There are some parents who are too strict when it comes to disciplining a child, without them actually knowing it. Despite most people thinking that strict parenting results in better-behaved kids, there’s a difference between being firm and overly-strict. With the later, parents may face the risk of causing low self-esteem and behavioural problems in children.
Below are 15 signs that show parents who are too strict with their kids.
1. Too Many Rules
Too many rules are never a good sign. There is no way to keep track or enforce them all! Instead, set fewer rules and focus on the important ones. Be consistent in reinforcing and reminding. Following through on the rules is very important.
2. Threats that Don’t Work in Your Favour
Save the drama and dish out threats you can actually carry out. What’s the point in threatening to throw them out of the house, when saying that will only make you go back on your own words? Empty threats will only encourage them to misbehave so think carefully before you open your mouth.
3. Overstepping Parental Boundaries
There is a fine line between parental control that is just enough and control that is too much. Sure, parents can and should set rules about how a child behaves in school and at home, especially when it comes to safety issues. However, parents might need to take a step back when allowing kids to make a choice based on their preference.
Do not be so quick to say no. Instead, discuss and weigh both sides with your child before deciding what to do.
4. Emotional Blackmail
Parental love should always be unconditional even when setting expectations and boundaries. Do not threaten them using love as a lever, e.g. “You do this because you don’t love me.” Instead, tell them, “I will always love you, but I expect you to behave in this way.”
5. Not Watching What You Say
Be careful of what you say because no matter the tone, what you say can still leave emotional scars. Calm yourself down and think things over before confronting your child. Choose your words wisely so that you do not accidentally say things you do not mean in the heat of the moment. The goal is to correct and guide a learning child, not hurt them.
6. Parents Who Are Too Strict Give Orders But Do Not Guide
When asking your child to accomplish a difficult task, don’t just order them to do it. Children need to know that parents have their back no matter what happens. So don’t leave them to fend for themselves without chipping in to offer help and provide some one-on-one nurturing.
7. Constantly Cracking the “Whip”
Are you always the one cracking the whip to get things done? Are you always the bad cop, nag, monitor, or reminder-parent? If that is the highlight of parenting for you, you might be one of those parents who are too strict.
8. Broken Communication
Does your child even confide in you anymore? You might applaud yourself for getting the kids to do your bidding. But what’s the point if they won’t open up or talk to you?
9. Your Children Don’t Bring Their Friends Over
Did you recently put your child in his place in front of his friends? Or are you one of those parents who are too strict and love asking probing questions when your child is cornered? Well then, it’s no wonder they don’t bring their friends over!
10. You Don’t Let Your Child Explain
Do give them the opportunity to voice their opinion. It is OK if you don’t agree with them, but you should always hear them out and allow them to speak up.
11. You’re All Work and No Play
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All kids need downtime and time away from work — just like adults. Sure, now is the best time to learn everything because children are like sponges. But the key thing is to encourage learning, not enforce it at every turn. There is a time to play and a time to learn.
12. You’re the Only One Doing It
Are you the only parent who’s not allowing your children to go online even with parental supervision? Then you might fall into the category of parents who are too strict. It’s impossible to avoid exposing your child to technology. You’ve just got to do it the right, sensible way.
By banning all things technological, you’re just encouraging your child to go behind your back.
13. You Say NO to Everything
Do not just say NO without giving valid reasons. Explain your concerns about why you are forbidding something. Parents who are too strict usually are not open to negotiations or compromise.
14. The Rules Are the Rules
Yes, there must be rules in place that are clear and consistent so that children know what is expected of them. But do give a little leeway depending on the situation. And do weigh your options before bending the rules a little.
15. Authoritarian Vs Authoritative
Note there is a difference. Authoritative parents set clear expectations. However, it is done with warmth and with the child in mind.
Authoritarian parents, on the other hand, are controlling, demanding and not responsive. Parents who are too strict always give either-or options — it’s my way or the highway — and relies on punishment to demand obedience or teach a lesson.
Are you a firm believer of strict parenting and what are your thoughts with regards to its side effects? Or are you more relaxed with your rules? Do share your insights with us, we would love to hear from you.
Sources: WebMD, AhaParenting
Read also: Strict parents turn children into effective liars, study claims