Visualize a dictator or drill Sergeant. That exactly is an authoritarian parent. An authoritarian parent disperses orders and demands blind obedience. They don’t want consensus, nor do they want a discussion. They just want their kid to do as they are told immediately, without hesitation, and certainly without backtalk.
Some call this tough love. But in reality, very little love and a lot of anger are involved which instills fear in the child. While many parents in today’s world have moved beyond spanking, physical discipline is still very much a part of authoritarian parenting. There’s also very little warmth or nurturing.
When does the parent’s love become controlling
As a parent, we always strive to do the best for our children. We always want our children to have a better life. But the way we choose to make their life better talks much about their life. Sometimes in the journey of being a good parent, we become controlling and abusive over our children unknowingly and it affects their life forever. So it very important for us to understand when the care for children turns into control over children. When we as a parent,
- Yell to instill fear and obedience
- Use physical punishment to impart discipline
- Provide severe negative criticism and consequences for failure, disobedience, or backtalk of our children
- Use the dictatorial phrases like “because I said so” and “Do what I say”
- Never apologize for our own behavior or mistakes
The teenager ultimately learns to be scared of his/her parents. But the ultimate result of this fear is they learn to be mistrustful of authority specifically and others in general. In Adolescence, kids of authoritarian parents still misbehave but they become skilled at covering their tracks and lying to hide the actions.
Why “Because I said so” is bad for children?
A Young adult is a small child growing, learning, and experiencing. When we have strict regime parenting, they are more likely to bully others, bullied by others, suffer from depression, and more likely abuse drugs and alcohol.
The right parenting styles help prepare our kids for the real world. They foster kindness, integrity, and honor. They make for a better generation than the ones that came before.
But the wrong parenting style can do real long-term damage, especially as teens. When we are too domineering, too unbending and value compliance over love, we set our kids up for bad living style and incompetent for real challenges later in life.
When the child isn’t cuddled or consoled after a failure or disappointment and when the child is often told to refer to the parents as “yes, ma’am” and “yes, sir”. There’s no bonding between the parent and child. As a result, there grows a teenager hoping and praying to be perfect to avoid another scolding.
We are responsible to prepare our kids for the real world. By doing so, we should let them have just enough age-appropriate freedom to make mistakes, and then learn from them. If we just enforce orders it might make the job of parenting easier but fails to let the children develop the skills they need to learn to live in the real world. The authoritarian parent hence teaches their child is to lie, sneak, and hide to avoid consequences. That and to fear authority in general.
This leaves behind a void, in an adolescent, totally disconnected, isolated and lost in the real world.
Behavioral effects of authoritarian parenting on teenagers
Teenage is a confusing age with a lot of new emotions and pressures to handle. Experiencing abusive parenting then makes it even harder. Authoritarian parenting can be very damaging to kids. Unfortunately, when those damaged kids become parents themselves, the pattern often gets passed down. That may seem ironic given the child of an authoritarian parent knows their parent’s behavior is wrong. Sadly, the ability to identify the wrong in parenting doesn’t naturally teach us what we should do instead.
Here are some of the long-term behavioral effects of authoritarian parenting:
- Teenagers are less likely to feel socially acceptable by other kids in their age range
- The dictatorial phrases imprint escapism and fake integrity into a teenagers’ character. They end up as bullies because they were essentially bullied themselves when young.
- Negative criticism and punishments over failures result in an uncertain and unsure young adult incapable of making decisions. They are less resourceful as they grow since they are not encouraged to be free thinkers
- They might suffer from depression and get messy with freedom in adolescence.
- The fear of punishment from childhood makes a teenager lack a sense of self and self-respect. They carry a huge emotional bag of unattended hurt feelings.
- They grow up as a stubborn person who doesn’t want to accept and remorse their mistakes. Instead, they stop doing mistakes and start doing organized and planned misdeeds and sometimes crimes.
- Their performance in school gets worse since they are always less motivated and less confident.
- The worst of the long-term authoritarian parenting effects may be that kids have a greater likelihood of abusing drugs and alcohol
You see none of us are perfect parents. But by taking the time to educate ourselves and be just a little better by tomorrow than we are today, we make us great parents. A good parent is always empathetic, approachable, and listening.
Your children become what you are, so be what you want them to be!