Dealing with the Super Strict Parent: The Realities and Ramifications of Overly Strict Parenting

Navigating the realm of parenting, we often encounter a spectrum of approaches. At one end, we have the super strict parents; at the other, the overly permissive.

This article delves deep into the realm of strict parenting, dissecting its effects on children, and exploring the nuances of the parent-child relationship within such dynamics.

If you’ve ever been curious about the impact of strict rules or wondered if being too strict can harm a child’s development, this is a must-read!

What Defines a Strict Parent?

A strict parent often follows a parenting style characterized by high expectations, rigid rules, and often, harsh discipline.

These parents insist on following set guidelines, and deviations are rarely tolerated.

Although being strict can be seen as a form of love – where parents want their children to succeed – it’s essential to differentiate between being strict for a child’s benefit and being domineering.

Is There a Fine Line Between Strict and Overly Strict?

Certainly. While many parents maintain strict rules to ensure their child’s safety and well-being, there’s a line where strictness can morph into authoritarian parenting.

Authoritarian parents often exert control, even when it’s detrimental to the parent-child relationship. Overly strict parents may inadvertently stifle their child’s ability to question authority or feel confident in their decisions.

What’s the Effect of Strict Parenting on Children?

Research shows that children raised with an authoritarian parenting style may experience low self-esteem, behavior problems, and even mental health issues.

Strict parental style often puts enormous pressure on children, leading to performance anxiety in school and other areas of their lives.

Why are Some Parents So Strict?

Parents may adopt a strict parenting strategies because of cultural norms, personal upbringing, or out of fear for their child’s safety.

Many parents believe that by setting high standards, they’re ensuring their child’s future success. While there’s nothing wrong with expecting excellence, it’s also important to let kids be kids.

Permissive Vs Super Strict Parents: Which is Parenting Style is Better?

Strict parents usually set clear boundaries and expectations, while permissive parents are more flexible.

Neither is categorically “better,” but a balance between strict and responsive parenting might yield the best results for child development.

How to Deal with Strict Parents: Tips for Teens and Young Adults

Navigating the waters of a relationship with super strict parents can be challenging, especially for teenagers and young adults craving independence and self-expression.

However, understanding their perspective, open communication, and mutual respect can pave the way to a healthier relationship. Here’s how:

1. Open Dialogue:

  • Initiating Conversation: Start by sitting down with your parents during a calm moment. Choosing the right time and setting can make a big difference. It’s essential to approach them when they’re in a receptive mood.
  • Express Your Feelings: Use “I” statements to prevent sounding accusatory. Instead of saying, “You never let me go out!”, you might say, “I feel restricted when I’m not allowed to hang out with my friends.”
  • Ask for their Perspective: This can give you insight into their reasoning. Many strict parents often have concerns about safety, peer influence, or fear that you may make mistakes.

2. Negotiation and Compromise:

  • Set Boundaries: While your parents have rules, it’s also important for you to have boundaries. Express what you’re comfortable with and what you believe is unreasonable.
  • Propose Solutions: If the strict rule is about a curfew, for instance, propose a trial period of a later curfew or suggest regular check-ins to ease their worries.
  • Demonstrate Maturity: Showing responsibility can be a game-changer. When parents see that you’re capable of making sound decisions, they might become more lenient.

3. Seek Mediation:

  • If conversations always lead to conflict, consider involving a neutral third party. This could be a family counselor, a trusted family friend, or a school counselor. They can provide an unbiased perspective and help mediate the conversation.

4. Empathy and Understanding:

  • Walk in their Shoes: Understand that many strict parents operate from a place of love, concern, and sometimes, their own upbringing or societal pressures.
  • Acknowledge their Concerns: Even if you don’t agree, recognizing their worries can make them feel validated and more open to hearing your side.

