Child Discipline Strategies

Am i too Strict

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"Am i too Strict"
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There are a number of levels that being strict or rather too strict can and would negatively effect many children.  Children should feel a sense of acceptance of being or becoming an individual.  Raising babies we have to allow them to explore to learn, they need to test the waters within reason and, of course, safety.  During the time of the baby stage we have to allow the exploration to allow our babies to flourish and learn all of the essentials they need in order to walk and talk.  So why would we eliminate the exploration per say with our children? 

Children must have room to grow same as plants, once the plant becomes too crowded the growth is stunted.  Strictness limits giving children the opportunity to explore his own niches.  What excites one may not excite another.  Let's use an example of a child whose parents do not believe in organized sports, they feel that there's too much pressure with the competition and parents are overly involved.  This parent may be taking away the child's opportunity to learn the value of team work.  Maybe instead of being stictly against playing in organized sports, the parent allows the child the opportunity to play but strictly prohibits any attempts of their child becoming too competitive.  They can pull the child from the environment, if they see the negative effects that they fear.  Not only do the parents open the child to learning the value of teamwork but they are also teaching the child that winning is not everything and as long as the child keeps the game fun the participation will continue. 

So why does being strict have a negative effect on children?  Are you being too strict, are you picking the right fights with your children?  Let's address the different things children must learn through the years.  How to treat others, respecting elders, taking care of personal property, personal hygiene, being a team player, staying away from drugs, not starting to smoke cigarettes, not drinking alcohol until of age, and not having sex until they are ready.  Are all of these things problems to address?  What about not getting the grades a parent expects, or maybe coming home 15 minutes late from curfew.

When all of the serious issues are at hand, are you picking the right fights?  What about when your children associate with the "wrong" crowd.  How do you address and what do you choose to address?  These are very important questions to ask yourself.  The old saying "keep your friends close and enemies closer".  Being too strict with a teenager only pushes them away placing distance between you and the child you want to protect.  This is a negative impact as you are shutting the door on the connection with your child, this is vital in these challenging years.  This is where you child needs to know the love is unconditiional, instead of walking the absolute line of no.  Let's consider the path of reason and discussion of calm debate.   

Your teenager is at the ripe age of wanting to have a voice.  What better way to reason and teach your child the value of compromise, one of the main ingredients of a successful relationships?  So will you agree with all of your children's choices?  No!  Should you?  No.  What you should do, is teach your child.  You are teaching him right from wrong the day you bring him home, you are teaching him love and respect with how you treat him.  Trust your parenting, allow the mistakes to happen and when you child falls, be there for him.  Love him, encourage him, hug him, and if he asks give him your honest opinion.  Express your concern.  Most importantly, respect his decision, hope and pray he is safe and doing what is right, and each day you can ask and get the answers you are asking about.  Because you aren't trying to dictate his life, giving him the freedom and protection both of you need.   

Isn't it always better to trust than to control?  If you trust you don't need to be strict.

More about this author: Nicole Herritt

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