Autocratic parents expect complete compliance.

What Is an Autocratic Parent?

by Darlene Zagata

Autocratic refers to a rigid parenting style also known as the authoritarian style. Autocratic parents want their children to be well-behaved and successful, but their strict manner of parenting doesn't allow for much flexibility. Authoritarian parents expect children to live up to their demands without explanation. This type of parenting does have its benefits, but the child of an autocratic parent may suffer adverse effects such as low self-esteem.

1. Characteristics of Autocratic Parents

Autocratic parents typically provide a well-structured home environment for their children. They set high expectations with clear rules and expect their children to obey those rules. These parents are highly demanding, and they don't feel the need to explain themselves to their child. Autocratic parents expect children to do what they're told, and that's final. Their rules are not debatable or questionable. Autocratic parenting leaves little room for feelings or creativity. Autocratic parents discipline with psychological control. An article by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. at Parenting Science describes autocratic parenting as the child being in boot camp, with the parent being the drill sergeant.

2. The Child of an Autocratic Parent

Children of autocratic parents are typically obedient because they are so used to being told what to do and think. They may learn to hide their feelings and develop a form of detachment for fear of punishment. Children of autocratic parents often become stressed because they feel like they are walking on eggshells around their parents.

3. Ways Children Cope

While some children may comply with their parents demands, others may rebel. Teens are more likely to resist a rigid style of parenting. Children may also become secretive, sneaky and even start to lie because they fear expressing their feelings or opinions to their parents. Some children may even become violent and start behaving in an aggressive manner.

4. Adverse Effects of Autocratic Parenting

While strict parenting may lead to obedient children, it can also have adverse effects in the long run. Children of authoritarian parents are more likely to suffer from a lack of confidence, according to Positive-Parenting-Ally.com. These children may grow up with an inferiority complex and become rigid in their thinking. Because their parents are so critical of them, they may also be critical of their own behavior and the behavior of others. Children of autocratic parents may also be prone to peer pressure and being bullied. They may have difficulty with emotional intimacy later in life and may be prone to abusive relationships.

About the Author

Darlene Zagata has been a professional writer since 2001, specializing in health, parenting and pet care. She is the author of two books and a contributing author to several anthologies. Zagata attended the Laurel Business Institute to study in the medical assistant/secretarial program. She earned her associate degree through the U.S. Career Institute.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images