Do you constantly pressure your child to behave in a certain way? Forcing them to participate in sports or extracurricular activities? Do you realise that this parenting style can be more harmful than beneficial? One of the negative parenting practises is authoritarian parenting, also known as disciplinarian parenting. It not only stunts a child’s development, but it also has serious psychological consequences in adulthood.
This is a parenting style in which the parents enforce strict rules and high discipline, as the name implies.
They also exercise a great deal of control over their children and do not allow them to express themselves.
Authoritarian parents do not give their children many liberties. Instead, punishments and rewards are used as the primary form of discipline. Physical punishment and emotional coldness are both common characteristics. They are also very controlling, making decisions for their children rather than asking them what they want or think. Despite the fact that there are far better ways to raise children to be responsible adults, they only use control. They are frequently associated with low parental warmth, high parental hostility, and poor emotional responsiveness to their children. It also includes strict control over the child’s activities, intense cognitive stimulation at home, and harsh punishments and disciplinary strategies. These uninvolved parents may substitute tuition or classes for playtime in order to push their child to be an achiever.
This strict parenting style is intended to produce obedient adults who are always respectful of authority figures. This, unfortunately, is not the case.
Yelling is extremely common. Authoritarian parents punish their children for their mistakes while ignoring their accomplishments. They anticipate that the child will not make mistakes and will obey them. Their children, on the other hand, are usually good at following rules.
When a parent expects their child to follow instructions and obey orders because “they said so,” this is an example of authoritative parenting. The parents will never solicit the child’s opinion or consider the child’s choices.
One of the most important aspects of parenting is exposing your children to the values and expectations of your culture. However, if you are an authoritarian parent, you may have expectations of your child that are diametrically opposed to what your child desires.
The Impact of Authoritarian Parenting on Children.
A variety of child outcomes, including social skills and academic performance, have been linked to parenting styles. Authoritarian parenting has more negative than positive consequences. The following are the negative consequences:
- Self-esteem is low. While rewarding good behaviour helps to reinforce discipline, criticising the child causes them to doubt their own worth and potential. Failure to recognise a child’s accomplishments may also contribute to low self-esteem.
- Difficulty in social situations as a result of a lack of social skills. It is critical for children to develop social skills while they are young. If your child does not have time to socialise, they may find it difficult to relate to others even as adults.
- Outside of the home, children may exhibit aggressive behaviour. Harshness, physical punishment, and exerting too much control over children result in negative behaviour. Punishment is ineffective when compared to discipline. Violence always leads to more violence.
- They are unable to accept failure. Children are under pressure to perform when it is made clear that they must always get it right. If your child’s behaviour is motivated by a desire to avoid punishment at all costs, you may need to alter your parenting style. This makes them fear failure rather than viewing it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- Your child easily conforms but also suffers from anxiety. When a child does not do what you want them to do, they frequently become angry, frustrated, and loud. In children, this type of behaviour causes anxiety.
Children raised by authoritarian parents are more likely to have poor decision-making skills and low self-esteem, poor social skills and academic competence, low creativity, and mental health issues such as depression and behavioural issues, fear of failure, emotional suppression, and difficulty dealing with negative situations.
Although authoritarian parenting has been linked to negative outcomes, there are some potential benefits. They are as follows:
Children develop the desire to do things correctly. Children will always want to do good because of constant nagging and reinforcement from their parents. It could be due to a fear of punishment or being conditioned to act in a certain way.
Parents raise children who are more responsible. Children rarely consider doing wrong because they are accustomed to following rules. The habit becomes so strong that it lasts into adulthood.
Children may grow up to be more goal-oriented. Authoritarian parents set strict rules and expect their children to follow them. As a result, their children are more likely to be focused on everything they do, resulting in them giving their all.
Regardless of any perceived benefits of authoritarian parenting, being accommodating with your children is far preferable. Admitting that you don’t know everything there is to know about parenting is the first step toward change. Getting as much information as possible about how to raise a child correctly will help you become a better parent.
Here are a few pointers to help you with your parenting style:
You’re fed up with misbehaviour. You may not expect your children to engage in undesirable behaviour if you are an authoritarian parent. You are finding it difficult to maintain a tolerant relationship with your child. You may lack the patience to explain to your children why they should avoid certain behaviours because you believe you know better. Instead, you expend little or no energy considering your child’s point of view.
Pay attention to your child. Authoritarian parents believe that children should be seen rather than heard. Be a good listener whether your child is telling you the same joke for the tenth time or sharing a long-winded story. Giving your child positive attention can help prevent behavioural issues.
Validate Your Child’s Feelings. Children can be truant at times, but that does not give you the right to become cold, unfriendly, and harsh towards them. Rather than yelling at them, provide your children with the encouragement and praise they require to develop self-esteem and self-worth.
So, the next time your child is upset, resist the urge to minimise their feelings by saying things like, “It’s not a big deal,” or “Stop crying.” There’s no need to be upset.” It could be a big deal to them. “I know you’re really sad right now,” you can validate their feelings.
Not emotions, but correct behaviour. Tell your child that it’s okay to be angry, but that hitting will result in consequences. It’s fine to be excited, but running around the grocery store is not. Then devote your efforts to teaching them appropriate ways to deal with their emotions.
