Are you being too strict as a parent? Maybe it’s time to loosen up
Ever wondered if you are being a little too strict as a parent with your child? Does it concern you that your expectations from your child may be too high? Do your kids make you feel like a villain when you set restrictions? You may have often heard your child say something like: “That’s unfair, my friend’s mom lets her stay out till late! Why can’t I?”
As parents, you want to avoid looking like a pushover, but neither do you want to seem sensitive and be taken for granted. But the question remains, is being a strict parent okay?
First of all, your parenting style will solely depend on your child’s attitude. While some children tend to be very calm and disciplined and follow what the parents say, but some are naturally notorious and keen on experiencing things way before their time. Here, the first instance will just need you to have an opinion, the second will need you to have a hold on them.
Strict parenting may have produced well-behaved children for many. However, according to a study conducted on American adolescents, it was reported that teenagers with strict parents were most likely to engage in acts of bullying and were also rated as less self-reliant. Quite similarly, research conducted in China found that kids with strict parents or authoritarian families were more aggressive and less likely to be accepted by their peers.
Although we understand that having parents that restrict you is beneficial in a way, there are many more drawbacks, specifically the pressure of being extra careful in doing things right. The long-term effects of strict parenting may even lead to:
- Low self-esteem
Perhaps, there’s a need to discuss shifting the strictness quotient and drawing a fine line between being a friend-parent and parent-parent. Here are a few recommendations:
- Inculcate Discipline
Good habits and discipline are life-long assets. If the situation demands a little bit of firmness, pursue it for the betterment of your child. Whether it is about eating healthy, going to bed early and rising early, or being academically proactive, a blend of subtle and strict parents helps a child into a routine.
- Be firm
There might be instances where your child throws a tantrum for no reason. And sobbing and wailing that follows may be hard to stop until you add a bit of firmness to your tone. In a situation like this, sit down with your child and assert a firm NO.
- Set fair rules without depriving your kid
Having a bar of chocolate or an ice-cream is not harmful unless consumed excessively. Help your child understand excess and moderation, and that anything consumed excessively is bad. The best way to do so is by showing visuals on what happens with the overconsumption of ice-creams, cakes, or chocolates.
- Let TV be a source of entertainment and information
Television is addictive. It is a nuisance. TV is a bad influence. This may be true or maybe not completely. But when it comes to your child, here’s how you can shift your approach: TV is a stress buster. TV is educative. TV is informational. TV watching addiction can be transformed into a learning experience by deciding what you want to show to your children and in what time duration.
- Instill an attitude of gratitude in your child
You may feel the pressure to meet every demand of your child, but knowing what and how much is enough is one of the most important skills you can teach. If your child demands something and you feel, it is not required, share an easy explanation with him/her. Teach your children the concept of gratitude and help them know the difference between their needs and wants.
Being a strict parent is okay to a point where your child feels free and safe to dream. Too much is never good at anything. The notion that strict parenting is wrong is not true, but by all means, disciplining your child should have a balance of limits as well as freedom. Overtime, you’ll notice that tying a leash on your child’s desires won’t always get you the outcome you are looking for. More often, affection, empathy, and love are the best techniques for raising successful and happy children.
Akanksha Shukla is a content strategist, writer by the day and reader by the night- all with the trusted companionship of coffee!