Strict Rules and High Expectations: The Authoritarian Parenting Style

Krystal DeVille

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Authoritarian parenting is marked by strict rules and high expectations, emphasizing obedience and harsh discipline sometimes. This style can lead to emotional consequences for children, including stress, low self-esteem, and challenges with autonomy.

Factors like cultural norms, personal upbringing, and societal pressures can drive this approach. Alternatives include authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting, each with distinct characteristics. For balanced parenting, it’s key to set boundaries, encourage independence, and maintain open communication, ensuring children feel autonomous yet safe and loved.



Understanding the Authoritarian Parenting Style is crucial in comprehending the approach parents with this style take to raise their children.

Control: Authoritarian parents believe in strict rules and expect obedience from their children without question. They exert high control over their children’s behavior and decisions.

Discipline: They often use disciplinary methods such as punishments and strict consequences to enforce compliance. These parents might rely on physical discipline or withhold privileges to correct their child’s behavior.

Communication: Authoritarian parents tend to have limited communication with their children, focusing on maintaining authority and enforcing obedience rather than nurturing a two-way conversation.

Expectations: These parents set high expectations for their children and have specific standards that they want them to meet. They often have concrete expectations regarding academic achievement and performance, social behavior, and personal conduct.

Emotional support: While authoritarian parents may prioritize the well-being of their children, they might struggle to provide emotional support or understanding. Emotions are often seen as a sign of weakness or disobedience.

To better understand the authoritarian parenting style, it is important to remember that it focuses on maintaining control and obedience, often at the expense of nurturing emotional connections with children. Recognizing this style can help inform discussions about its impact on children’s development and overall well-being.

Suggestions for parents who tend towards authoritarian parenting:

  • 1. Strive for open communication and encourage your children to express themselves.
  • 2. Balance the need for discipline with fostering a supportive and nurturing environment.
  • 3. Consider the long-term effects of strict rules and expectations on your child’s emotional development.
  • 4. Seek professional guidance or parenting resources to learn alternative approaches focusing on positive reinforcement and building healthy relationships with your child.
  • 5. Acknowledge the importance of autonomy and respect in your child’s growth.

The authoritarian approach is just one facet of the multifaceted realm of parenting. For a broader perspective on how various styles impact child development, don’t miss our comprehensive overview: Uncovering the Different Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Children.


Are you curious about the characteristics of authoritarian parenting? Well, get ready to dive into the world of strict rules and high expectations, explore the impact of a lack of warmth and affection, and uncover the dynamics of power imbalance.

In this section, we’ll uncover the key traits of authoritarian parenting, backed by relevant facts and real-life experiences. So fasten your seatbelts and prepare for an eye-opening journey into the world of high expectations and strict control.

Strict Rules And High Expectations

  • Children who are raised with strict rules and high expectations in an authoritarian parenting style are often expected to follow a set of rules without question.
  • Parents who practice this style believe that strict rules and high expectations will teach their children discipline and respect for authority.
  • These parents set clear boundaries for their children’s behavior and enforce them consistently.
  • Children in this type of parenting style are often expected to meet high academic standards and excel in various activities.
  • The strictness of this parenting style can cause children to feel pressure always to meet expectations and fear the consequences of not doing so.
  • While high expectations can push children to achieve, it can also lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Children raised with strict rules and high expectations may struggle with decision-making and problem-solving skills since they are not allowed to make choices and learn from their mistakes.
  • It is important for parents practicing this parenting style also to provide emotional support and show warmth and affection towards their children.
  • Children who grow up with strict rules and high expectations may conform to authority figures but may also rebel against overly rigid rules.

In history, the implementation of strict rules and high expectations has been evident in various authoritarian regimes. For instance, during the rule of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, the German population was subject to strict laws and expectations. Non-compliance with these rules often resulted in severe consequences, including imprisonment or execution.

This showcases the extremely detrimental effects of imposing strict rules and high expectations when wielded by those in power.

Finding a balance between setting boundaries and allowing children the freedom to explore and learn from their own experiences is crucial.

Parents should consider the long-term impact of their parenting style on their children’s emotional well-being good behavior, and overall development.

