Up until the mid-20th century, the strict parenting or authoritarian style was the absolute standard of behavior in many homes. The child’s individuality was skeptically overlooked, and the upbringing of the child for the most part consisted of punishments for disobedience. The feelings and thoughts of a child were of little consideration when family issues were discussed. Children were regarded, unreasonable and incapable of makingpersonal individual decisions.
Since then much has changed for the better, and now in most families parents are using democratic style of parenting, which entails active collaboration and mutual respect between children and parents. However, in some cases, strict parenting still takes place. Let's examine the main features of this phenomenon.
1. The dominant role of parents
Parents always have been and will be superior, as they are the ones who produced the child into the world, they care about him, supply material needs, and teach useful or useless things. However, in some cases, the primacy of one or both parents turns into totalitarian despotism. That means that only thoughts, decisions and actions of parents are considered important, correct and are not subjected to any criticism. A parent never admits his mistakes, and often simply puts all the blame on the child. The parent makes all decisions for the child and leaves no choice. The parent sets strict limits, crossing over of which might lead to the child’s severe punishment.
2. Hard set of rules
These are rules that cannot be neglected. Any action on the part of the child is monitored; and if this action is not in accordance with the set of rules established by the parent, then the child is punished. The parent will not accept any excuses or controversial situations; the child did not comply with the set law, this means the child is guilty. A child cannot negotiate the change of rules with the parent, as only the parent can change the rules.
3. Penalty for any offense
The child will be punished for non-compliance, mishaps in conduct, and failures in school or other areas of development. A parent does not take into account any circumstances; if a child did something wrong, then punishment should be administered. The parent perceives punishment as a mean of child’s training. Therefore, the more severe the punishment administered, the more confident he feels as a parent.
It is very miserable when parents use physical force to punish the child. In this case the parent is trying to intimidate the child as much as possible and does not notice when the line is crossed. The so-called training turns into violence against the person. The child lives in constant fear of punishment. He complies with parent’s requirements, but only because he is afraid. However, the older the child becomes, the harder it is to keep him within the boundaries.
4. All decisions are made by parents only
The decisions that affect family life or the child's life are made by parents only. No one asks a child for his opinion; the child is regarded as a rather little and irresponsible person, incapable of thinking on his own. But it is constant disregard for thoughts and feelings of the child, that transform him into an irresponsible and self-insufficient person. By restricting a child from solving issues and problems according to his capabilities, the parent contributes to moral degradation, as it is through overcoming difficulties and making decisions that a child will learn to be responsible.
5. A child’s initiative is punished
If parents use an authoritarian or despotic parenting style, anything that goes beyond the established set of rules is classified as an error. The child’s initiative is automatically rated as violation of rules. It causes, therefore, parents’ anger and a desire to punish the child. Some parents perceive child’s creativity as a risk of losing their authority in the child’s eyes.
All of the above signs of strict parenting or authoritarian style can be observed in part or in whole, in various combinations. However, if you noticed something that is similar to the above in the way you treat your child, then think about causes and consequences and if what you do it right. Do you want your child to develop many disorders, and most importantly, to grow up a person, who can hardly make his own decision?