Most authoritarian parents do not think they are authoritarian. Also, most parents have no idea what type of parents they actually are. We even have situations in which people think they are authoritarian, but they are actually using another style, like authoritative parenting.
You might want to know that there are three very common parenting types. These are:
- Authoritarian parenting
- Authoritative parenting
- Permissive parenting
The permissive parenting type is the least strict option and the authoritarian parenting is very strict, normally driven by specific rules. Authoritative parenting is the middle ground between the other parenting styles. This is how most parents are without even knowing it.
Understanding Authoritarian Parenting
As already mentioned, this is the strictest parenting style. The approach is much more traditional and children are always expected to not really be heard. Usually this style appears because the parent things that the attitude and behavior of the child needs to be shaped with using really strict standards of conduct.
Authoritarian parenting includes some specific characteristics, including:
- A huge focus being put on rules. Parents set the rules and do not really explain why they are enforced.
- Complete obedience is expected. Questioning is not accepted.
- Strict and swift punishment appear when rules are questioned or broken.
- There is zero encouragement for the child to talk back or express personal wishes.
- Parents are not nurturing, intimate, or warm. They might not even be emotionally or physically close to children.
- Children have very limited choices.
The Difference Between Authoritarian Parenting And Other Styles
When Compared With Permissive Parenting
Authoritarian parenting is basically the opposite of permissive parenting. With the permissive approach, there are no strict rules. Parents do not expect obedience and no consequences exist when something is not respected.
Permissive parenting seems much more intimate, loving, and warm. However, there are no set boundaries in place. The parent looks more like a friend. As a result, it is common to see parents indulging poor behavior and whims from children.
When Compared With Authoritative Parenting
This parenting type is basically the middle ground of all parenting types. With authoritative parenting, there are both discipline and rules in place. However, these are set while considering the individual personality of the child. Basically, this style actively encourages intimacy and respect. This can create a much more loving relationship.
How Will Authoritarian Parenting Affect Your Child?
Now that we now the difference between authoritarian parenting and the other two styles, it is time to realize why this strict option is not beneficial for children.
Simply put, authoritative parenting can lead to several negative effects. The most common examples of these effects are:
- Development of poor social skills.
- High depression levels.
- Low self-esteem levels.
When the parent uses harsh punishments, children and adolescents will likely develop some behavioral problems. Usually, they grow up to normalize behaviors that are violence-based.
In so many cases though, parents cannot be fully characterized as being in a single category. For instance, the authoritarian style might be practiced for young toddlers because of the expectation that the child needs to obey rules like not touching hot irons. Then, when the child becomes a teenager, a more authoritative approach might appear as rules are discussed, like with not texting and driving with the purpose of explaining why it is bad. Even more feedback can be encouraged.
How Will Authoritarian Parenting Affect The Child?
It is very important to understand the fact that parenting styles are usually passed down from one generation to the next. Basically, when the parent was raised with using the stricter authoritarian style, this is the type of parenting that the individual will use for his/her child. However, it is also possible that when faced with rigid parenting forms, the child can grow up to raise children in a completely opposite way.
Most studies highlight that the best parenting type for children is the authoritative one. However, this is just a narrow way of looking like things. In some situations, it might be necessary to use other styles. It is very important to consider the personality of the child and what happens.
As an example, with typically developing children, studies show that stress levels for the parents are not that different when using any of the three parenting types. Because of this, parental styles are often chosen based on the comfort of the parent.
What Should Be Remembered By Parents?
The three parenting styles mentioned are the ones that exist, but the truth is, you do not have to choose a single one. There are different aspects of every single style that might be very good for your child and your relationship with them.
At the end of the day, it is very important to research all of these styles. You will need to find your unique parenting approach, something that works very well for the child and for you.
What should always be remembered is that you should never rely on yelling and physical punishment. If these are the main ways in which you try to change the behavior of the child, you will surely end up with a child that has more serious behavior problems later in time.
The most important thing to remember is that there is a very high possibility you will end up faced with a situation that you have no idea how to deal with. This is true for every single parent. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to get some help. There are several professionals out there that can help you. Reverting to the punishments of the authoritarian style can only lead to huge problems that can so easily be avoided with proper parenting.