Lack Of Warmth And Affection

When it comes to the characteristics of the authoritarian parenting style, one aspect that stands out is the lack of warmth and affection. This absence of parental warmth and affection can significantly affect a child’s emotional well-being and overall development.

  • Emotional detachment: Authoritarian parents often struggle to provide emotional support and connection to their children. This lack of warmth and affection can leave the child feeling emotionally detached and unloved.
  • Decreased trust: Children may find it challenging to trust their authoritarian parents without warmth and affection. This lack of trust can affect the parent-child relationship and hinder open communication.
  • Difficulty expressing emotions: Children raised in an environment lacking warmth and affection may struggle to express their emotions effectively. They may suppress their feelings or have difficulty identifying and understanding their emotions.
  • Lower self-esteem: The lack of warmth and affection can negatively impact a child’s self-esteem. Children may develop a diminished sense of self-worth without receiving love and validation from their parents.
  • Attachment issues: The absence of warmth and affection can lead to attachment issues, making it challenging for children to form secure emotional bonds with others. This can have long-lasting effects on their relationships and social interactions.

It is important to note that the impact of the lack of warmth and affection can vary depending on other factors, such as the child’s resilience and support from other caregivers or relationships outside the family. Recognizing the significance of warmth and affection in healthy child development is crucial for parents who may be practicing an authoritarian parenting style.

While the authoritarian approach emphasizes strict rules and high expectations, there’s another style that strikes a balance between warmth and discipline. Discover the contrasts and benefits of the authoritative method in our article on Balancing Warmth and Discipline: The Benefits of Authoritative Parenting Styles.

Power Imbalance

In the context of authoritarian parenting, power imbalance is a significant characteristic that influences the dynamics within the parent-child relationship.

  • Control and dominance: Authoritarian parents exert significant control and have a dominant role in decision-making processes with little to no input or consideration for the child’s perspective.
  • Unilateral decision-making: Power imbalance is heavily concentrated in the hands of the parent, resulting in limited or no opportunities for the child to voice their opinions or contribute to family decisions.
  • Lack of negotiation: Authoritarian parents seldom engage in negotiation or compromise with their children, disregarding their individual needs or preferences.
  • Rigid hierarchy: The power imbalance within authoritarian parenting is hierarchical, with parents occupying the superior position and children expected to comply unquestioningly.
  • Fear-based discipline: Power imbalances often manifest in the form of strict, punitive discipline methods, promoting obedience through fear rather than empathy or understanding.
  • Diminished autonomy: Due to the power imbalance, children have minimal autonomy or agency to make choices and decisions for themselves, which can hinder their ability to develop independence and critical thinking skills.

It is important to understand the negative consequences that power imbalances can have on the emotional well-being and overall development of children within an often authoritarian parent or parenting style. Balancing power dynamics and promoting a more egalitarian approach can promote healthier parent-child relationships and the development of children’s autonomy and self-esteem.


Emotional Consequences

Authoritarian parenting often leads to high stress in children due to rigid rules and lack of warmth. This can create emotional gaps between parents and kids, suppress open feelings due to fear of harsh punishment afterwards, and diminish self-esteem. Such children may seek outside approval and struggle with self-identity and problem-solving. These effects can linger into adulthood and impact relationship-building.

Low Self-Esteem

Authoritarian parenting often results in low self-esteem in children, affecting their emotional and mental health, and growth. Such children may feel constantly inferior, with persistent parental criticism damaging their self-image. This style restricts children’s independence, hindering their self-confidence and decision-making skills.

Lacking emotional support, these children may doubt their abilities and fear failure due to high parental expectations of negative outcomes. Parents should consider a more balanced approach, like authoritative parenting, to foster healthier self-esteem.

Rebellion Or Compliance

When children are being raised by authoritarian parents in an authoritarian parenting style, some of them often respond in one of two ways: rebellion or compliance.

  1. Rebellion: Some children resist the strictness of authoritarian parents, feeling trapped and controlled. This can lead to defiance or risky actions as they seek autonomy and self-expression.
  2. Compliance: Others might conform to authoritarian demands out of fear or to avoid punishment, becoming submissive. This can suppress their creativity and hinder decision-making skills.

