In the efforts to teach positive characteristic to children, child specialists describe different styles of discipline practiced by the parents. Authoritarian discipline casts the parent as boss and the child as someone who must obey the rules laid by them. At an extreme parents consider obedience a virtue in its own right.
They lay down rules, rarely explain why the rules are to be followed or how they reflect parental values, and make no exceptions. Pure authoritarians seldom encourage their child’s opinions on issues of discipline, in the belief that to permit the youngster some say in the matter would be a sign of parental weakness or uncertainty.
Authoritarian parents tend to see punishments, as a way of reminding the child who is in charge. Some of the parents will punish by withdrawing themselves from their children, holding back their love until the desired effect is achieved or following some other ways which are not sound for the children. But many disciplinarians of this type simply supervise their children so closely that punishment is rarely necessary at all. The restrictions they impose preclude misbehavior.
Authoritarianism, ironically, seldom produces the highly disciplined personality that the parents aim for. Children raised too strictly tend to follow parental rules out of fear, rather than out of respect for the rules themselves. They learn to accept punishment. The only regret when they are likely to feel is that they were caught misbehaving.
Boys in particular tend to become hostile as a result of this type of upbringing. Many children of these kinds of parents grow up feeling that their thoughts and feelings count for little, and as a result, they suffer from low self esteem which is very important for growth in life.
When they reach adolescence, they have difficulty turning to their parents for support because no lines of communication have been established between them in all these years. Those who are naturally shy may feel helpless and anxious, while the more aggressive individual may begin to act out their hostility towards their parents and society.