, they forget the thin lining dividing love and 'blind-love'. Expecting blind obedience from the children is the biggest impediment in the healthy growth of the child.

The cons of authoritarian parenting is, that it restricts the child's ability to think freely. All the child does is to obey his parents in every decision that is imposed on him, without giving any thought to his own likes and dislikes. This creates negative personality traits in the child like low self esteem, lack of confidence and lack of courage. When the parent is not ready to listen to the child about his views and opinions, it leads to extra mental pressure on the child. In case, the child does something wrong, it is usually followed by severe punishment or repercussions. Collectively, all this leads to a mental turmoil in the child's mind, thus, making him more vulnerable to guilt, lack of self-worth and stress.

Authoritarian parenting triggers poor socializing skills in the children. Since, the child is never heard to even in the secured walls of the house, he eventually loses his self esteem and develops a severe inferiority complex. All these follow him to his adulthood where he may tend to avoid public and social circles. In extreme cases, the child may prey to unhealthy habits when he grows to be a teenager. It is to be understood, that too much limitations lead to a deeper urge in the child to do things that he is not allowed to do. So, when they grow up, they are intellectually more evolved and they may rebel against the parents. Alienation of the public life, depression and other psychological problems may develop in the child if he is unheard from his parents.


Authoritarian Parenting Style Has Long Term Drawbacks
An authoritarian parenting style has a strong focus on discipline and setting limits with less emphasis on expressions of parental love. Although this doesn't mean that these parents do not love their children, it does illustrate their reluctance to express love and connection—two things that are critical to healthy development in children.

Those who strictly follow this style may take issue with the last paragraph and claim they set firm limits because they love their children. They want their children to grow up to be good people. They want their kids to love and respect them for all the sacrifices they've made. Sadly, these parents believe that using punishment, coercion, blame and shame is the way to achieve that end.

Think about how backwards this is—parents think that by using harsh indoctrination, their children will somehow grow up to be good and caring people.

To examine the ill-directed principles behind authoritarian parenting, let's start on common ground.

I think we can agree that most parents want their children to love and respect them. Most parents want their children to grow up to become good people. However, like two routes to the same destination—one barely tolerable with a harsh taskmaster at the helm and the other an enjoyable journey during which all the travelers develop close and lasting bonds—we can wind up at the same place without damaging our children's psyches in the process.

The tools of authoritarian parenting are blame, shame, coercion and punishment. I think it's safe to say that it does not feel good to be on the receiving end of such behavior, but many parents convince themselves that these tactics are necessary to "teach a lesson."


Because this was how they were raised.

Let's consider for a moment what children are learning when parents treat them in this way.

Effects of Authoritarian Parenting

When children are blamed, shamed and punished as a rule, they learn:

  • to feel bad about themselves.
  • what NOT to do, but not what to do.
  • that their parents' love is contingent on their behavior.
  • to avoid inappropriate behavior, not because they have developed strong values, but because it will get them punished.

The focus of an authoritarian parenting style is on what not to do. Such parents demand blind obedience, immediate compliance and do not allow questioning or negotiation. My question is: how are such children supposed to learn to think for themselves when they're being trained like dogs by their parents?

Do most dogs understand how the world works?

No, but they sure know how to follow orders. Such children will always need a master, even as adults, so they'll never learn how to master themselves.

Now this may sound a little harsh, but authoritarian parenting involves training kids to be obedient, to follow instructions and follow their master. A child is not a dog. A child has consciousness. In order for that consciousness to grow, the child must feel connected to the parent, he must be encouraged, he must be engaged and he must be taught how to think for himself.

Does this sound right to you?

You can learn to balance love with limits without becoming a permissive parent (which is the polar opposite of authoritarian parenting and also has serious drawbacks for child and parent.)

By doing so, you will improve your relationship with your kids and create a better quality of life for yourself and your family.


Consequences of authoritarian parenting
An authoritarian parent restricts the child of free thinking. "Authoritarian" is defined by the dictionary as "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom." In this article let us focus on the consequences of authoritarian parenting.

Children of an authoritative parent shows a lower self esteem, lacks courage and mostly ends up being an introvert. Such a style of parenting prevents the child from an overall development. Parents expect their children to obey them and do things in ways they expect. In such from of parenting no forms of explanation will be provided to children with punishment. This affects the child's ability to think on what is right and what is wrong.

A parent adopting authoritarian parenting expects certain degree of success and obedience. This often puts larger pressure on children forcing them to meet their expectations. Children often end up stressed with a feeling of guilt and lack of self worth. Children tend to rely on parents for every decision to be made even when they are old. Authoritarian parenting is of two types. 1. Parents who are autocratic in approach. 2. Parents who are non autocratic in approach.

Children bought up by an authoritarian parent will be less close to their parents. They would be timid and shows up more anger as they grow up to teenage years. They fear their parents for no reason and may rebel against the authority. In many cases children may have fear to communicate in public. Speech may lack the spontaneity due to fear. They would depend on parents to express their ideas and to get things done. Again, they miss the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

In the passing phase from childhood to teenage, children need guidance. In authoritative parenting, parents fail to provide proper guidance. Children may be afraid to ask for guidance and parents may fail to provide it. They may fail to get proper love from parents. It causes them to act in anger towards the society.

Authoritarian parenting has its consequences and is not a recommended method of parenting by experts. To bring up independent, loving and competent future generation, it .is best to have a balanced approach on enforcing discipline.   MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths

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