It’s important to recognize that children’s reactions to authoritarian parenting can differ based on their personality and external influences, with some showing both rebellious and compliant behaviors.

Fact: Research has indicated that an excessively authoritarian parenting style can adversely affect a child’s emotional well-being and overall development. Finding a balanced approach to different parenting styles, such as authoritative parenting, can cultivate a healthier parent-child relationship and promote the child’s independence and self-esteem.”


Factors influencing authoritarian parenting are shaped by various elements such as cultural background, personal upbringing, and external pressures.

These factors play a significant role in determining the adoption and perpetuation of the authoritarian parenting style. Understanding the influence of cultural values, familial experiences, and societal expectations grants us insight into how these dynamics impact authoritarian parenting examples and approaches.

Let’s uncover the intriguing ways in which these factors shape the authoritarian parenting style and its implications.

Cultural Background

Cultural Background: The influence of culture on authoritarian parenting hinges on several aspects:

Values and Beliefs: Different cultures have varying parenting values. While some emphasize obedience, leading to authoritarian styles, others prioritize autonomy, leaning towards authoritative or permissive approaches.

Cultural Norms: Parenting norms differ across cultures. Hierarchical societies might favor authoritarian parenting styles, while those valuing egalitarianism lean towards democratic styles.

Parenting Traditions: Cultural traditions shape parenting techniques. In some cultures, strictness is seen as essential for instilling discipline.

Socioeconomic Factors: Culture affects factors like income and education, which in turn influence parenting. Some cultural backgrounds come with societal pressures affecting parenting choices.

Personal Upbringing

When examining the sub-topic of “Personal Upbringing” in the context of authoritarian parenting, it’s essential to consider the influences and experiences individuals have had during their own upbringing.

1. Parenting Style2. Personal Upbringing3. External Pressure
AuthoritarianParents who were raised in authoritarian households may be more likely to adopt a similar parenting style. Growing up with strict rules, high expectations, and limited personal autonomy can shape their beliefs about discipline and control.External pressures, such as cultural norms or societal expectations, can also influence the personal upbringing of individuals who later exhibit authoritarian parenting tendencies.

In these cases, individuals may perceive their own upbringing as the norm and believe that strict discipline and high expectations are necessary for their child’s success. They may replicate the authoritarian approach they experienced, without considering alternative styles that promote a more balanced and nurturing environment.

It’s important to note that not all individuals raised in an authoritarian manner will necessarily become the children of authoritarian parents.

Personal upbringing is just one factor that can contribute to adopting certain parenting styles. Other factors, such as personal values, education, and cultural background, can also play a significant role.

Understanding the impact of personal upbringing on parenting choices is crucial for fostering healthy and positive parent-child relationships. It allows individuals to reflect on their own experiences and make conscious decisions about the parenting style they wish to cultivate, whether that aligns with their upbringing or takes a different approach.

By considering personal upbringing as one aspect of the larger framework of authoritarian parenting, individuals can strive for a more balanced and supportive approach that meets their children’s emotional and developmental needs.

Having delved into the structured world of authoritarian parenting, it’s enlightening to explore styles at the other end of the spectrum. Learn about the subtle yet profound effects of uninvolved parenting in our piece, The Silent Impact: Understanding Uninvolved Parenting Styles.

External Pressure

The concept of external pressure is a crucial factor to consider when discussing the impact of authoritarian parenting. External pressure, which refers to the influence of sources outside the immediate family environment, such as societal expectations, cultural norms, and peer pressure, plays a significant role in shaping parents’ approach to parenting.

Societal Expectations– Society often imposes specific expectations on parents and children, creating pressure for parents to adopt a particular parenting style, including authoritarian parenting. To conform to societal standards, parents may feel compelled to be strict and controlling.
Cultural Norms– Different cultures have varying beliefs and values concerning parenting. In some cultures, authoritarian parenting may be regarded as the norm, leading parents to face pressure in adopting this style to ensure their children’s obedience and success. Cultural norms strongly influence parents’ decisions, perpetuating authoritarian parenting practices across generations.
Peer Pressure– Parenting decisions can be influenced by the opinions and practices of other parents within social circles. If parents notice their peers practicing authoritarian parenting, they may feel obligated to do the same to fit in or be seen as “good” parents. Peer pressure significantly contributes to the adoption of authoritarian parenting methods.

