Authoritarian Parenting6 min read
Every child is different, but so is every parent. Each parent has their own way of coaching and raising their children. However, one thing every parent has in common is that they want the best for their children and they hope for them to grow up to become the very best versions of themselves. But speaking of commonalities, although parents may vary in how they bring up their kids, various researchers and studies have concluded that there are certain characteristics common to various groups of parents irrespective of how different they may be.
What is a Parenting Style?
Very simply put, your parenting style is the approach/ combination of methods and strategies that you use to raise your child. This can affect almost everything about your child from how he views himself to how he behaves with others. This is why it is crucial that your parenting style encourages healthy growth and development for your child because the way you choose to teach and discipline him will have a huge influence on him for the rest of his life.
Types of Parenting Styles
In the 1960s a clinical and developmental psychologist – Diana Baumrind – coined four different parenting styles, each having its unique name and characteristics. Her work has helped in the creation of one common reference point for the categorization of parenting styles.
The four types of parenting styles are:
- Authoritarian (or Disciplinarian)
- Permissive (or Indulgent)
- Uninvolved (or Neglectful)
What are the Impacts of Different Parenting Styles on Child Development?
Baumrind’s theory was that there exists a very close relationship between the type of parenting style and a child’s behavior. Different parenting styles can lead to diverse outcomes and child development. For instance, a permissive parent will show higher levels of warmth but lower levels of control. This can result in their kids being bossy, dependent and have impulsive behavior. Lack of self-control and lower levels of achievement are also seen in such children with a difficulty to learn persistence.
Here, we will take a look at Authoritarian Parenting in specific and understand both sides of how it can affect your child’s development.
What is Authoritarian Parenting?
Authoritarian or Disciplinarian parenting involves a strict style of discipline with little room for negotiation. These parents prefer to use punishments rather than discipline. They don’t help their children to engage in problem-solving activities but are known to set rules and expect their kids to follow through without any exceptions. They will usually not entertain any feedback, questions or opinions from their child regarding the given rules and regulations. Although many believe that this style of parenting tends to be a little harsh, authoritarian parents believe that this will help to produce children that are high-achieving, all-rounded and quite capable individuals and members of society.
According to Baumrind, these types of parents show little warmth and more control. They have high expectations from their children, and allow them limited flexibility. Such parents are generally less nurturing and will focus more on their child being obedient. They tend to go down the road of shaming their children for mistakes and failures rather than giving positive reinforcement. Their usual response to using these methods is that they want their child to toughen up.
How does Authoritarian Parenting Affect Your Child’s Development?
Authoritarian Parenting has been linked to outcomes of rebelliousness and hostility. Children that grow up with authoritarian parents are seen to be less independent and more insecure. Although they are good at following rules, they may have poorer social skills and low self-esteem. Researchers have also found that many such children develop anxiety which possibly stems from their lack of opportunity and denial of autonomy to learn through an independent exploration of various environments and settings.
Such children grow up to be aggressive and harbor bitterness and/or anger towards their parents. They also tend to be good liars in order to avoid punishment.
What are the Pros and Cons of Authoritarian Parenting?
Just like any other type of parenting style, authoritarian parenting has both its pros and cons. Here are a few of them.
Pros of Authoritarian Parenting
Children who grow up with authoritarian parents are typically the most well-behaved kids. Since the rules are crystal clear in this parenting style, children understand what is acceptable and what isn’t from a very young age. They are well aware of the consequences they may face if they step even a little out of line so they tend to be on their best behavior.
Such children are accustomed to following plans and obeying detailed instructions. As a result, they understand what is required to accomplish their goals. They can also follow instructions well in the future.
Emphasis on Safety
Authoritarian parents focus on the importance of safety and highlight the consequences of straying far from it. So, children who grow up under this parenting style have usually grasped the possible outcome of a harmful or negative situation or action, and they will try to stay away from it.
Cons of Authoritarian Parenting
This parenting style greatly focuses on the cause and consequence principle and will cripple a child’s ability to make independent choices. Since making choices is very closely linked to the development of an individual’s self-esteem, these children tend to not have a very high view of themselves. Due to their constant dependence on their parents to validate their choices and be their source of confidence, they will often be seen struggling in new social situations.
These children are used to not revealing their emotions to their parents and consequently they tend to carry on in the same manner as they grow up. They will either not show their true emotions or struggle to do so.
Authoritarian parents will constantly apply rules for their child. However, there will come a time when the child is completely sick and tired of rules and regulations and will want to indulge in acts of defiance and rebellion. Many a times the child might take actions that could even be harmful for his safety and/or well-being.
Children who grow up in authoritarian homes find it difficult to cope in situations that they have not encountered before. Because they are always accustomed to having detailed guidelines to do things, they will struggle in situations that call for them to make independent decisions.
Are You an Authoritarian Parent?
Now that we have analyzed what this type of parenting style includes, let us go through some traits to know if you are an authoritarian parent. Some indicators would include:
- You’ve a long list of rules that you expect your child to follow without exception and very harsh consequences in case of failure to follow those rules.
- You’ve given your child chores from a very young age.
- You’ve an almost zero-level tolerance.
- You resort to the use of threats and/or punishments to make your child comply.
- Your child has many more restrictions than other kids.
- You’re not willing to negotiate with your child or hear him if he is in disagreement with you.
- You’re constantly instructing your child and giving directions for trivial tasks as well.
- Your child lies a lot.
At the end of the day, as we’ve mentioned above, every child is different and every parent has their own way of bringing up their children. While you may be focused on raising your kids in the best possible way for the world, keep in mind that the way they are raised will ultimately affect them the most; and whether it affects them positively or negatively is almost entirely in your hands!