An autocratic parent is characterized by a strict set of rules determining the appropriateness of their child’s actions. This parenting style includes a series of unwavering rules and sometimes severe penalties. Furthermore, parents of this school of thought do not feel compelled to explain the reasons for their decisions. The basic concept behind autocratic parenting is that a child should learn to totally submit to authority. As such, there is no give and take or communication between the child and their care giver in terms of emotions pertaining to rules and punishment.
Permissive parenting is the total opposite of autocratic parenting in that it employs little or no rules, punishments, or guidelines. For whatever reason, permissive parents do not ask their children to submit to authority, rather, they imply that authority should not make any demands of them. Examples of child of permissive parents are those that leave their toys everywhere, watch television whenever they wish, and do not have a bedtime. Like with autocratic parenting, there is little communication between the child and their care giver in terms of reactions to rules, however, unlike with instances of autocratic parenting, this is generally pleasing to children, particularly those of younger ages.
Authoritative Parenting is based upon a reciprocal relationship between parents and their children. While these parents will implement a set of rules and restrictions, they will listen to their children’s desires and perspectives and are willing to make amendments or adjustments to expectations or punishments when appropriate.
Consequences of The Three Parenting Styles
One psychologist investigated U.S. preschools in order to record differences in behavior between children reared under autocratic, permissive, and authoritative parenting. They discovered that children raised under autocratic parenting were withdrawn, angry, defiant, and lacked independence. This suggests that the strict rule of autocratic parents teach children that free thinking, independence, and expression are not appreciated, resulting in anger. Similar to these findings, children of permissive parents were immature, lacked responsibility, and more independent and calm than those of autocratic parents but still less independent and calm than would have been healthy. Thus it was suggested that children of permissive parents are hesitant, confused, and disorderly because they do not learn how to appropriately act. As it might have been guessed, children of authoritative parents were generally much more independent, happy, competent, and responsible than children of the other two parenting styles.
Gleitman, Henry, Alan J. Friedlund, and Daniel Reisberg. Basic Psychology. New York, NY: Norton, 2000. Print.