External pressures can sway parents towards certain parenting styles, including authoritarian approaches physical punishment.

Parents should recognize these influences and think critically before settling on a method. While societal expectations play a role, parents have the final say in choosing what’s best for their child’s growth. As society’s grasp of child development has evolved, so have parenting styles.

By understanding external influences and exploring various approaches, parents can foster an environment that best supports their child’s well-being.


When it comes to parenting, strict rules and high expectations may not always be the answer. In this section, we’ll explore the alternatives that offer different approaches to raising children.

From authoritative parenting, where clear boundaries are set with open communication, to permissive parenting, which allows for more freedom and flexibility, and even uninvolved parenting, where there is limited emotional engagement. Each sub-section will shed light on a different parenting style, giving you a fresh perspective on the diverse approaches to nurturing our children.

Authoritative Parenting Style

Authoritative parenting strikes a balance between setting clear expectations and fostering open communication with children. Key aspects of this approach include:

  • Guidance and Autonomy: While authoritative parents set age-appropriate rules and provide consistent discipline, they also value independence, encouraging their children to make decisions and problem-solve. They take into account their child’s feelings, promoting autonomy while retaining authority.
  • Positive Outcomes: Children raised with authoritative parenting often exhibit higher self-esteem, better social and emotional skills, and improved academic performance. They tend to be self-disciplined, responsible, and less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
  • Distinctiveness: This style differs from permissive parenting, which lacks rules, and authoritarian parenting, marked by strict rules and punishments. Authoritative parenting combines firmness with warmth, offering children an environment to flourish.

Permissive Parenting Style

Permissive parenting is marked by a lenient approach to rules and discipline, often leading to a unique dynamic between parents and children. Key aspects of this style include:

  • Characteristics: Permissive parents often set few rules, have limited restrictions on behavior, and may overlook or dismiss misbehavior. However, they typically offer high levels of warmth and affection, encouraging their children’s independence, sometimes even in age-inappropriate situations.
  • Consequences: While the freedom and nurturing environment can be positive, children might struggle with boundaries and adhering to rules outside their homes due to the lack of structure.
  • Balanced Approach Recommendations: To ensure well-rounded development, parents should:
    • Establish clear yet flexible boundaries.
    • Promote independence within age-appropriate limits.
    • Maintain open communication, ensuring children feel safe sharing their thoughts.

By blending freedom with structure, parents can foster a healthier growth environment for their children.

Uninvolved Parenting Style

Uninvolved parenting, often termed neglectful, is a style marked by a significant lack of engagement in a child’s life, both emotionally and physically. Key aspects of this approach include:

  • Emotional Distance: Such parents often display little emotional connection, leading to feelings of loneliness and insecurity in the child due to the absence of affection and support.
  • Lack of Supervision: Children under uninvolved parents often lack clear boundaries and guidance, making decisions without proper direction and facing minimal supervision in their activities.
  • Communication and Basic Needs: These parents typically struggle with meaningful communication, impacting a child’s emotional growth. Moreover, they might neglect essential needs, from nutrition to a safe environment, affecting the child’s overall well-being.

KinVibes Pro-tip: If you find yourself leaning towards uninvolved parenting, it’s important to recognize its impact on your child’s development. Take steps to improve your involvement by spending quality time with them, actively listening, and seeking professional support if needed. Building a healthy and nurturing relationship is crucial for your child’s emotional and social growth.


Parenting can be a delicate balance, and finding the right approach is key. In this section, we’ll share some valuable tips to help you navigate the challenges of parenting with a balanced perspective.

From setting clear boundaries to fostering open communication, these strategies will empower you to raise independent and confident children. So, let’s dive in and discover effective ways to create a nurturing environment while still nurturing your child’s individuality.

Set Clear Boundaries

  • Clearly communicate and consistently enforce expectations, helping your child understand acceptable behaviors.
  • Involve your child in the rule-making process, giving them a sense of ownership and enhancing adherence.
  • Adjust boundaries as they grow, ensuring they remain relevant, and always encourage open dialogue about these boundaries.

