When your child is up to mischief, what is your usual response? Do you remove their TV time? Give them a time out?
What do you do if your child isn’t doing well in school? Do you ground them?
Every parent has their own way to discipline their child during times when they rebel or do something wrong. But, some parents tend to go overboard with their disciplining.
So, how do you know if your actions are too much?
Here are 10 signs that you are becoming too strict with your kids and how to work against it.
Your Rules are too much
It is ok to set rules to keep everything in order and ensure everyone gets their share or some peace and quiet. But, if you keep adding new rules to the point they overlap each other and you cannot enforce them all, step back!
Cut down the rules you have and be consistent when it comes to making sure everyone follows them. Keep the list of rules on your refrigerator or on their bedroom wall to help your child take note of them.
Don’t have 101 rules either. Keep the rules simple and easy to follow. It will be easier for you to remember them too!
You are Overstepping Your Boundaries as a Parent
Parents should always set rules on how well your child should do in school, how they should act in front of others and react to safety issues. But, they must not get involved with personal issues.
It is often a cause for debate for parents and children on which issues are classified as personal issues, safety issues or moral issues. Set the boundaries with your child on which issues you should get involved with.
For example, some parents may ban hip-hop or rock music because it has explicit music. But, for kids, it’s their music preference and how they relate to it.
I’m pretty sure you thought classic symphony is for old people when you are a teen!
You sometimes say words you don’t mean due to Your Emotions
Sometimes, our emotions get the better of us and we end up saying things we didn’t mean. Kids are very perceptive when this happens and what you say will affect their mindset.
Don’t use swear word in the moment of anger and yet, punish your child when he uses those words in a fit of anger.
The best solution? Walk away to calm yourself down and return to your child only when you can control your emotions.
You do not Give Time to Your Kids
If there’s a difficult task you like your child to do, don’t order them to do it on their own. Take some time to help them with the task and guide them through every step.
One mistake that parents always fell for is we tend to rush our children in doing things to our expectation in our perceived time. If they are clumsy or slow, we ended up doing their tasks for them, instead of giving time for them to catch up.
A good example would be you rushing your child to put on his shoes before taking him to school. Instead of letting him tie his own shoelaces, you tie it for him in order to get out of the house in time.
What you could have done is to set aside enough time to anticipate that your child will be slow in tying his shoelaces.
You like to Play the Cop, Nag and Remind
It is normal for parents to act as the mediator, reminder and guardian for kids. But, if you are always in the case of your child and don’t give them some breathing space, you are being too strict.
Step back and allow your children to make mistakes and to learn from them on their own. The only supervision required is for their safety.
Your Child Cannot Voice Out Their Opinions
With the advent of social media, it becomes an avenue for children to make their voice heard. But, if you do not allow your children to use social media or any other avenue to speak out their opinions, it is too much.
While you may not agree to everything they are saying, you should give them the space to speak out.
Same goes to setting rules, your family can come together as a whole to decide what kind of rules works for both parties. Trust me, this really works!
Your Child don’t Play, only Work
Everyone deserves to have a break from work, especially kids. Break time will let the kids assess what they have learnt.
If they only have skills, information and knowledge they cannot hone, they would not be able to understand what they are all about. They will just suck in information and not know what to do with it.
You Forbid Almost Anything
Is no your favourite word? Neither is your kid’s.
If you forbid anything, your child will end up too afraid to try anything new without seeking your permission. This also means they will not be able to evaluate situations and balance out the risks.
Give this a go. Before you forbid anything, tell your child the reason you are uncomfortable and allow him to come to the conclusion that you forbidding him to do a certain thing is for his safety.
Your child can’t fight Against Your Rules and Question Them
Rules are present to ensure that your expectations are met and keep everything in check. It has to be clear, easy to remember and it must also have some leeway where your child can use on certain occasions.
For example, your child went out and has a curfew but couldn’t go home on time because his bus is late. Screaming at him for being 5 minutes late is not going to teach him anything but to fear your wrath.
Your child needs to be able to get some flexibility with your rules and feel comfortable to ask your help if they can’t follow the rules as you want to. We all sometimes need to bend rules along the way, don’t we?
You are Authoritarian rather than Authoritative
Authoritative parents are those who can be a bit hard on their kids because they have high expectations for them. But, they set these expectations out of love for their child.
They would still remain warm and approachable despite the rules and expectations they give to their child.
Meanwhile, authoritarian parents are those who say to their kids they have to do what they want or else. This type of parents is controlling and they tend to be cold with their children.
Children cannot fight against what their parents want or else they will face severe punishment.
As a parent, it is important that our kids grow up to be model citizens and behave when with other people.
Disciplining our kids while they are young can help them go in the right direction, but we must not be too strict. If we become too strict, our child may become too scared of us and find it difficult to share or bond with us.
Know where your boundaries are and speak with your child about your rules and your disciplining method. Adjust your methods as you go along if you see you are being too strict with your kids.
With a little effort, you will still be able to discipline your child without losing their trust.
For more parenting articles, you may be interested in these:
5 Reasons Why Helicopter Parenting Is A Bad Idea
6 Ways Singaporean Parents Are Ruining Their Kids’ Confidence