The method of strict parenting came up for debate in January 2011, when Amy Chua wrote a book called "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” detailing her uber-strict method of parenting her daughters for excellence. Among her methods included discipline for any grade below an A, no TV or computer games, no play dates and no room for negotiation. While some critics view Chua's methods as harsh, strict parenting has experienced a resurgence in an age of child-led discipline and permissive parents. Before you choose a strict method of parenting for your children, consider both the positive and the negative effects that you'll likely deal with.
Disciplining Your Child
By setting the bar for your expectations high, your child knows what's acceptable and what isn't in your eyes, notes Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D. When you raise your child with strict expectations, you can expect to see a greater degree of discipline. Not only does this discipline affect your child interacts with you, but it might also extend to the way he approaches school work, spending time with friends and eventually even apply that discipline to a career. If you have high expectations for your child, a strict method helps spell out those expectations to get results.
Not all children respond well to a high degree of strictness in the home. If your child is not used to complete discipline or does better with making his own decision, he could rebel when you attempt to lay down strict rules and regulations. That rebellion becomes a constant struggle, especially when your child goes out of his way to be oppositional. If you already have a rebellious child, strict parenting could make the situation worse, so tread carefully and take your child's temperament into consideration.
Some children crave both consistency and rules to function properly and you supply both of those when you choose a strict method of parenting. When you strictly enforce the rules in your home, your child knows what to expect and feels secure that he can predict your reaction to certain types of behavior. While rules are hard to follow for some children, if you know that your child thrives on the consistency of rules and punishment, strict parenting makes for an ideal fit for both you and your child.
Choosing How to Parent
While your method of parenting should be a private matter between you, your partner and your child, social backlash for being a strict parent could derail your progress. In some cases, methods of strict parenting could even be seen as abuse. Like Chua discovered after forums, blogs and websites criticized her parenting methods, strict parenting isn't for everyone. When you create rules that are strictly enforced in the face of various social situations, expect to experience some backlash. That backlash affects both you and your child, especially if he feels ostracized by his peers because he can't participate in certain activities. Still, the method of discipline you choose should be discussed at length with your partner and your child to choose what works best for you.
- TODAY; 'Tiger Mother' Explains her Strict Parenting; Amy Chua
- "The New York Times"; A Court Rules Dad Is Too Strict; Lisa Belkin; January 2011
- Ruth Peters: Involved Parenting
- "I'll Be the Parent, You Be the Child: Encourage Excellence, Set Limits and Lighten Up"; Paul Kropp; 2001