Authoritarian Parenting Style Explained


Authoritarian parenting style is characterized by its strict rules and guidelines. Authoritarian parents are the ultimate authority. The child is not given choices but rather told what to do at all times. Children are not allowed to question the parents. There is no room for mistakes, as children under this parenting style are often punished when not following the rules.

According to Raise Smart Kids:

  • Authoritarian parents are the ultimate authority.  They have complete control over their children.  Children are not allowed to question the parents.  Defying parents lead to terrible consequences like the kids being lectured, insulted, shamed or punished.  Amy Chua narrated in her book that her father angrily called her “garbage” in her native Hokkien dialect.
  • Authoritarian parents think they know what is best for their kids; therefore it is up to the parents to dictate what the kids really need.   Authoritative parents limit or ban most of the things that their kids enjoy because these will distract the kids from their best academic performance.
  • Authoritarian parents strongly believe that their kids can be the best in school.  Not being able to make their kids the best means the parents are not doing their jobs.
  • Authoritarian parents are not concerned about their children being emotionally hurt.  They believe that treating their kids in a tough way will make the kids strong, not weak.
  • Authoritarian parents assume that their children are strong, and not fragile.
  • Authoritative parents have strong fortitude against their children’s rebellion or resistance to work.
  • If the child fails to do what is expected of her, authoritarian parents will do everything in their power to push the child to make up for the failure.  Authoritarian parents would subject the child to relentless drills and tests to take the child’s performance or grade up to where it should be.
  • Authoritarian parents demand perfect grades because they believe that the child can get them.  If the child fails, authoritative parents believe that it is not because the child is not inherently intelligent, but because the child did not work hard enough.
  • When the child of authoritarian parents perform well or meet their high expectations, the parents give ego-inflating parental praise.
  • Authoritarian parents believe that nothing is fun unless you are good at it.  The reward of being good is admiration, praise and personal satisfaction.  This makes what was once just hard work is now fun.
  • Authoritarian parents believe that nothing is more important than preparing their kids for the future.  The kids are trained to work hard, demand more of themselves, have great study habits and skills, and have inner confidence that no one can take away.

Authoritative discipline parenting assumes that children need to be controlled and given orders to ensure good behavior. Parents worry, that a children will be bad without a lot of rules, guidance and intervention. Parents employing this style give orders and expect them to be obeyed without question.

Authoritarian Parent Characteristics

Someone who has strict rules, demands absolute obedience and believes in physical punishment is called an Authoritarian Parent. Parents who adopt this Authoritarian Parenting Style want to be in total control of their children. This often leads to poor relationships and low self esteem in children. Authoritarian Parenting Style is further explained in this video.

Cons of this Parenting Style

Children learn to be told what to do rather than making good choices.
No reward for good behaviour since it is expected.