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Characteristics of rigid and inflexible parenting and its impact on children

Parenting is one of the most important concerns of society. It is the most important aspect that affects a child’s growth and development. They directly relate it to various other issues such as teenage pregnancy, school disruption, child abuse, and juvenile crime. Keeping a check on children makes them less prone to mistakes. The way parents influence their children’s growth has been a long-standing origin of research for psychologists, theorists, or parents. After looking at a broad variety of tests, a study concluded that the consistency of a parent-child connection is strongly linked to their communication skills and professional success.

The authoritarian form of parenting isn’t really a form of positive parenting. A parent must create a healthy environment for the child. But authoritarian parents follow a different route that dictated high standards, responsive, and following rules. The authoritarian parent believes that children should show cooperation and maturity.

Authoritarian parenting and its effect: 

Authoritarian parenting is a very common kind of parenting style, particularly among older generations. Tough parental love is an example of authoritarian parenting. Many oppressive parents’ practice stern parental love as they wrongly believe that this will make their children tough and emotionally strong.


Characteristics of Authoritarian Parents:

Family plays a vital role in a kid’s development. It introduces them to their cultural and societal norms and ideals. But how parents do it can vary significantly depending on how much influence they impose over their kids. The most commanding parenting style is the authoritarian approach. Authoritarian parents insist on obedience instead of appreciating self-control or empowering children to handle their own behaviors. So authoritarian parents only give feedback in terms of punishment for the wrongdoings.

  • Demanding, But Not Responsive

An autocratic family has regulations to control every part of their kid’s development or behavior. In relation, there are several unwritten rules which they bound children to follow. Thus, the child gets a direct understanding of “rules”.

  • Little Warmth or Nurturing

Family with this style seems almost cold, aloof, or tough. They are more prone to irritate or shout at their kids rather than praising them. They implement discipline over enjoyment & allow kids to be seen not heard.

  • Brief Explanation for Punishments

The parents of this type also believe in physical punishment. Instead of relying on positive encouragement, they react severely whenever the rules are violated. This attitude is not at all beneficial for the development of the child.

  • Few Choices for Children

Authoritarian parents do not give many choices to children. Family fixes regulations and they stick to “my way or highway” method to inculcate discipline. There’s very little room to negotiate or let kids make the right choices.

  • Impatient with behavior

Autocratic parents believe their kids know better and shouldn’t engage in negative behavior. They lack compassion to understand their kids. According to them, kids should not waste energy in expressing emotions.

  • Mistrusting

Authoritarian parents don’t trust that their children can make pleasant choices. Hence, they do not give their children much freedom to show friendly behavior. They don’t let kids decide on their own and face natural consequences for those choices. Authoritarian parents hover over their kids to ensure that they don’t make any mistakes at all.

  • Unwilling to negotiate

Authoritarian parents don’t believe in gray areas. They view situations as black and white and there is little to no room for compromise. Kids don’t get a say or a vote with setting rules or making decisions. Kids have to follow the rules being set for them.

  • Shaming

Authoritarian parents are critical and use embarrassment as a strategy to push children to abide by the rules, using phrases including such “Why do you just do that?”, “How often will I have to tell you the same thing?,” or “Why didn’t you do anything right?” instead of focussing on the kid’s efforts to develop their self-esteem. They frequently shame them. 

  • Weak style of parenting

This parenting style lacks sensitivity and strength in challenging parent ship. Authoritarian parents who struggle to reach their standards are neither very emotional and affectionate nor dismissive of the children. Rules are used to execute behavior. If a child breaks the rules, it is an opportunity to teach a life lesson. They punish kids when they break the rules. Heavy punishment inevitably leads to further misbehavior, rebellion, or endless power struggle.

Side effects of this parenting style involve:

  • Badly impact the child’s growth

We all know parenting style affects a child’s development. Thus, communication skills, comfort, and control play a significant role in the development of a child’s social skills. Some observe that the stricter the parents, the poorer the results a child shows. This parenting leads to more and more rules.

  • Kids are more prone to anxiety and depression 

This kind of parenting also increases the probability of psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. It may also involve problems connected to physical signs of mental stress or social withdrawal. Sometimes it leads to higher-risk behaviors like smoking, illegal drug usage, alcohol consumption, inappropriate sexual behavior, and obesity.

  • Kids become more assertive

With this kind of parenting, children get affected badly and develop an assertive attitude, but they can as well be culturally shy, and unable to make their choices. Kids in such families have low self-esteem, are poor judges of personality, and rebel against authority once they are older. This can lead the child towards wrong decisions.

  • Problem of Imitation

This kind of parenting leads to children imitating their parents’ actions when they are among their friends and as potential future parents too. Kids usually learn what to think of themselves based on their family’s attitude towards them. Kids have a hard time handling their frustration and are very resentful.


A parenting style can act either as a shield for their child or as a medium of damage. Parenting talks about one’s biological parents, though it is not restricted to them. Apart from parents, the nurses, teachers, etc. do some parenting tasks with the child. In the long run, this kind of parenting style gives rise to irritation within the child. Authoritarian parents exhibit a high level of anger and control. There are cases of bad parenting that have affected society at large. 



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