Families are an integral part of our society's social fabric. We all agree that parents and their children form the most basic part of a family. The kind of relationship parents share with their children, determines the way in which children are brought up. Parenting, as we all know, is a complex activity. Being a parent is no easy task; with it, come unending responsibilities and challenges. Psychologists have categorized parenting styles into various types. One out of these is what they call authoritarian parenting. In this article, we'll see how this style of parenting is defined and its limitations.
What is Authoritarian Parenting Style?
A parenting style based on extremely strict disciplinary rules, with minimum amount of freedom in exercising opinions is called an authoritarian parenting style. Authoritarian parents demand too much from their child, without giving any response to the child's obedience. They provide well-structured facilities to the child; however, they are very strict with most rules and regulations. Also, they can often tend to be autocratic in handling their children.
Authoritarian Parenting Pros and Cons
The proponents of authoritarian parenting, proclaim in their loudest voice, that there are various benefits of this unique parenting style. According to them, their children will grow up to be obedient and responsible citizens, as they are brought up in an environment that demands discipline and hard work. While there is certain element of truth in this fact, authoritarian parents tend to forget that they are dealing with humans, who are still in a developing age.
A con of authoritarian parenting is that it restricts the child's ability to think freely. All the child does is obey his parents in every decision that is imposed on him, without giving any thought to his own likes and dislikes. This can create certain negative personality traits in the child like low self-esteem and lack of confidence and courage. When the parent is not ready to listen to the child's views and opinions, it adds to the child's mental stress. If the child does something wrong, it is usually followed by severe punishment or repercussions. Collectively, all this leads to a mental turmoil in the child's mind, thus, making him more vulnerable to guilt, lack of self-worth, and stress.
Authoritarian parenting triggers poor socializing skills in children. Since the child is never heard to even in the secured walls of his home, he eventually loses his self-esteem and develops a severe inferiority complex. All these follow him to his adulthood where he may tend to avoid socializing. In extreme cases, the child may fall prey to unhealthy habits when he grows to be a teenager. It is to be understood, that too much limitations lead to a deeper urge in the child to do things that he is not allowed to do. So, when he grows up, he is intellectually more evolved and may rebel against his parents. Alienation, depression, and other psychological problems may develop in the child if he is unheard by his parents.
As the child grows up under an overtly strict environment, he may detach from his parents, if not physically or financially, at least emotionally. The essence of authoritarian parenting is love, care, and the hope of a bright future for the child. However, the method adopted is wrong and can be disastrous for the future of the child. So, it is better to adopt a parenting style that gives children unconditional love and support and yet maintains some level of strictness, so as to maintain a balance. This will eventually make children happy and successful.