14 Signs That You're TOO Strict With Your Kids
Unfortunately for some kids, having mommy around feels like standing defenseless in a boxing ring. Mommy’s wayyyy too rigid about anything and everything and she never stops throwing the punches around.
I would be the first to agree that every kid needs some measure of ‘strict’. But when mommies take ‘strict’ to a whole new level altogether, then there is a problem.
Have you ever wondered if you belong to the described category of overly strict moms? Or have you been accused of being one? Well, check out these signs I dug up from webmd.com’s parenting column…
1. You make too many rules.
Nancy Darling, PhD, a psychology professor at Oberlin College, says, “It’s a sign that you are too strict for everyone’s good if you set so many rules that you can’t possibly enforce them all.” Instead, she says, set fewer rules and be consistent in reinforcing them. “Follow-through,” Darling says, “is really important.”
2. Your threats are over the top.
For example, you tell your kid that you will destroy all his toys if he doesn’t behave. Then imagine your kid defiantly saying, ‘fine!’ What do you then do? Certainly not destroy all his toys! Hence, you have only taught him to misbehave again because mommy doesn’t mean what she says.
3. Your love is conditional (or your words make it sound that way).
When your kid misbehaves, why not say stuffs like “I love you, but I expect you to behave in this way,” or, “I know you can do better.'” AND not stuffs like ‘You are garbage if you don’t behave in this way.'”
4. You don’t watch your words.
It’s not just how you say it; it’s what you say. Even if your tone is measured, your words matter. Note that calm voices can also say mean things
5. You don’t put in the time.
When you ask your children to do something difficult, don’t just order them to do it. Work alongside them instead.
6. You are always the cop, nag, monitor, or reminder.
“If these are the mainstays of your relationship to the exclusion of other things that one could and should do as a parent, you may be too strict,” psychologist Ron Taffel, author of Childhood Unbound, says.
7. Your child leaves you out.
If your kid rarely includes you in the things that matter to him, then there must be something you’re doing wrong.
8. Your children don’t bring their friends over.
“Kids want rules, and all kids will gravitate to a house with rules,” Taffel says. “But if you spend your time reminding children about the rules, criticizing your child in front of other kids, and asking too many probing questions, your kids may stop bringing their friends by.
9. Your child is seen and not heard.
“In the 21st century — with kids tweeting and Facebooking everything — they expect to be heard,” Taffel says, adding that you’re too strict if you don’t give your kids an opportunity each day to state their opinion. “You don’t have to agree with them or do what they are saying,” he says. “But you should allow them the time to say it.”
10. Your child is all work and no play.
Taffel says, “Kids need comfort time and downtime to synthesize what they have learned. If they are filled with skills, knowledge, and information that they can’t use and are just learning for the sake of learning, their brains end up like sponges absorbing things, but they have no idea what it all means.”
11.You are the only one.
“Find out what other parents are doing,” Taffel says. “When no other parents are doing the same exact thing as you — such as not allowing your children to go online even with parental supervision — you may be too strict.” Notice the ‘may’?
12. The rules are the rules, no questions asked.
“You have to have rules in place,” Short says. “There have to be clear, consistent rules because it helps with predictability and expectations. But there also needs to be some wiggle room in special situations.” Also, it;s not enough for your rules to be clear to your kids. The reasons behind them must be equally clear as well.
13. If you are authoritarian not authoritative.
There’s a difference, Short says. Authoritative parents set clear expectations and can be hard on their kids. But they do it out of warmness and concern for a child’s betterment, whereas authoritarian parents say, “It’s my way or the highway.” Authoritarian parents, Strong says, are “controlling and not warm. An authoritative parent is age-appropriately controlling and also warm.”
14. You are as cold as ice.
“Nobody cares if parents are tough as long as they are warm,” Short says. The problem, she says, is “when you are tough and cold.”