Parents identified as authoritarian, showcase highly directive behaviours, uphold high levels of constraint and rejection behaviors, and powerasserting conduct. They tend to uphold a philosophy that “it’s my way or the highway.”
There is an abundance of distinctly established rules, violations of these profound orders do not go unpunished. Authoritarian parents are not usually willing to elucidate “why” and often use phrases such as; “Because I said so” or “As long as you live under my roof you must live by my rules.” This approach has the benefit of predictability for children and also helps foster self-control. Children nurtured in this manner however often exhibit sorrow, possess low self esteem and may have poor social skills. Authoritarian parenting can also be an absolute disaster for children whose personalities clash with that style.
Authoritarian Parenting Style in the 21st Century:
Children of authoritarian parents feel undervalued and unheard as contributing members to the family unit. While these children typically uphold an obedient persona due to the fear of negative parental consequence; they are hampered emotionally. The practice of the authoritarian parenting style is devoid of constant parental support (praise, affection and comfort). The priority rather falls upon the parent’s authority over the child and the demand for obedience. The autonomy of children in the parental setting is restricted by their parents (Baumrind, 1996 & Reitman et al., 2002). Studies indicate that whilst the practice of exercising the authoritarian parenting style produces positive developmental outcomes in children in collective/ authoritative cultures, it is associated with negative psycho-social outcomes in western societies. Research suggests that parenting practices and culture are relational to parenting style (Brenner & Fox, 1999; Vygotsky, 1978). Consequently, cultural factors play a significant role in shaping parental practices as it dictates the guidelines and principles about parenting (Vygotsky, 1978).