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

Suppose your mother asks you to bring particular stuff from the grocery, you bring something almost similar because the exact item wasn’t available. You will still have to face negative outcomes for no actual fault of yours. She might start guilt-tripping and criticizing you in the most insane ways possible.


6. Non-empathetic and neglectful parents

A child raised by controlling parents has no idea about the virtues of empathy, care, affection, and warmth.

Controlling parents fail to meet the emotional requirements of the child, like their need to be cared for, loved, considered and understood, even though they are often successful in providing the child with financial, academic and materialistic support. 

Instead of trying to improve the child’s sense of self, the parents’ criticizing, demeaning and overbearing behaviour only ends up destroying their self-confidence, distorting their self-image and lowering their self-esteem.

For instance, if the child is going through a hard phase in his/her life, instead of showing him/her empathy and understanding that he/she desperately needs, the child might be humiliated, disregarded, neglected and left on their own.

What effects do controlling parenting have on the child?

Controlling parenting in no way a favorable technique to raise your child. The following are the reasons:

  • Effects of controlling parenting on self-reliance

Controlling parents will invariably try to shape, control and evaluate the behaviors of their children by their set of principles and not based on the children’s potentials, adversities or interests. The children are given little choice and have to follow parents’ orders (Gfroerer et al., 2004).

Hovering behavior on the parts of the parents, leave the children with no choice but to follow their parents’ rules. The parents always want to monitor the children’s behaviour – like where they are going, what they are doing, and who their companions are. The parents even take up the responsibility to make decisions for their children. 

These types of irrational behaviors on the parent’s part greatly cripple the organic flow of the child’s overall development. The child never grows up to have the ability to make reasonable choices for themselves.

As Suldo & Huebner(2004) said, the children do not have opportunities to decide what they
want and as a result become less self-confident. This increases the chances of them being highly co-dependent in their partners in their later lives. These children as adults lack the sense of self-responsibility and self-accountability. They grow up to lack direction in life and believe that they do not have the required resources available with themselves to succeed in life. 


  • Effects of controlling parenting on self-esteem

Other researchers found that compared to children who received warmth and acceptance
from their parents, children who are controlled by their parents may display low
self-esteem. (4)

As already mentioned earlier, controlling parents resort to criticising, insulting, disregarding and belittling their child as a means to punish them when they fail to live up to their expectations. Often times criticisms have no basis at all. They will mostly emerge out of the blue and come flying at the face, leaving the child baffled and astonished as to what his/her fault was.

When a child faces these harsh behavior over a prolonged period of time, their self-esteem is greatly lowered and their self-identity gets distorted. They start underrating themselves, giving in to dysfunctional self-beliefs and overgeneralising their incapabilities. 


  • Effects of controlling parenting on the child’s life satisfaction

Controlling parenting style significantly reduces the life satisfaction in children brought up under such a punitive environment. 

Leung, McBride-Chang, and Lai (2004) demonstrated that the element of control
may cause children to feel unhappy and extremely dissatisfied with their life.

The general deterioration in the quality of life often results in depressive symptoms in the child. Several researchers also found that controlling parenting and depression are strongly correlated. (5) In a study on parenting style and depression among adolescents, Joshi et al. (2009) found that adolescents who lived with controlling parents had more depression
than those who lived with authoritative parents.

Share on

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top