6 Signs Of Controlling Parenting And The Effects It Has On The Child

Authoritarian parenting is a restrictive, punitive parenting style in which parents make their children follow their directions and to respect their work and effort. – Santock, 2007


2. Strict punishment and disciplinary techniques.

What if the children start rebelling their parents due to their totalitarian style of parenting? What if they protest the hostile environment they are being brought up in?

On all fronts, they will not. They know the repercussions of such acts. 

The typical mentality of a controlling parent is to impose rules on their children, expect them to uncompromisingly follow them all. If they fail to do so, they will be subjected to harsh, inhuman punishments. 

The punishments and controlling behaviours come in different forms and they are either covert or overt in nature. 

Overt or active form of control comes in the form of yelling, shouting, name-calling, verbally threatening, spanking, beating, thrashing, intimidating, invading privacy, restricting movements and so on.

Covert or passive control comes in the form of stonewalling, silent treatment, neglect, shaming, playing the blame game, playing the victim and other forms of manipulation. 

The child under such a condition is either forced to follow the rules through negative treatments or they are manipulated into compliance.

3. Infantilizing.

Infantilizing literally means not treating a person according to her/his maturity in age.

In controlling parenting set up, the parents do not consider the child as an independently functioning being. The child is believed to be naive, inferior, dependent and insignificant.

Most often controlling parents have strong narcissistic tendencies. This mindset is mostly borne out of the idea that the more free, self-sufficient, individually functional, self-reliant and emotionally mature their children become the lesser will be their chances to control them and use them as a mere object to satisfy their narcissistic needs.

So, the parents intentionally set indisputable rules, create a surrounding where they are not allowed to acquire practical life knowledge so they can persistently exercise their control.

It is to be kept in mind that the child is brought up in such a strict, irrefutable environment that it leaves the child no chance to defend oneself and rebel against such detestable treatment.


4. Lack of parent-child transparency

A nurturing and conducive home environment where children can developmentally, emotionally and socially requires the parents to be affectionate, transparent and considerate of their children. Which is what the belief goes. But controlling parenting is typically characterized by a lack of proper communication (sometimes complete lack of communication) between the child and the parents. 

The children are left baffled as to why their parents demand them to do as they wish. As the set rules are not properly explained to them, they often live in entire darkness.

Communication is hugely thwarted between the parents and the children. Often this leads the child to acquire maladaptive ways to regulate their emotions, improper ways to handle stress and peer pressure. Suppose If they are getting constantly bullied at school, they will be scared to share the incident with their parents.  The only legitimate relationship the parents share with their children is that of a controller and victim. 

Controlling parents communicate to ‘talk to their children’ rather than ‘with their children’ and do not consult with their children when making decisions. (3)

I call the children a victim because they literally get operated, almost like puppets. Due to the disparity in power division between the children and the parents, the children begin to get terrorized by them. This results in furthering the mental gap between them. 


5. Unrealistic expectations and ‘doomed if failed to fulfill them’ scenarios. 

Children brought up in a set-up of controlling parenting styles is burdened with unrealistic, simply unattainable, implausible tasks and expectations which becomes impossible for them to accomplish. If they fail to fulfill the expected, they are punished in the most punitive ways possible. 

They might be insulted, verbally abused and even physically trashed if they fail to do the task in the exact they are supposed to do it. On top of it, the child is also not even explained properly as to what they have to do. 

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