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Autocratic Parenting: Characteristics and Effects

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jun 16, 2021

Autocratic Parenting: Characteristics and Effects

Being a parent is not easy. It requires a high level of maturity, patience and a sense of responsibility to raise a kid into a good human being. And to do this, every parent adopts a different parenting style. Some go the strict way, or what is known as autocratic parenting, while some choose the friendly way, while some maintain a balance between the two.

What Does Autocratic Parenting Mean?

Autocratic parenting involves a strict approach to parenting. In this style, parents place strict rules with respect to discipline, behavior, and way of life.

In the autocratic parenting approach, parents really want their kids to be disciplined and gain a lot of success. However, with that strict way of parenting, there is not much flexibility.

Children are expected to come up to their parents’ requests without explanation. Benefits of this kind of parenting are some, but the children may experience adverse effects. For instance, they may develop fear, low self-confidence, and rigidity.

Helicopter Parenting: What is it and its Pros and Cons

Know the Characteristics 

  • Usually, the children may receive a well-structured home environment from the autocratic parenting method. 
  • It clearly speaks of the rule that parent’s expectations are to be complied with, without asking any questions. 
  • Children are expected to obey what their parents tell them to do. Indeed, no-one can question or have a debate on their rules. 
  • Autocratic parents do not give a lot of chances for creativity nor feelings. Psychological control is what autocratic parents believe in.
  • It’s always about disciple over fun.
  • Autocratic parents might scold children in front of relatives, friends, strangers instead of talking to them in person in a calm and composed manner. 
  • It is obvious that children of autocratic parents are compliant since they are accustomed to being told what to think and what to do. They may learn to conceal their feelings and increase a kind of detachment for the fright of punishment.

    These children may be stressed because they have to be very cautious about their words and actions when their parents are around.

    How Do Children With Autocratic Parenting Cope?

    Although some children might go along with the demands of their parents, others may rebel. There is more likelihood that teenagers will resist rigid autocratic parenting.

    The kids could start resorting to telling lies, being sneaky or secretive due to the fear of having their feelings or opinions expressed to their parents. Some children may turn to acts of violence or behave in a hostile fashion.

    autocratic parenting

    Adverse Effects of Autocratic Parenting on Children

    Whereas autocratic parenting may make their children obedient, adverse effects are bound to occur in the long run.  

    • It is likely that strict parents’ children may experience a lack of self-confidence. These children may grow up with an inferiority complex and their thinking gets rigid. 
    • Due to excess and continuous criticisms and nagging from autocratic parents, they may start criticizing their own behavior or that of others. 
    • They may also be vulnerable to pressure from their peer group and may easily be bullied. Also, emotional intimacy is what they may have difficulty with, later in life and are more susceptible to abusive relationships.
    • One of the ill-effects of autocratic parenting on kids is that they might grow up to be aggressive individuals compared to the ones who are raised in a friendly and lovable environment.
    • They seem to be more shy and fearful when in a social group.
    • They are more prone to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

    Parenting From Baby To Teen: What Parents Need To Know

    Autocratic parenting style lacks the warmth, comfort, and ease which a child needs and looks for, from his/her parents and surroundings. Discipline is a good part of this parenting approach, but a little bit of affection never hurts. 

    Learn more about Parenting and Adolescents here. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

    Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jun 16, 2021

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