Authoritarian parenting has also been called military style parenting or aggressive parenting. This is because this style of parenting is demanding and not as much about a healthy development of the child as it is about rules, boundaries, and distance. In this form of parenting, parents do not encourage talking about feelings or stepping outside the lines. Children are expected to be completely dominated by their parents, much like the military is with its active service men and women.
The main goal of authoritarian parenting is to provide children with a strict set of rules that generally change as the child ages and become much more strict. The idea is to have control and shape children through instilling respect at all costs and ultimate obedience. There is little room for arguments or flexibility; what is said the first time goes for every single time.
Unlike most of the other parenting styles, authoritarian parenting reinforces obedience without much praise, and uses forceful means to discipline and deal with incidences of disobedience. Children are not allowed to have an opinion for most matters, including those that may affect the whole family. In addition, authoritarian parenting does not allow children the room to learn from mistakes that they need to make in order to learn about real life; decisions are made for the children by the parents about everything from extra curricular activities to marriage.
Another telltale aspect of authoritarian parenting is high achievement. Many parents who choose this form of parenting often place too much emphasis on success in their children’s lives, but in their own lives as well. Academic success is important, and many parents will punish children for average results; nothing but above average is acceptable.
Authoritarian parenting in its full form is actually devastating to the development of children. Without the room to make mistakes and make their own decisions, they do not develop crucial social development. Additionally, this parenting style robs children of the bond between the parent and the child that fosters trust, safety, and the emotional and psychological development of children.
Although the very ideal of authoritarian parenting is to provide your children with strict structure, it can actually have the opposite affect on children as they age and start to feel more independent. Children want to be able to choose things for themselves, but authoritarian parenting does not allow this. This can cause children to act out in uncharacteristic manners in order to try to figure out who they really are and where there place is in the world.
There are many studies that have shown that parents who adopt the full form of authoritarian parenting may have higher incidences of psychological disorders like depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Unfortunately traditional spanking that is common with this parenting style will become ineffective and then parents are looking for ways to discipline effectively, which usually leads to more harsh methods.
It has become common for parents to only adopt parts of the authoritarian parenting style and combining them with one or more aspects from the other parenting styles. Parents and doctors have realized that there are too many bad results that are detrimental to the psychological development of children during times when they are still growing. Children should feel that they can turn to their parents for advice, to bounce off their ideas, and for the love and safety that they need.