Whether you’ve been a parent for a few years now or you’re exploring future parenting styles that you might want to employ, everybody has their own relationship to strict parenting. You might have grown up with strict parents and you’re considering ways to deviate from that, or you might have grown up with very relaxed parents and you want to enforce a bit more discipline in your household. Regardless of your stance, finding a balance can be difficult, but extremely necessary for a healthy upbringing. There are pros and cons of strict parenting, and considering them can help you find the balance you need.
Healthy Strict Parenting
Even though the word “strict” might carry a bit of a stigma, there’s always some benefit to some healthy guidance and discipline. Here are some of the pros.
When you said important boundaries in your household, you not only get the opportunity to teach your kids about setting boundaries for themselves, but you also provide a bit of necessary structure for them to exist within. Having reasonable rules is extremely healthy for kids and can make for a positive environment.
There are some guidelines that just need to be followed in the world. From school rules to rules of etiquette and interpersonal interactions, it’s important to teach your kids about how to be good citizens of the world. When you enforce guidelines in your household, you raise people that know how to follow them in the rest of the world.
Another extremely important piece of this conversation is offering guidance to your kids as they grow up. When your kids come to you for advice or help with something, you want to be able to be involved so that you can help them make the best choices for them. Although you might not have the answers to everything, it’s important to offer your wisdom as a parent on all sorts of issues and challenges.
Keeping Them Safe
There are plenty of rules that exist for a reason. In fact, most of the rules that you have in your household should exist for a reason. One of those reasons is to keep your kids safe. At the end of the day, keeping your kids safe is one of the most important things that a parent can do. That’s why making sure that you put your foot down when kids are engaging in unsafe behavior is a part of strict parenting that should be non-negotiable.
Unhealthy Strict Parenting
On the flip side of things, it’s definitely possible first strict parenting to get out of hand. Unfortunately, when parents are strict to an unhealthy degree, it can contribute to a bad environment for kids to be raised in. Here are some of the reasons why too strict of parenting can be unhealthy.
First and foremost, you should be able to make your home a safe space for your kids to come to you when they need something. If your children are scared of punishment for every little thing, they might not communicate with you about important issues. Especially if there is a teaching opportunity or an opportunity for guidance instead of punishment, you want the lines of communication open in your household.
One pitfall that many strict parents find selves in is the policing of emotions. Kids and especially teenagers can be extremely emotional as they grow and change, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with kids learning how to express their emotions and navigating towards healthy coping mechanisms. Ultimately, there’s no excuse for punishing emotions in your household, and you should make sure that you guide them towards healthy habits and outlets rather than punishing them for feeling things.
Being too strict can often make your kids feel like you enjoy punishing them, which definitely isn’t your intention. This can sometimes make them distrust you and your motivations, seeing you as the enemy rather than their ally.
You might have already heard this one before, but it’s definitely worth mentioning because it’s a prevalent issue. When you have too many rules for the sake of rules or you are so strict that you don’t allow for normal expression, it encourages kids to be dishonest and sneaky. There’s a stereotype that the strictest parents create the sneakiest kids, and it often turns out to be true. Instead, it’s much healthier to allow your kids healthy outlets for fun and self-expression.
Pros and Cons of Strict Parenting
At the end of the day, parenting is never easy. However, there are plenty of ways that you can find the best balance for your household so that you feel comfortable and your kids grow up in a healthy environment.