A rigid parenting style is known as being autocratic or authoritarian (not to be confused with authoritative). Autocratic parents want their children to be disciplined and successful, and obey rules and requests without asking why. There is minimal flexibility and while there are benefits, children may experience adverse effects.
Characteristics of autocratic parents
Autocratic parents run a well-structured home with clear rules that children are expected to comply with. These parents feel there is no need to explain themselves or their demands, and children should do as they are told. There is little room for debate, creativity or emotions.
The child of an autocratic parent
Children of autocratic parents are usually compliant as they are accustomed to being told what to think and what to do. They may learn to conceal their feelings and become quite detached for fear of reprisal, and can suffer from stress and anxiety as they have to constantly be cautious about what they say and do, especially when their parents are around.
How children of autocratic parents cope
Although some children go along with the strict demands of their parents, others might rebel and disobey – teenagers in particular are more likely to resist rigid parenting. There is also the real possibility that these children will be more inclined to lie and become sneaky and secretive due to their fear of expressing their true feelings and opinions. Hostility and behaving in a violent way can also happen for the same reason, especially when parents become too authoritarian.
Adverse effects of autocratic parenting
It is a common belief that autocratic parenting will ensure children are and will remain obedient; but adverse effects can occur in the long run. Children of strict parents often experience a lack of confidence and can become shy and socially inept. They may grow up with an inferiority complex, lack decision-making skills and even start thinking in the same rigid way as their parents. Emotional intimacy can become a problem as they get older and they can become vulnerable to peer pressure and be easily bullied.
There is no magic formula to being the perfect parent with the most acceptable parenting skills, although a good balance between love and limits is usually the best way to go. You do not want your children to be afraid of you and to just follow orders blindly, but rather respect and understand why you have set certain rules.
This article has been republished with permission from Hello Doktor.