Is Your Parenting Style Holding Your Child Back? Learn The Key Differences Between Authoritarian and Authoritative Parenting


Parenting can be challenging, and every parent wants to find the best way to raise their children. There are different parenting styles, but today we will focus on two specific types: authoritarian and authoritative parenting.

Understanding the differences between these two parenting styles will help you make more informed decisions about how to raise your child.

1) Authoritarian Parenting

Let’s start with authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parenting can be defined as one-way communication, where parents enforce strict rules with little or no explanation.

Authoritarian parents believe that their child should do what they say, without any question. They tend to view themselves as the ultimate authority figure and expect their child to abide by their rules.

For example, let’s say you are an authoritarian parent and your child wants to attend a social gathering. You tell your child that they cannot go, without explaining why.

If your child decides to disobey your orders, you might punish them without explanation. Another example could be if your child wants to go on a school trip, but you prohibit them from doing so simply because you do not want to make any extra effort to sign the permission slip.

You do not explain the reasons behind your decision, and instead, you expect your child to comply with your wishes.

2) Authoritative Vs Authoritarian Parenting

Now let’s talk about authoritative parenting. Authoritative parenting is different from authoritarian parenting as it involves two-way communication between parents and their children.

Authoritative parents are open and approachable, and they encourage their children to express their emotions and opinions. They believe in building a positive relationship with their children through communication and recognition of their feelings.

For example, if your child wants to attend a social gathering, you would listen to their reasons for wanting to go and weigh the pros and cons, before making the final decision. You would explain your reasoning to them and encourage them to express their feelings and opinions.

When your child wants to go on a school trip, you would listen to their reasons for wanting to go, and you would help them sign the permission slip. You would explain your concerns if you had any, and work with them to find a solution that works for everyone.

The main differences between authoritative and authoritarian parenting can be summarized as:

  • Relationship: Authoritative parenting focuses on building a positive relationship with your child, while authoritarian parenting focuses on enforcing rules and expecting compliance.
  • Explanation of Rules: Authoritative parenting involves explaining the reasoning behind the rules, while authoritarian parenting does not.
  • Emotions: Authoritative parenting recognizes and acknowledges their child’s emotions, while authoritarian parenting does not.
  • Punishment: Authoritative parenting uses positive reinforcement, while authoritarian parenting relies on punishment.
  • Independence: Authoritative parenting encourages independence and decision-making skills, while authoritarian parenting discourages independent thinking and encourages strict adherence to rules.

In conclusion, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two parenting styles and choose a style that works best for you and your family.

While both parenting styles have their pros and cons, research shows that authoritative parenting results in children who are self-reliant, confident, and have better communication skills. Remember, parenting is a continuous learning process, and it’s okay to make mistakes.

What matters most is to learn from them and keep moving forward. Happy parenting!

3) Traits of Authoritarian Parenting

As mentioned earlier, authoritarian parents tend to enforce strict rules and demand complete obedience without any explanation. Here are some other common traits associated with this parenting style:

3.1) Demand for Control

Authoritarian parents want to have complete control over their child’s behavior, expression, and thinking patterns.

They often demand respect and obedience, and any form of disobedience or resistance may be interpreted as a challenge to their authority.

3.2) Control Freak

Authoritarian parents may become control freaks and try to micro-manage every aspect of their child’s life.

They may become obsessed with their child’s achievements and expect them to excel in academics, sports, or other activities.

3.3) Non-nurturing

Authoritarian parents may struggle to provide emotional support and nurturing to their children.

They may not be able to empathize with their child’s feelings, and may feel uncomfortable expressing affection or praise.

3.4) Punishments

As authoritarian parents rely on punishment, they may use negative reinforcement to discipline their children.

These punishments may include physical discipline, verbal abuse, or withdrawal of love and affection.

3.5) One-way Communication

Communication in authoritarian parenting is often one-way, with parents dictating the rules and children expected to obey.

Children may not have the opportunity to speak their minds or express their emotions, which can leave them feeling unheard and invalidated.

4) Authoritarian Parenting Effects on Kids

The negative effects of authoritarian parenting can last well into adulthood. Here are some of the potential negative effects of authoritarian parenting on children:

4.1) Low Self-esteem

Children of authoritarian parents may struggle with low self-esteem and self-worth.

They may have difficulty making decisions or asserting themselves since they were never given the chance to express their opinions and feelings.

4.2) Poor Social Skills

As authoritarian parenting is often characterized by one-way communication, children may struggle to communicate effectively with others.

They may also have difficulty building positive relationships with their peers or authority figures.

4.3) Lack of Decision-making Ability

As authoritarian parents usually make all the decisions for their children, they may not let their children develop decision-making skills.

This can make it difficult for children to make decisions when they become adults and may lead to feelings of helplessness and dependence.

4.4) Lack of Self-discipline

Children growing up in an authoritarian household may rely on external rules as a means of discipline, rather than developing self-discipline.

They may struggle to regulate their behavior or make the right choices independently.

4.5) Insecurity

Children growing up in authoritarian households may feel insecure and anxious since they live under the shadow of strict rules and harsh punishments.

They may develop a fear of failure or perfectionism, which can hold them back in many areas of life.

While authoritarian parenting may work for some families, it often has negative effects on children that can last well into adulthood.

It’s essential to understand the importance of communication, empathy, and positive reinforcement in building strong relationships with your children. Children who grow up in homes with authoritative parenting style are often more confident, self-reliant, and have better communication skills.

As a parent, it’s vital to find a parenting style that suits your family’s needs and provides your child with the best opportunities for growth and development. In conclusion, it is crucial to recognize the differences between authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles and choose a parenting style that suits your family’s needs.

Authoritarian parenting may have negative effects on children, such as low self-esteem, poor social skills, a lack of decision-making ability, a lack of self-discipline, and insecurity. In contrast, authoritative parenting leads to children who are self-reliant, confident, and have better communication skills.

As parents, it’s vital to create a positive relationship with your children through communication and positive reinforcement and provide them with opportunities for growth and development. By recognizing the importance of parenting styles, we can create a more nurturing and supportive environment for our children, setting them up for success in all aspects of life.

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