All know that being a strict parent leads to a child who’s well adjusted and successful. In theory, though, it’s even harder. Being a harsh or controlling parent is no doubt not only hard but also it tends to clash with natural parental instincts to nurture, protect, and coddle child. The problem is that parents have a difficult time figuring out how they can be strict when they don’t know where the good ideas come from and how to trust them. Here are some tips to help you be a better strict parent and still have plenty of time for your kids:
Be consistent – Being consistent means encouraging your children to act their best. It also means rewarding good behavior so that your children know that good behavior will bring rewards. Children will learn more from consistency than punishment, and self-esteem will grow with consistent but flexible parenting.
Put kids first – Being a strict parent doesn’t mean acting like a disciplinarian. Don’t yell and scream at your kids for the most trivial of mistakes, for heaven’s sake! The truth is that children pick up on your emotional cues and behavior patterns, so if you act badly towards them, they pick up on it too. Remember to find the humor in everyday life and be patient when it’s brought up by your kids. It may be pretty ridiculous for you to think that four pages of text in a book is a huge deal, but they’re not going to be able to read the 4 pages of text in a book, either.
Stick to certain rules – Don’t make exceptions for your kids. Some parents have the belief that if they’re going to be strict, then they have to be unreasonable. This is especially untrue, as children need structure just like adults do. Kids want to know who they can trust and depend on, not who is only willing to follow a set of rules. A good rule of thumb is to say that if you are going to be strict, you should stick to those rules.
Find a balance – Just as it’s hard to be a good spouse parent, it’s even harder being a good parent or child to parent. Kids from both sets of parents react very strongly to the level of discipline that their parents display. If you are the strict type but still love your kids, be sure to give them some flexibility.
Let consequences motivate you – Sometimes it’s just impossible to let go of your own consequences. That’s why I recommend that you start using consequences in parenting. Children are motivated to do what is right by the fear of some kind of punishment. You should use consequences, like the others I’ve described above, to get your kids to follow your disciplinary policies.