Parenting → parenting styles → authoritarian

Authoritarian parenting style is often referred to by children as “army style”.  Children are told what to do, and expected to follow the orders.  Parents often use a system of punishment to enforce their control. Rules are strict and communication is only one way: from the top (parent) down to the child.  Parents have high expectations for their children – sometimes unrealistic expectations. Barbara Coloroso refers to these parents as “brickwall parents”.  Kids raised in authoritarian parenting style often score much lower on many key indicators:

Children growing up in authoritarian families – with high level of demands and control but relatively low levels of warmth and communication – do less well in school, have lower self-esteem, and are typically less skilled with peers than are children from other types of families. Some of these children appear subdued; others may show high aggressiveness or other indications of being rebellious or “out of control” (Boyd, Bee & Johson, 2009)

In term of the Parent Effectiveness Training, authoritarian parents always win and the children always loses (Win-Lose relationship). Dr Thomas Gordon wrote a very detailed list of coping mechanisms used by children when they live under too much control (see How children really react to control)

Here are some interesting statistics regarding authoritarian parenting:

  • 25% of Canadian children are raised by authoritarian parenting

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