The parenting debate is most definitely one that comes up fairly regularly. We are forever hearing about this type of parenting, and that type of mothering a child. Authoritarian parenting is a term that has been thrown around a lot recently, and it would seem that it picks up a lot of mixed reviews.
To break it down to understand, just think of it like this – strict parenting. You are strict with your child, setting guidelines that are not considered to be flexible, refusing to budge an inch in the way that you raise your child, and the way that you discipline that child when he or she should do something deemed as “wrong”.
The authoritarian parent will often expect high standards from their child, such as getting the highest grades in their exams, or passing their driving test the first time they take it. They should win first place in the horse riding, swimming, ballet dancing, sports, etc. If they don’t, they are punished in some way, such as taking a games console away from them, or not letting them have full use of their cell phones.
The parent will often be rather demanding of the child, but when the child does as expected, they will usually not get a lot in the form of praise back from the parent. It can be a very confusing time. Kids do good things to get the praise from their elders, and when the praise doesn’t happen, it has been shown to be quite demeaning to the child’s self-esteem.
Punishments when the child does something wrong will usually be quite harsh; usually harsher than other parents would put on their child, and there often won’t be an explanation for the punishment. The child may not even be aware of what they did in the first place, which as you can imagine, can get rather confusing. It could be that they have knocked over their juice cup and not realized, and you place them on the naughty step for ten minutes in complete silence. To a young child, this is very scary – they didn’t know that they had knocked over the juice cup.
The average mom or dad fond of authoritarian parenting styles will not usually offer their child much in the form of choices in life. They won’t be asked what they want for dinner, or what toy they would like to play with. They won’t be offered clothing choices in the morning, or a selection of foods to put in their lunch boxes. The guidelines are there, the menus will be set, and the toys will be methodically chosen. The kid has little to no choice.
There are a few trends that have been set by this strict, authoritarian parenting type. The parents, for example, tend to show patterns where love is often confused and associated with success or obedience. The kids will show a few signs, or so studies have shown including problems with their self-esteem and confidence, not being able to cope in big social circumstances, being shy around new people and even fearful in some cases, and there are some kids that show a tendency to follow their authoritarian parent’s strict guidelines and end up becoming an aggressive bully in school.
As a result of this style of parenting, the children are generally rather adept at following rules but may show a lack of self-discipline, and can often struggle later on in life because they have never been left to make a decision for themselves. They don’t learn how to set development or goals for themselves again, because they’ve never needed to. They are never encouraged to show off their independent, creative sides and may have a problem growing or connecting emotionally in some cases.
Although discipline is essential in raising a child, emotional and physical love – cuddles, soothing words, etc. are important to ensure that the well-being of the child is taken into consideration as well. One thing is for sure, authoritarian parenting is definitely going to divide opinions.