Encourage Independence

  • Assign age-appropriate tasks, like making their bed, to foster responsibility and life skills.
  • Promote decision-making and problem-solving, allowing them to choose outfits or books and encouraging them to find solutions independently.
  • Provide opportunities for self-expression and gradually increase responsibilities as they mature. As an example, Mozart’s drive for independence in his artistry led him to be a celebrated composer.

Foster Open Communication

  • Actively listen and be non-judgmental, creating a safe space for your child to share.
  • Encourage various forms of expression, from verbal to artistic, and always show empathy to their feelings.
  • Dedicate regular time for one-on-one discussions, deepening your bond and ensuring they feel heard and understood.

By implementing these strategies, you can create an environment where open communication thrives, allowing your child to feel heard and understood. This strengthens your relationship and supports your child’s emotional well-being and personal growth.

Some Facts About “Strict Rules and High Expectations: The Authoritarian Parenting Style”:

  • ✅ Authoritarian parenting style is characterized by strict rules and regulations.
  • ✅ Authoritarian parents expect high levels of obedience and compliance from their children.
  • ✅ Authoritarian parenting involves little room for discussion or negotiation.
  • ✅ The authoritarian parenting style is often motivated by cultural or ethical backgrounds.
  • ✅ Research suggests that the authoritarian parenting style can impact a child’s self-esteem and decision-making abilities negatively.


What Is The Authoritarian Parenting Style?

Authoritarian parenting style is characterized by strict rules, high expectations, and little room for discussion or compromise. Parents expect their children to follow the rules without question and exert complete and total control over their lives.

What Are The Negative Effects Of Authoritarian Parenting?

The negative effects of authoritarian parenting include aggression, poor self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, and difficulty managing anger. It may also lead to rebellious and aggressive behavior and difficulties in forming nurturing relationships.

Why Do Some Parents Practice Authoritarian Parenting?

Some parents may practice authoritarian parenting due to cultural or ethical backgrounds, or because they were raised in a similar style. They may believe that a strict approach is the best way to gain compliance or produce well-rounded, high-achieving children.

Is Authoritarian Parenting Considered Emotional Abuse?

In extreme cases, authoritarian parenting and child behavior can amount to emotional neglect or abuse. The cold and non-nurturing behavior of authoritarian parents, including yelling, berating, and withholding parental love, can harm a child’s emotional well-being and development.

How Does The Authoritarian Parenting Style Affect A Child’s Ability To Think Independently?

Authoritarian parenting discourages autonomous thinking, exploration, and independent actions. Children raised in this style rarely involve decision-making and are not allowed or encouraged to think independently. This can impair their ability to develop critical thinking skills and make choices confidently.

Are There Any Alternative Parenting Styles To Authoritarian Parenting?

Yes, authoritative parenting is considered an alternative to an authoritarian style of parenting. It involves setting limits, praising efforts, and allowing children to be independent thinkers. This style promotes a give-and-take relationship between parents and children, where rules are reasonable and open communication is encouraged.


The authoritarian parenting style, marked by strict rules and high expectations, is a complex approach with merits and challenges. While it can instill discipline and a strong sense of responsibility in children, it also risks suppressing their individuality and potentially straining the parent-child relationship.

It’s essential for parents to recognize the profound impact their chosen style can have on their child’s development and well-being. Striking a balance, fostering open communication, and ensuring that discipline doesn’t overshadow warmth and understanding can lead to a more harmonious family dynamic. As with all parenting styles, the key lies in adapting and evolving based on the child’s unique needs and the family as a whole.

The authoritarian style is characterized by its rigidity, but what happens when boundaries are relaxed? Dive into the world of leniency and freedom with our exploration of Freedom or Overindulgence: Unpacking Permissive Parenting Styles.

About Krystal DeVille

Hello! I’m Krystal DeVille. By day, I wear many hats: a homeschool teacher, wife, and mother. By night, I’m a fervent journalist, pouring my thoughts and experiences onto paper. Parenthood, for me, has been an exhilarating roller-coaster filled with emotions, invaluable lessons, and moments of sheer joy. With three wonderful kids of my own, I’ve journeyed through the highs and lows — from sleepless nights to their very first steps and those unforgettable proud parent moments.

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