Are you someone who constantly pushes your child to behave in a certain way? Maybe forcing them to play sports, or get into extracurriculars? Do you know that this parenting style can do more harm than good? This is called authoritarian parenting and it is one of the negative parenting practices. It not only limits the child’s development but also leads to some serious psychological consequences during adulthood. Read on to know more about this harsh parenting style, and how it can negatively impact your children’s lives.

What Is Authoritarian Parenting?

As the name suggests, this is a parenting style in which the parents enforce strict rules and high discipline. They also exert a lot of control and do not allow their children to express themselves.

Authoritarian parents don’t allow their children to exercise many freedoms. Instead, they rely on punishments and rewards as the primary form of discipline. Physical punishment and emotional coldness are common features. They are also very controlling, making decisions for their children instead of asking them what they want or think about something. Despite there being much better ways to raise kids into responsible humans, they only use control.

Authoritarian parents are similar to authoritative parents, though the former has much more rigidity. They are often associated with low levels of parental warmth, high levels of parental hostility, and low emotional responsiveness to their children. It also includes high degrees of control over the child’s activities, intense cognitive stimulation in the home environment, and harsh punishments and disciplinary strategies. These uninvolved parents may replace playtime with tuitions or classes in a bid to push the child towards being an achiever.

The idea behind this strict parenting style is that it produces obedient adults who are always respectful towards authority figures. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

parenting, authoritarian parenting

Children raised by authoritarian parents exhibit several behavioral problems that can lead to adolescent depressive symptoms.


  • It involves the use of severe corporal punishment, harsh discipline, and lack of warmth. 
  • Authoritarian parents believe that they must control their kids in order to maintain order in the home and instill good behavior.
  • Often characterized by a lack of communication about what it means to be an individual separate from parents or others in their lives.
  • Parents expect children to obey without question and not voice any disagreement with what they say and do.
  • Authoritarian parents tend to have one overarching goal – for children to behave according to their expectations, without any input of their opinions.

Psychological Effects Of Authoritarian Parenting On Children

Authoritarian parents are not responsive to their child’s needs, which could produce psychological harm in the long term. They are not responsive or nurturing to their children, leading to feelings of insecurity and instability in the future.

This authoritarian approach affects the child’s mental health from a young age. As a result, children of authoritarian parents are more susceptible to mental illnesses when they are older. Many studies have shown that children with strict parents are more likely to have depression, anxiety, and have aggression issues than children with permissive parenting or authoritative parents.

When a child has an authoritarian parent, they don’t get the opportunity to express themselves without getting judged or harshly scolded due to their parent’s strict rules. The harsh criticism can make them feel inferior compared to their peers and can cause them insecurity.

Moreover, it also hampers their self-esteem and confidence. They’re more likely to have introverted nature and face challenges in work. They might also react negatively towards similar situations outside their home. 


Authoritarian parenting is more likely to have been used by people who grew up with the same type of parenting as they have experienced. After all, our first teachers are always our parents, right? Parenting is a great way to bond with your child. And while that is the case, we’re sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on it being fun. As a parent, you have to keep in mind that your child is learning from your behavior. That means if making specific changes can bring positive changes in your child, why wouldn’t anyone do that? After all, every parent wants the best for their child.

A balance of it all is the best parenting style, but remember, no one can be perfect parents. However, the ImmunifyMe app can certainly make things easier on you. It has timely appointment reminders, digitized prescriptions, customized nutrition chats and more, to help you be better parents.

FAQs On Authoritarian Parenting

What Is An Example Of Authoritarian Parenting?

An example of authoritative parenting is when a parent expects their child to follow instructions and obey orders because “they said so”. The parents will never ask the child their opinion or take into consideration the child’s choices.

What Is Wrong With Authoritative Parenting?

Authoritative parenting takes away any sense of identity the child may have. It tells them that their own opinions are not important, and this can lead to several developmental issues. Children from authoritative families are more prone to depression, low self-esteem, and a range of other personality and mental health disorders.

What Are The 4 Types Of Parenting Styles?

The 4 parenting styles are 

  • Authoritarian or Disciplinarian.
  • Permissive or Indulgent.
  • Uninvolved.
  • Authoritative

Is Authoritarian Parenting Good?

Authoritarian parenting is mistaken to be good, and is based on the false belief that it will raise an obedient child who respects authority. But, such children grow up with crippling self-esteem, anger and resentment towards their parents, and personality or mental health issues.