What is the authoritarian parenting style?

For authoritarian parents, strict discipline and complete obedience from the child is the way to raise perfect kids. The style predominately has one-sided communication – from the parent to the child. If the parent has said something, they expect their kids to follow the same to the hilt with no questions asked. Authoritarian parents believe that discipline is more important than love and nurturing. They think that showing love or affection, giving the child an opportunity to question or raise a doubt or express his opinion will spoil him or make him a disrespectful child. 

Characteristics of Authoritarian Parents
  • There are plenty of rules and the child is expected to stick to all of the same to the core without any question asked and with no absolute flexibility at all.
  • The child is never part of problem-solving and he is never given the opportunity to make decisions. Basically, parents don’t trust their kids to make good decisions.
  • Parents have lots of expectations univocally from the child.
  • In the authoritarian style, the child has no freedom of speech or movement within his own home.
  • Authoritarian parents use punishment as a way to keep the discipline going. So there is lots of fear in the child’s mind – fear for the parent rather than respect and admiration.
  • Parents in this style are highly critical of their kids and may even shame them at times.
Impact of Authoritarian Parent on Child’s Self image
  • Kids growing up in such an environment tend to have low self-esteem.
  • They are known to have a considerably low level of confidence in self especially when it comes to problem-solving.
  • They are self-doubting.
Impact of Authoritarian Parent on Child’s Social Skills
  • The low self-confidence generally reflects on kids having not very good communication skills and hence limited social life. 
  • As the child in an authoritarian household is limited within his own shell and he doesn’t have the freedom to express his opinion he is shy, reserved and more often than not an introvert.
  • Children of authoritarian parents tend to lie a lot. This is because this is probably how they have escaped being punished by their parents. This reflects poorly on the development of strong bonds and social ties.
Impact of Authoritarian Parent on Child’s Academics
  • Academically these kids tend to get lower grades and their performance in subjects that need critical thinking is comparatively worse.
Impact of Authoritarian Parent on Child’s Life
  • In extreme cases, kids tend to develop psychological problems – become very aggressive and hostile. In certain case, such kids fall into depression and get anxiety bouts. Some also turn out to be big bullies.
  • These kids, even as adults readily accept rules and conform to them even though they may not be happy to do so. 

Discipline to a certain extent is definitely required to raise sensible kids.  There needs to be rules and regulations in the house, codes of conduct need to be emphasized and growing up children should know about them. But, just like other things, when a particular thing is overdone, it results in negative results; the same is the case with too much discipline. Children may need discipline but more importantly, they need love and nurturing. The authoritarian style parents need to balance discipline with open communication and respect their child’s ideas and outlook.

Permissive Parenting                                Uninvolved Parenting                                Authoritative Parenting

Attachment Parenting                               Narcissist Parenting                                      Nurturant Parenting      

Toxic Parenting                                           Helicopter Parenting                                     Positive Parenting