Take into account your child’s emotions. An authoritarian parent does not empathise with or express feelings for their children. It communicates insensitivity and lack of concern if you make no effort to entertain or understand your child’s emotions. Being such a parent will instil in your children the practise of treating others without regard for how they feel.
Parents expect their children to obey without question and to not disagree with what they say or do. Authoritarian parents typically have one overarching goal: to have their children behave in accordance with their expectations, with no input from their children’s opinions.
Demonstrate to your child that you are in charge, but make it clear that you are concerned about how your decisions will affect everyone in the family.
So, if you’re planning a cross-country move, ask your children how they feel about it, but don’t ask them if it’s OK if you do. Children lack the maturity and experience to make important adult decisions. They feel more secure when they know adults are in charge.
Establish firm ground rules. Instead of saying, “Go to sleep because I said so,” say, “Go to sleep so your body and brain can grow.”
Your child will develop a better understanding of life when they understand the underlying safety concerns, health hazards, moral issues, or social reasons for your rules. They are also more likely to follow the rules if you are not present to enforce them.
Provide a single warning for minor issues. So, don’t waste time saying things like, “Knock it off,” or “Don’t make me tell you again!” Instead, say something like, “If you don’t stop banging your fork on the table right now, you won’t be able to play video games today,” or “If you don’t pick up your toys right now, you won’t be able to go to the park after lunch.”
Demonstrate to your child that you say what you mean and mean what you say. If they do not heed your warning, proceed with the consequences.
Use Life-Long Learning Consequences. Are you the type of parent who doubts your children’s ability to make good decisions? If so, it’s time to reconsider your parenting style. Children raised by authoritarian parents do not have the freedom to demonstrate that they are capable of good behaviour. When you constantly monitor a child to ensure they don’t make mistakes, you limit their ability to make decisions on their own. As a result, your child is deprived of the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons from the natural consequences of their actions.
Consequences are frequently logical. As a result, a child who refuses to turn off their video game may be denied access to video games for 24 hours.
Create consequences to teach your child to do better in the future. Don’t spank them if they hit their sibling. Instead, revoke a privilege. Then, concentrate on teaching better anger management and conflict resolution techniques.
“What can you do the next time you’re upset to avoid hitting?” Then, discuss alternatives to hitting and teach them.
Make the consequences time-sensitive as well. Instead of saying, “You can have your tablet back when I can trust you again,” say, “You can use your tablet again once you can demonstrate your responsibility.” You can demonstrate your responsibility by completing your chores and completing your homework on time every day this week.”
Provide incentives. They use incentives to help a child get back on track when he or she is struggling with a specific behaviour problem. As an example:
A young child refuses to sleep in his own bed. His parents make a sticker chart for him, and he gets one sticker for each night he sleeps in his own bed.
In the morning, a 10-year-old is slow to get ready for school. Every morning, her parents set a timer. She earns the right to use her electronics that day if she is ready before the timer goes off.
A 12-year-old has been forgetting to bring his school assignments home. His parents begin to keep a closer eye on his work. He receives a token for each assignment he brings home. Tokens can be exchanged for larger rewards such as a trip to the park or the chance to invite a friend over. Consider using rewards to teach your child new skills. A simple reward system is a quick and effective way to modify your child’s behaviour.
Allow Your Child to Make Minor Decisions. So, “Do you want peas or corn?” ask your child. Alternatively, “Would you like to clean your room before or after dinner?” The key is to ensure that you can live with either option.
Balance your freedom with your responsibilities. As an example:
A child frequently forgets to pack everything he needs for school. His parents make him a checklist. They ask him to go through the checklist before leaving the house in the morning.
A child has difficulty getting ready for school on time. His parents make a schedule for him to remember when he should get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush his teeth. They remind him to check the time and stick to his plans.
Create a behaviour management plan to support your child’s efforts to become more independent if he or she is having difficulty with something. Provide extra assistance at first, but make sure your child does not become overly reliant on you to tell them what to do. They should become more self-sufficient over time.
Make Mistakes Into Learning Experiences. So, when your child makes a mistake, explain why it was a bad decision. “Taking things that don’t belong to you is wrong,” you say. It hurts other people’s feelings and gives the impression that you are mean or don’t tell the truth.”
When your child causes harm to another person, assist them in making amends. After hitting, insist on them lending their favourite toy to their sister. Alternatively, assist them in apologising to someone they have offended.
If your child is a repeat offender, work together to solve the problem. “This is the second time you’ve missed the bus this month,” you say. “How do you think you’ll get to the bus stop on time?”
Encourage self-control. Don’t try to comfort your child every time they are upset. Instead, teach them relaxation techniques. Also, don’t nag your child about doing their chores. Assist them in becoming more responsible for completing their work on their own.
Create a behaviour management strategy centred on teaching life skills. They will benefit from impulse control, anger management, and self-discipline throughout their lives.
Keep a Positive Relationship With Your Child. Authoritarian parents are friendly and caring. They show affection and understand the importance of nurturing children.
Set aside a few minutes every day to give your child your undivided attention, even on bad days. Spending quality time with your child will help them feel loved and accepted, which is essential for them to feel confident in who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing.
Your children will become who you are; therefore, be the person you want them to be.