You can quickly tell which parents use the authoritarian style of parenting as their primary method of interaction. These parents are relatively stern, strict, and are quicker to say “No” to a child who is wanting something that a parent might not agree would be a benefit. Is it the best way to raise a child in today’s modern environment?
The primary benefit to using the authoritarian style of parenting is that children from this environment are typically well-behaved.
Authoritarian Parenting Facts
The issues that children have with authoritarian parents comes from a fear of doing something that would be considered to be wrong. Being well-behaved is brought up at the cost of lowering self-esteem and overall social skills. Authoritarian parents also tend to have children who end up being less resourceful than kids from other parenting styles.
- Authoritative parents have children who are equally, if not even better behaved, then kids that come from authoritarian parents.
- Studies suggest that kids from authoritarian households have less moral reasoning and self-regulation than kids exposed to other parenting styles.
- Many of the behavior statistics come from individual interviews, which could skew the statistics of behavior as authoritarian kids are generally more fearful of authoritarian figures.
- Teens with authoritarian parents are less likely to feel socially accepted by their peers than any other parenting group.
- In China, students as early as the 2nd grade are shown to be less academically proficient from authoritarian homes than any other parenting style.
- Kids who come from authoritarian homes are more likely to be victims and perpetrators of bullying.
Although authoritarian parents won’t create children who are spoiled because they’re often told “No,” they will create children that are dependent on the needs of others. It is interesting to hear the debate in the US right now about entitlements and benefits that are being offered, such as food stamps and other forms of financial assistance. The authoritarian stance that people often take is reflected in the parenting style of those who criticize these programs, yet their own behaviors as a parent is what creates the need for them. What the data shows is pretty clear: authoritarian parents are the least likely to have children who hit the ground running, equipped with the tools that they need to succeed. That gives them a tremendous disadvantage not just in school, but in life itself.
Are Kids From Authoritarian Households More Fearful?
- In a 2009 survey of middle-aged Americans, those who remembered having parents that fit into the authoritarian style of parenting were more likely to report suffering from depression-like symptoms and have poor psychological adjustment.
- The data is consistent amongst all racial and ethnic groups, although European Americans are the most likely to suffer greater ill-effects from the authoritarian style.
- Research from 2003 shows that teens who have authoritarian parents are more likely to suffer from trait anxieties and experience depersonalization.
- Multiple studies have shown that kids who have authoritarian parents are unable to control their emotions as effectively as kids exposed to other parenting styles.
- The effects of authoritarianism are dependent on how extreme the parenting style is – parents who are more punitive and harsh create more negative results.
- Several research studies show that the authoritarian approach may even interfere with learning and that there is a direct correlation with lower school achievement.
- Kids from authoritarian households are more likely to fall into delinquency and not see their parents as a legitimate authority figure.
For the average household, it is pretty clear that authoritarian parenting just isn’t the right answer. There are certainly times and places when the need for this parenting style is clear – like when a child is about to cross a road when there is a car coming that isn’t slowing down. Taking the authoritarian approach in every aspect, even when one pea perhaps has fallen from a plate to the floor, creates conditions that are not favorable to develop. As with most things in life, it appears that a good balance of parenting skills is a more effective approach. Authoritarian parenting traits, when combined with other aspects from other parenting styles, may just create a stronger foundation for children to succeed than the harshness of one solitary viewpoint.
Could Authoritarian Parenting Having Some Benefits?
- In homes where parents have less education than their children already have, a 1998 study suggests that kids who are exposed to a consistent authoritarian style will do better in school.
- Children who come from lower economic groups and are exposed to more poverty show no difference in performance when authoritarian styles are compared to other parenting styles.
- A 2001 North American study suggests that authoritarian parenting could be linked to higher school achievement instead of lower achievements.
- The #1 issue of the authoritarian parents that children tend to have issues with is the setting of rules in an arbitrary fashion without any explanation behind the reasoning or need for the rule.
Here’s a pretty basic fact: kids who see their parents as legitimate authority figures are less likely to break the law as they grow older. Authoritarian parents often see kids resist becoming socially active because they don’t trust the efforts of the parent. They already don’t seem them as a legitimate authority figure and won’t respect their views, even if they could have fun during a social encounter. What does this mean? That authoritarian aspects of parenting for most homes are going to be a positive influence, but parents must be engaged with the child instead of detached to achieve the benefits that this parenting style can provide. Without any engagement and warmth, there won’t be any real respect. Without that respect, a child just isn’t going to reach their maximum potential.