Parenting that emphasizes obedience, strict rule-following, and high expectations is known as an authoritarian style. These parents are more focused on control and compliance from their children and are less responsive and affectionate. They often use psychological methods rather than emotional support to encourage good behavior. Though this approach may result in obedient children, it lacks warmth and empathy and is not recommended by experts.

Characteristics of Authoritarian Parenting

The characteristics of this parenting style include high expectations from the children without any parental feedback or responsiveness. It’s known for strict rules and a lack of discussion or compromise. The focus is on obedience and control, rather than warmth and empathy. This style can result in a lack of trust and communication between parent and child, which is why it’s not favored by experts. It’s crucial to distinguish this style from an authoritative approach, which balances control and warmth.

Pros and Cons

The authoritarian parenting style has both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it can lead to well-behaved children who follow rules and have a strong sense of discipline. This parenting approach may also create a structured household environment where children understand what’s expected of them.

On the downside, it can lead to low self-esteem, lack of independence and creativity in children. Children may also feel discouraged from expressing themselves and may not develop the necessary communication and problem-solving skills. This parenting style can also result in a distant relationship between parent and child, where there is limited emotional warmth and understanding.

Impact of Authoritarian Parenting on Children

The effects of this parenting style on children are significant and widely researched. Evidence suggests that this style may worsen behavior problems, increase the risk of emotional difficulties, and negatively impact academic performance. Children raised under this approach tend to be submissive, socially awkward, and overly dependent on their parents, particularly girls. They may also display fearful or shy behavior around others. This lack of relationship and self-expression skills can have long-lasting effects on their mental health and overall well-being.

How to Differentiate Between Authoritative and Authoritarian Parenting

Differentiating between authoritative and authoritarian parenting requires an understanding of their respective characteristics. Authoritarian parenting is marked by strict rules and regulations with little room for negotiation. It enforces rigid behavioral codes and punishes transgressions harshly.

On the other hand, authoritative parenting is focused on setting limits while maintaining a strong connection between parent and child. It encourages open communication and is more likely to provide holistic consequences such as computer restrictions or limited activities. Ultimately, the main difference between these two styles of parenting is how they set limits and expectations and how they respond to their children’s behavior.

Tips for Avoiding an Authoritarian Parenting Style

One of the most effective strategies for avoiding authoritarian parenting is to focus on communicating warmth and understanding towards your child. Showing them that you are willing to listen to their thoughts and feelings is essential in creating a positive environment. Encourage open dialogue and provide clear explanations when issuing instructions. It is also important to promote a sense of autonomy in your child, allowing them to have some control over their lives.

Additionally, try to be consistent with your expectations and avoid using harsh punishments. Finally, practice positive discipline techniques such as logical consequences, natural consequences, and reward systems. By following these tips, parents can ensure that they are raising their children in an environment free from authoritarian parenting.

Positive Discipline Strategies for Authoritarian Parents

Authoritarian parents often face difficulty when it comes to finding positive discipline strategies. It is important to remember that while authoritarian parenting may be strict and rigid, discipline should still be used as an opportunity to teach and help children develop self-control. Positive discipline strategies for authoritarian parents include setting clear expectations, being consistent with consequences, using natural consequences, and encouraging positive behavior through rewards.

It is also important for authoritarian parents to recognize their own emotions when disciplining their children, as this can help them stay calm and remain in control of the situation. When possible, it is also beneficial for authoritarian parents to model positive behavior and provide their children with emotional support in order to foster a healthy parent-child relationship.

The Effects of Authoritarian Parenting on Mental Health

Studies have shown that authoritarian parenting can have a negative impact on a child’s mental health. Children of authoritarian parents often display low self-esteem, act fearful or overly shy around others, and may experience emotional troubles. Research suggests that these behavioral problems can be attributed to the fact that children of authoritarian parents are not given the opportunity to express their needs or develop an authentic sense of autonomy.

As a result, they are not able to develop healthy coping skills or build strong relationships with their peers. It is important for parents to understand the potential consequences of authoritarian parenting and make an effort to provide more supportive and nurturing environment for their children.


In conclusion, authoritarian parenting is a parenting style that emphasizes high expectations and strict rules. While it can have positive impacts on children in terms of academic performance and low deviance measures, it can also put children at risk for emotional troubles, hinder their academic development, and undermine their social skills.

Parents should strive for a balance between authoritarian and authoritative parenting in order to ensure their child’s overall wellbeing. Additionally, parents should be aware of the potential drawbacks of authoritarian parenting in order to avoid any negative outcomes for their child. By understanding the impacts of authoritarian parenting, parents can make more informed decisions about how to best raise their children. Read about the other types of parenting styles here.

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