How Strict Parenting Will Change Your Child (Not For Good)

How Strict Parenting Will Change Your Child (Not For Good)

Do you expect your child to follow orders without questioning you? Do you feel that they only love you if they follow your orders? Do you think that any disobedience should be severely punished? If you make excessive demands on your children, know that you are physically and emotionally abusive to your child.

Science proves that children who are raised in a highly authoritative way eventually develop low self-esteem, resort to bullying, and may even fall prey to depression. Many also suffer from weight problems and have problems regulating themselves.

A psychiatrist once asked young teenagers to write down a line they would like to write to their parents. She asked them not to name ordinary things, but what they wanted their parents to know about them. Some responses were

I’m really trying

Please don’t call me names like that

I wish you listened to me sometimes too

I’m scared when you yell at me

Please stop whining

Many parents then saw these reactions and their reactions were quite shocking. Some of them said, “They’re preparing their kid for the big bad world,” others said, “They’re pushing kids for their own good.” Smita Arora, mother of two, says: “We all grew up in a strict environment where we were expected to do what our parents expected and asking them back was never an option. Our children will become weak if we let them go ahead and choose for themselves!”

We all know that teen suicide rates are on the rise and that anxiety and depression are on the rise at an alarming rate. Peer pressure, social media exposure are all enough to make your child stressed and anxious, but if they don’t feel emotionally safe in their own home, it can lead to a lot of mental stress and trauma.

On condition of anonymity, a parent whose child is undergoing therapy for depression said: “My daughter was a top scorer. I kept telling her she makes me proud. But then her grades started to drop and I felt like a failure. I started pressuring her and telling her she wasn’t trying hard enough. She was, but I didn’t see it. Exam time turned into a nightmare for both of us. I turned my beautiful smart daughter into a terrorized person. Her grades dropped further. She started to withdraw, stopped talking to her friends. Then we sought help and discovered that she had fallen into a depression.”

We as parents are always trying to perfect our children. We want them to excel academically and we also want them to excel in sports, dance or other extracurricular activities. In the process, we end up choking them of their free time. Most coaches even tell parents to back off — they don’t want parents yelling at their kids to step up.

A math coach I recently hired for my daughter encouraged her to do better by applauding even the little concepts she got right. I didn’t think it was necessary at first, but I soon saw that she enjoyed math and took pleasure in solving the simplest questions. I soon realized that my nagging wasn’t helping her anyway. She sat with a book to please (or calm me down), not because she liked what she was doing.

In short, the effect you have on your children should have more to do with a relationship of trust that you share with them than with the authority you lash out at them or the times you reprimand them. Sometimes when you see your child pushing you away, they are actually fighting for space to shape their identity. Giving children choices makes them feel like they have some power and control over their lives and is seen as a big step towards growing up to be a confident and independent person.

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