While being strict parents may leave you with children you don’t often get into trouble, you can actually stifle your children in a number of ways when your sternness goes overboard. Here are five steps to follow to enact positive changes on your parenting style:
1. Allow Your Kids To Make Some Decisions
If you constantly order your children around, you leave little to no opportunity for them to develop confidence in their own decision-making abilities. Try starting out with small things, gradually allowing them to pick and choose more for themselves; you can always intercept a choice that doesn’t seem wise or meet with your approval, just make an effort to keep encouraging them to think on their own and avoid being over-corrective or condescending.
2. Encourage Them To Speak Up – Albeit Respectfully
Children who are seen, but seldom heard tend to grow up with issues, especially when it comes to their self-esteem. If you encourage them to voice their opinions, though, that self-esteem really begins to blossom. While they should keep a tone of respect in their voices, speaking up about various subjects is a necessity for healthy development.
3. Choose Your Battles
Strict parents tend to be raise anxious children, especially when those children always fear doing something wrong. Rather than correcting their every move or bearing down hard on them over every little mistake, choose your battles. Draw the line somewhere, just make sure it’s not everywhere.
4. Make Sure The Punishment Fits The Crime
In this day and age where kids are sexting, exposed to violence and seemingly less disciplined than previous generations, it’s all too easy to fly off the handle over things they do. You want them to grow up with ethics, good judgement and a sense of decency, but punishing them too severely may actually have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. Excessive punishment can lead to extreme rebellion; thus, keeping your punishments proportionate to the offenses should teach them appropriate lessons without causing them to completely resist your authority.
5. Understand The Consequences Of Your Actions
Many studies indicate that over-corrective parenting results in permanent damage to a child’s psyche. They may be withdrawn, nervous or even phobic about different people and places. This is because they feel like they’re always under pressure and always needing to please. That constant sense that something is about to explode if they do the wrong thing is simply too much to bear. In places of employment, they won’t be apt to try to stand out and excel; in relationships, they may be timid and even tolerate different forms of abuse and in nearly all other ways, they’ll never feel quite good enough at anything. Always stop and think before you correct or reprimand, asking yourself how your actions may result in a long-term, negative condition for your kids.
Strict parents may be well-intended, but too often, they are overbearing and actually stunt a child emotionally and developmentally. Kids can even rebel when their parents are too tough on them and that’s probably the last thing you want. Learn to ease up, if only a little bit at a time; your whole family will likely be happier and healthier for it.