Parenting should be based on the child’s chronological age–that is how old they are, their emotional age–that is how old they act and previous experiences with that particular child. If a parent is treating a child younger than they are, younger than they act or out of sync with the
child’s history of behavior and trustworthiness then the parent is likely being too strict.
Consequences should be small, linked to the behavior, and administered fairly close to the infraction for meaningful change in behavior. A long vague consequence like “Being grounded the whole summer for missing one curfew” is probably too strict. A first break in curfew might yield a small loss of privilege like use of family car and instead parent pick up until trust is restored.
Another sign of too strict parenting is absence of fun and/or healthy self-disclosure for the fear that it equals a loss of power. Parents often feel like they cannot let their hair down or share a part of their past for fear their children will “use it against them.” If you create a culture of
acceptance and respect your children will not need to use your self disclosure or honesty against you but rather use it to feel closer and more relatable to you.
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