Authoritarian Parenting Vs. Other Parenting Styles


The debate on which parenting style is the best has been going on for the longest time. To some, parenting simply means raising children. To others, however, parenting means much more. If you’re a parent, and may wondering what parenting strategies your should take. 

Here is a comparison of 4 main parenting types we made, which will help you have a better understanding and make vital decision. 

You’ll learn from this article:


1. What Are The 4 Main Types of Parenting?

There are many different parenting styles you’ll read about in books and on the internet. However, a lot of these stem from the 4 main types of parenting: authoritarian, permissive, authoritative, and uninvolved. The first three types of parenting review, research, and study were done by Diana Baumrind. The fourth type which is the uninvolved parenting type was added later with the help of researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin. 

2. Authoritarian Parenting 


Parents who identify as authoritarians tend to be the strictest types of parents. Enforcing the authoritarian method means strictly going by the book and following the rules to a T with very little room for negotiation or adjustment. Authoritarian parenting aims to control kids’ feelings, emotions, and behavior, sometimes to the point of micromanaging them. The main goal of an authoritarian parent is to establish his/her authority over his/her children and ensure that the kids follow what he/she says with no questions asked.

  • Authoritarian parents say: “Do it because I said so.”
  • Relationship with kids: Cold and rigid
  • Objective: To ensure that kids adhere to the rules, no matter what. 
  • Anticipated Result: Kids grow up with much respect for persons of authority but may be socially inept and dependent on others when making a decision or facing a problem.

3. Permissive Parenting


Permissive parenting is the direct opposite of authoritarian parenting. It’s the least strict of all parenting types and it relies heavily on the parents’ confidence and trust in their kids’ ability to fend for themselves while navigating the world. This type of parenting allows kids to face any situation head-on and figure out how they’re going to deal with it with very minimal help, if at all, from their parents. 

  • Permissive parentssay: “Do what you think is right for you.” 
  • Relationship with kids: Open, friendly, and warm
  • Objective: To raise confident and independent children who aren’t afraid to face new and unfamiliar situations
  • Result: Children who grew up with permissive parentsmay be confident and independent, but they may also have a problem with submitting to authorities later in life. 

4. Authoritative Parenting


Not to be confused with authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting could be considered a combination of both authoritarian and permissive parenting. Authoritative parents are flexible — they share their knowledge and opinions with their children but they also allow their kids to decide on their own. They make a fair amount of rules, but they’re open to bending some if it the situation calls for it. Authoritative parents are not afraid to exert control over their children, but they make sure to explain why what they’re doing to their children is necessary. 

  • Authoritative parents say: “I think this would be a good way to do it, what do you think?” 
  • Relationship with kids: Warm and nurturing
  • Objective: To lead by example but, at the same time, to allow kids to do what they think is best for them
  • Result: Happy, well-rounded kids who are able to adjust to situations accordingly and are not afraid to voice out their opinions on certain matters

5. Neglectful Parenting


Also called “uninvolved parenting,” the neglectful parenting style has the most negative connotation of all. That doesn’t mean to say, though, that it has no good effect on children, although it’s questionable whether the good effects outweigh the bad. Uninvolved parents aim to do the bare minimum for their children and nothing more. They are disengaged and disinterested in what their kids are up to and they don’t prioritize making rules and setting limits for their children to follow. 

  • Neglectful parents say: “Do whatever you want.” 
  • Relationship with kids: cold and distant, if not non-existent
  • Objective: Parents don’t often choose to be neglectful on purpose but they do it either subconsciously or because of certain circumstances. They don’t care enough to set an objective and aim for results with this kid of parenting. 
  • Result: Children of neglectful parents often grow up to be neglectful parents to their own kids as well. They may end up feeling unloved, uncared for, and unimportant which can greatly affect their self-esteem.

6. Authoritarian Parenting Pros and Cons

Authoritarian parenting is one of the most debated and most controversial parenting styles out of the four mentioned here. Many people believe that enforcing strict rules and establishing authority and dominance over children is important in shaping them to be successful later in life. However, there are also those who believe that using this parenting type can make kids rebellious and resentful towards figures of authority, especially their parents. What are the pros and cons of the authoritarian parenting style? Let’s find out. 



  • Obedience – obedience is a trait that many of today’s kids lack. In a world where independence and being able to look out for yourself is highly admired, it’s rare to see kids who obey their parents with no questions asked anymore. With authoritarian parenting, however, kids are taught early on that obeying the authorities is their only option. 
  • Integrity – the desire to do the right thing, even when no one is looking, is ingrained into kids at a very early age. They grow up to be great law-abiding citizens. 
  • Goal-orientedness – because authoritarian parents expect highly of their kids, they learn at a very young age that they must do everything in their power to achieve what is expected of them. They become goal-setters and goal crushers, which often results in success. 
  • Responsibility – another good thing that comes out of the authoritarian parentingstyle is that kids who grow up with authoritarian parents tend to be more responsible. They know they will be held liable for their actions so they make sure to do it right the first time. 


  • Rebelliousness – kids who grow up with authoritarian parents may be seen as good kids at home but a lot of them tend to have a feeling of wanting to rebel and go against the grain when they’re old enough to leave home. 
  • Suppressed feelings – because authoritarian parents are very strict, there is very little room for children to express themselves, their opinions, and their emotions. Suppressing these things can only lead to an outburst later in life which could have a few negative consequences
  • Low self-esteem – the authoritarian parenting definitionis “tough love.” It does not include praising kids for a job well-done as it is rather expected of them to do well anyway. This could lead to kids yearning for appreciation and having low self-esteem. 
  • Lack of skills – kids who grew up in an authoritarian home are always told what to do and how to do it, so there’s very little opportunity for them to explore the situation and think of ways to deal with it on their own. They aren’t motivated to learnon their own because they know they will be told what to do.

7. Should You Try Authoritarian Parenting?

There’s no shame in admitting that you have yet to find your parenting style. Even those who have done their research on the subject and are already practicing one can freely switch to another any time they feel it’s no longer working for them. If you find yourself constantly asking the question “what is child rearing and how do I do it right?,” know that you’ve already given this whole parenting thing more effort than any neglectful parent has. At the end of the day, choosing which parenting style to use on your kids is still entirely up to you. If you’d like to raise kids who are sticklers for the rules, you could try using the authoritarian parenting style. If you’re concerned about the consequences that come with this parenting type, know that you’re always free to modify it however you see fit. 

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