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Authoritarian Parenting

Definition of Authoritarian Parenting

  • One of the four types of parenting style

  • High expectations and demands

  • Serious punishments if their child makes a mistake

  • Enforcing strict rules and demanding obedience

  • Giving negative feedback to children


Not warm or nurturing attitude

  • Too harsh on the child

  • Punishment instead of encouragement

  • Child will gradually become scared of the parent

Little to no explanation for punishments

  • Harsh reactions after the child does something wrong

  • An angry response to the child doing something that the parent objects to, followed by punishment.

Few choices for children

  • Requires children to follow their rules but not following them themselves

  • Controlling them with rules

  • Uncompromising with their rules.


  • Doesn’t trust their children to make good choices

  • Expects their children to make no mistakes

  • Doesn’t let their children make their own decisions

  • Doesn’t let their children have the freedom to play or have fun


  • Highly critical

  • Believes shaming gives motivation to children

  • e.g ‘Why are you so bad at this?’ ‘How many times have I told you to do this?’ ‘Why don’t you listen to me?’

  • Lowers child’s self esteem

Impatient with misbehaviour

  • Expects the child to know their expectations

  • Doesn’t explain their logic

Effects on children



  • Trained with strict rules.

  • More aware of their behaviour

  • Understands what and what not to do

Crisis awareness:

  • Notices consequences to actions quickly

  • Minimizes the risk of having an accident

Firm goal:

  • Ability to form detailed plans

  • Understands what needs to be done to accomplish their goals


More likely to lie:

  • Parents apply harsh rules

  • The child becomes afraid of punishment if they aren’t able to do what their parents ask of them

  • Lie to avoid getting punished


  • The rules at home become their rules in life.

  • If there aren’t any rules to follow, they get confused and don’t know what to do.


  • Too many punishments

  • Grows tired of rules

  • Negative thoughts increase in number and they try and test the limits of their parents’ rules

Low self-esteem:

  • Always gets punished for not living up to their parents’ expectations

  • Scolded by parents if they even come close to breaking their rules

  • Lacks confidence and is unusually careful doing anything

Increased risk of depression/anxiety:

  • Lack of control in life.

  • Negative thoughts can breed depression/anxiety

Authoritative vs. authoritarian parenting

Permissive vs. authoritarian parenting

Uninvolved vs. authoritarian parenting

Tips on how to be a better parent

The best parenting style is authoritative. It’s not as harsh as authoritarian parenting, isn’t overly controlling, and is also different from the too permissive and uninvolved style of parenting, which lacks good attitudes and behaviour. Parents need to stay connected with their children to understand their kid better. However, even while communicating with their children, they should also give them privacy, as children also value spending time with friends or by themselves.



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