You might constantly be asking your child to keep all clothes neatly in the wardrobe. But if you frequently insist on arranging each outfit in the same manner, in the same order, all the time- you might be too strict a parent.
It is good to be firm with your children, but make sure you are not being unreasonable. Making unrealistic demands from your children leads to frustration and anxiety in their lives. When parents are strict to extremes, the kids tend to develop behavioural problems and are more likely to get involved in questionable activities like substance abuse.
Children who are raised by extremely strict parents, have often also projected low self-esteem as adults. Unquestionable obedience at all times leaves no opportunity for them to practice the art of self-control. What’s more, they are more likely to be depressed and exhibit aggressiveness outside the home.
Here are signs which show that you are too strict a parent, and signs that you could or should ease off a little:-
As parents, you can set rules about the manners of your child at school or issues related to his safety. But not allowing your child to choose the clothes she wants to wear or which musical instrument she wants to learn, is inappropriate and unreasonable as a parent.
Being too forceful or too strict creates an absolute dependence on the parents, and could cause the children to not learn self-management skills when they grow up. Allow your children to make few decisions on their own. Guide them only when you feel it is required or when kids ask for your help.
2. You have rules for everything under the roof
It is not the number of rules that determine your success in disciplining your child. Set fewer limits and ensure that they are followed consistently. Do not take away the joy of their childhood by burdening them with too many rules. Choose to enforce only those rules that affect the long-term well being of your child.
3. You use threats to control your children
Do not use empty threats that provoke your children to misbehave. Do not say things like ‘I will throw you out of the house’ or ‘I will throw away your toys in the garbage bag’. If your child agrees to it, then you have no option but to back down. Think twice about the consequences of your actions before you decide to spell them out.
4. You do not put in time for your children
When you give a tough task to your kid, do not order them to complete it on time. Instead, good parenting involves putting in more time for your children and working along with them. Spending time with your children is necessary as it fosters trusts and helps you understand them better.
5. Obey commands without questioning
You might not want to encourage everything that your children want, but also don’t forbid it every single time. If you say no to your child for something, explain the reason for your decision. When children understand that you want good for them, they accept the limits even if they don’t like it.
You can say, “I’d prefer you don’t do this, for these reasons. But even if you want to, I going to keep a watch due to my concerns.”
6. Your child doesn’t share anything with you
Parents who are too strict create an environment where their children are not comfortable in sharing their problems with the parents.
Balance out your authority with warmth and compassion, as it benefits the social and cognitive development of the child.
7. Your children don’t have downtime
You have packed your child’s schedule with too many activities and daily chores, and your child has no time to play or relax. As parents, we might be often anxious about raising successful children. But we must also allow them to follow their interests and passions.
Make sure you leave some time (and space) for them to relax. If they are only learning and absorbing information all the time, they won’t know what to do with it.
8. You are always monitoring the kids
If you are trying to control, nag or monitor your kids all the time, you are being too strict. Find out what other parents are doing. If no one else is overseeing their offspring quite as closely as you- then it might be time to re-think your control strategy.
9. Your kids are scared to show their report cards
You set your expectations clearly, and punish your child if he scores lower grades than what you had targeted. Thus, your kids might be scared to show their report card to you.
Instead, it is good to be supportive and to help your child achieve better by analysing the problem, and working on it together. Show them you’re on the same side as them, not the opposition!
Your level of strictness plays a vital role in the all-round development of the children and has lasting effects on them. While being too easy with children makes them think that they have the freedom to do whatever they want to, being extremely strict can be equally harmful to them.
Hence, as parents, we should balance our authority with affection and provide a loving and secure environment at home. This ensures a stress-free environment for kids and establishes a strong bond between parents and children.