Examples of Authoritarian Parenting

Parents generally fit into one of two predominant parenting styles when it comes to raising children. Two styles with similar names -- authoritarian and authoritative -- could not be more dissimilar in the effect on a child’s psyche and behavior. Explore the authoritarian parenting style to learn what parenting tactics to avoid as you raise your children.

'Because I Said So'

It can feel tempting to deliver this answer to children when they question a decision or a rule. Parents who engage in the authoritarian style of parenting might frequently use this line or other variations of it to squelch any questioning or challenge from children, according to Kimberly Kopko, an extension associate with Cornell University. The authoritarian parenting style abhors discussion and debate about family rules and guidelines. Instead, it insists that children should simply accept rules without questions.

Drill Sergeants

The strong discipline and harsh standards of a drill sergeant might seem a similar comparison to an authoritarian parent, according to the Texas A & M University Youth Development Initiative. With a lack of explanation or reasoning for demands, authoritarian parents often expect children to jump when called and obey without hesitation. In an effort to provide strict discipline and structure, authoritarian parents might cause children to rebel or have their children become overly dependent on them.


As parents practicing the authoritarian parenting style strive to work with their children, they might resort to unpleasant coercion, according to a web page on the Weber State University website. Typical coercion techniques include fear and intimidation, threatening emotional or physical punishment, and withdrawing love and affection in an attempt to force children to comply. Parents might apply these coercion techniques to a variety of different areas of children’s lives, including school, children’s peer groups, sports participation and house rules.

Lack of Warmth

As the parents wrap themselves up in the matters of compliance and obedience, they often neglect the nurturing and love that children need from parents. Authoritarian parents often focus their attention on rules and enforcing them, instead of bonding and fostering a warm relationship with children, according to a web page on the Northern Virginia Community College website 1. These parents might love and care deeply for their children, but their children often don’t feel that love because it's hidden behind the discipline and demands.

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