Authoritarian Parenting

29 Sep, 23

Authoritarian Parenting: The Pros and Cons, According to a Child Psychologist

As children navigate the complex landscape of upbringing, parenting styles play a pivotal role in shaping their development and well-being. 

Among the various parenting approaches, authoritarian parenting often sparks intense debate. Characterized by strict rules, high expectations, and little room for negotiation, authoritative parenting is believed to have both advantages and drawbacks. 

In this blog, we delve into authoritarian parenting, examining its pros and cons through the discerning lens of a child psychologist.

What is authoritarian parenting? 

Authoritarian parenting is a style of parenting characterized by high demands and strict control over children, with little room for flexibility or open communication. 

Parents who adopt an authoritarian approach consider themselves the "boss" of the family and generally insist kids obey without question. They often prioritize rules, discipline, and order, valuing obedience and conformity above all else.


Examples of authoritarian parenting include:

  • A parent punishes a child for lying by taking away their favorite toy or not letting them play with friends.

  • A parent responds angrily when a child breaks a rule. The parent might lash out by yelling, grounding, or taking away privileges, maybe for playing video games for a long time.

What are the characteristics of authoritarian parenting? 

Unlike permissive parenting, the authoritarian approach represents the most controlling style.

These are some characteristics of an authoritarian parent-

Authoritarian parents set rigid rules and may micromanage their children's lives and behaviors.

  • They often seem cold, aloof, and harsh.

  • They have high expectations of their children and demand excellence in academics, behavior, and other areas.

  • They are likelier to nag or yell at their children than offer encouragement and praise.

  • They can be highly critica

The main goal of authoritarian parents is to have well-behaved and obedient children. However, this parenting style can positively and negatively affect children. 


What are the pros and cons of an authoritarian style of parenting? 

Parenting styles have been associated with various child outcomes, like social skills and academic performance. Authoritarian parenting affects the mental health of a child too.

Here are some pros and cons of authoritarian parenting-


Pros of authoritarian parenting


Some benefits of this approach for kids may include-

  • They are more empathetic, kind, and warm.

  • They become more responsible, can regulate themselves, and learn to make good decisions independently.

  • They may be more resistant to peer pressure.

  • They tend to have fewer social problems with peers and get along with teachers at school.

  • They have respect for adults, other people, and rules.

  • They're not anxious or worried about who's in charge because they know who makes decisions to ensure they are healthy and happy: the parents.

Cons of authoritarian parenting

Some of the cons for kids may include the following-

  • They act fearful or overly shy around others.

  • They associate obedience and success with love.

  • They conform easily yet also experience depression and anxiety.

  • They display more aggressive behavior toward others.

  • They have lower self-esteem and face difficulty in social situations.

  • They are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

  • They struggle with self-control because they can rarely make choices and experience natural consequences.

While authoritarian parenting might have some benefits regarding discipline and structure, it also has potentially negative consequences that can affect a child's emotional well-being and development.

Why do parents use an authoritarian style of parenting? 

Parents may be drawn to an authoritarian style of parenting for several reasons, including-

  • Parents raised in an authoritarian household or culture may not have examples of other ways to parent, so they raise their kids similarly. 

  • Most parents raise their children in the best way they know and sincerely desire the best for them and may employ an authoritarian parenting style without knowing what harm it can do to their child's mental health.

  • In some countries, like China, authoritarian parenting is the norm.

  • Parents of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to adopt an authoritarian approach.

  • Some parents adopt this style to prepare their kids for future hardships better.

Authoritarian parenting may help raise disciplined children, but it may have poor psychological implications for children. A little modification may help parents adopt better parenting.


What are the tips for avoiding authoritarian parenting? 

Avoiding authoritarian parenting involves adopting a more balanced and authoritative approach that fosters a positive parent-child relationship while providing necessary structure and guidance. 

Here are some tips to avoid authoritarian parenting and promote a healthier parenting style:

  • Learn more about authoritarian parenting.

  • Listen to your child's thoughts, feelings, and concerns without judgment. Encourage open communication and make an effort to understand their perspective.

  • Avoid giving punishment, and don't shame your children for making mistakes. 

  • You can also consult a family therapist.

Remember, no parent is perfect, and parenting is an ongoing learning process. The goal is to create a nurturing and supportive environment that helps children develop into confident, responsible, and well-adjusted individuals. 

You can create a more positive and beneficial parent-child relationship by being aware of your parenting style and consciously avoiding authoritarian tendencies.

If you think you need help, consult Zivanza. We understand how sensitive mental health issues are and how authoritarian parenting styles grow up with self-esteem, anger, and mental health issues. Our expert team maintains 100% confidentiality so you can express your concerns transparently with us.



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