It seems as if there are as many parenting styles as there are parents.
From the very strict, military-style way of raising children, to the relaxed, do whatever you want a school of childrearing and everything in between if you are a parent you know that there is no one magic formula for bringing up baby.
In this article, we are going to examine two distinct parenting methods: the authoritarian parenting style and the authoritative parenting style.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
Looking for the authoritarian parenting style definition?
Authoritarian parenting is a parenting style that is composed of high demands on the part of the parents combined with low responsiveness to their children.
Parents with an authoritarian style have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturing towards them. When the children make mistakes, the parents tend to punish them harshly with no helpful, lesson-providing explanation. When feedback does occur, it is often negative.
Yelling and physical punishment are also commonly seen in the authoritarian parenting style. Authoritarian parents often issue commands and expect them to be followed without question.
They place a premium on obedience and the tacit understanding that the parent knows best. The child should not call into question anything the parent says or does to them.
Some examples of authoritarian parenting style
The first thing to understand is that this parenting style has no warm and fuzzy component.
While authoritarian parents love their children, they are convinced that this style of parenting, which is harsh, cold, and puts a distance between the parent and the child, is for the child’s best.
It is frequently passed down from a previous generation, so if a parent had a strict upbringing themselves, they will adopt this same style when parenting their own child.
Here are 7 pitfalls of authoritarian parenting
1. Authoritarian parents tend to be very demanding
These parents will have lists of rules and they will apply them to every aspect of their child’s life. They do not explain the logic behind the rule, they just expect the child to abide by it.
So you won’t hear an authoritarian parent say something like “Look both ways before you cross the street so you can check to make sure no cars are coming.” All they will tell the child is to look both ways before crossing the street.
2. Authoritarian parents are not nurturing towards their offspring
Parents with this style appear cold, distant, and harsh.
Their default mode is yelling and nagging; rarely will they motivate by using positive expressions or praise. They put a premium on discipline over happy times and subscribe to the saying that children should simply be seen and not heard.
Children are not integrated into the whole family dynamic, frequently being fed separately from the adults because their presence at the table would be disruptive.
3. Authoritarian parents punish with no supporting explanation
Parents with this style feel spanking and other forms of physical punishment are an effective way to educate the child.
They find no value in calmly explaining why there are consequences to something a child does that needs to be punished; they go straight to the spanking, go to your room method. Sometimes the child will have no idea why they are being punished, and if they asked, they may risk getting slapped again.
4. Authoritarian parents impose their will and curb the child’s voice
Authoritarian parents make the rules and have a “my way or the highway” approach to discipline. The child is not given any space to negotiate or question.
5. They have little to no patience for misbehavior
Authoritarian parents expect their children to know better than to engage in “bad” behaviors. They lack the patience for explaining why their children should avoid certain behaviors. They offer no life lessons or reasoning behind why certain behaviors are wrong.
6. Authoritarian parents don’t trust their children to make good choices
Since these parents do not view children as having the skills to make a good choice, they never give the children any freedom to demonstrate that they can indeed do the right thing.
7. Authoritarian parents use shame to keep a child in line
These are the type of parents who say to a male child “Stop crying. You are acting like a little girl.” They incorrectly use shame as a motivational tool: “You don’t want to be the stupidest kid in the class, so go to your room and do your homework.”
Authoritative vs Authoritarian parenting style
There is another parenting style whose name sounds quite similar to authoritarian, but which is a much healthier type of parenting method:
authoritative. Let’s have a look at this style of parenting.
Authoritative Parenting Style: a definition
Authoritative parenting places reasonable demands on children and high responsiveness from the parent’s side.
Authoritative parents hold high expectations for their children, but they also give them the baseline resources and emotional support they need to succeed. Parents who exhibit this style listen to their kids and provide love and warmth in addition to limits and fair and reasonable discipline.
Some examples of authoritative parenting
- Authoritative parents allow their children to express themselves, their opinions and ideas, and they listen to their children.
- They encourage their children to examine and weigh various options.
- They value the child’s independence and reasoning skills.
- They share with the child their definition of limits, consequences, and expectations as these relate to the child’s behavior.
- They radiate warmth and nurturing.
- They follow through with fair and consistent discipline when rules are broken.