Authoritarian parenting, also called strict parenting, is characterized by parents who are demanding but not responsive. Authoritarian parents allow for little open dialogue between parent and child and expect children to follow a strict set of rules and expectations. They usually rely on punishment to demand obedience or teach a lesson.
Recognizing your authoritarian style:
- Do you have very strict rules that you believe should be followed no matter what?
- Do you often find yourself offering no explanations for the rules other than “Because I said so?”
- Do you give your child few choices and decisions about their own life?
- Do you find yourself utilizing punishment as a means of getting your child to do what you ask?
- Are you reserved in the amount of warmth and nurturing you show your child?
While the structure and rules of an authoritarian parent are necessary for healthy child development, all good things can be overdone. It is important to balance out the provided structure with open communication so the child knows exactly why it is important for them to follow the rules placed in front of them. Children of authoritarian parents are prone to having low self-esteem, being fearful or shy, associating obedience with love, having difficulty in social situations, and possibly misbehaving when outside of parental care. A therapist can once again be contacted if adopting open communication proves to be too difficult to achieve by oneself.