5. Self-Care and Support:

  • Lean on your Support System: Talk to friends, siblings, or others who understand your situation. They can provide comfort, perspective, and sometimes, solutions you hadn’t considered.
  • Stay Calm and Avoid Rebellion: Rebelling or responding with anger often reinforces a strict parent’s belief that you’re not mature enough to make decisions. It’s essential to stay calm, even when discussions become heated.

6. Work on Building Trust:

  • Trust is often at the core of many restrictions. Regularly demonstrating that you’re responsible, reliable, and trustworthy can slowly change their perceptions and rules.
  • Stay Honest: Even if it might lead to a disagreement, being truthful in the long run helps in building trust. If you break it, it can be challenging to rebuild.

While dealing with super strict parents can be tough, it’s crucial to remember that most parents want the best for their children.

The key lies in bridging the communication gap and finding a balance where both parties feel understood and respected. And remember, even if it seems tough now, family dynamics evolve over time

Authoritarian vs. Authoritative Parenting Revisited

Authoritative parents, unlike their authoritarian counterparts, set clear expectations but are also responsive to their child’s needs.

Research suggests that children raised with authoritative parenting fare better emotionally and socially.

Tips on How to Be an Authoritative Parent Instead of a Strict (Authoritarian) Parent

Authoritative parenting is a balanced approach that emphasizes warmth, understanding, and setting clear boundaries. Here are some tips to cultivate an authoritative style:

  1. Open Dialogue: Encourage open communication where your child feels safe to share their feelings and concerns without judgment.
  2. Set Clear Expectations: While setting boundaries is crucial, ensure they are fair and understandable.
  3. Be Consistent, But Flexible: Stick to the rules you’ve set, but be willing to adjust them as your child grows and situations change.
  4. Encourage Independence: Allow your child to make decisions appropriate for their age and maturity level. This fosters independence and critical thinking.
  5. Use Positive Discipline: Instead of punishing mistakes, use them as teaching moments. Help your child understand the consequences of their actions and find better solutions.
  6. Show Empathy: Validate your child’s feelings. Even if you don’t agree, letting them know that their emotions are valid fosters emotional intelligence.
  7. Lead by Example: Display the behavior you wish to see in your child. They’re more likely to mimic what you do rather than what you say.
  8. Give Praise Where It’s Due: Celebrate your child’s achievements and efforts. This boosts their confidence and reinforces positive behavior.

The Pros and Cons of Setting High Standards

While high standards can motivate a child, they can also lead to feelings of inadequacy if they are unattainable.

Parents should ensure their expectations are realistic, encouraging, and foster a positive parent-child relationship.

Here is a table for pros and cons for each parenting style.

Parenting Style Pros Cons
Authoritarian (Strict) – Structure and Discipline: Children always know the rules and what’s expected of them. – Suppresses Emotional Expression: Children may feel they can’t express disagreement or negative emotions.
– Clear Boundaries: Limits are clearly defined, which can offer a sense of security. – Can Lead to Low Self-esteem: High standards without adequate support can affect a child’s self-worth.
– Possible Strained Parent-Child Relationship: The child may feel less warmth and trust towards the parent.
– Potential for Rebellion: Stringent rules might lead to secretive behavior or outright rebellion in teenage years.
Authoritative – Balanced Approach: Children experience discipline alongside warmth and understanding. – Requires More Effort: This style requires a balance of discipline and understanding, which can be demanding.
– Encourages Critical Thinking: Children are allowed to think for themselves, fostering independence. – Possible Misinterpretation: Some might see the flexibility as inconsistency in parenting.
– Strong Parent-Child Relationship: A foundation of trust and mutual respect often leads to a closer bond. – May Not Always Work: Some children might need clearer boundaries, and a one-size-fits-all approach might not be

The Mental and Emotional Ramifications of Strict Parenting Style

Strict parenting can lead to resentment, rebellion, and mental health problems in children.

A child whose parents are strict may feel they can never meet their parents’ high expectations and suffer from low self-esteem as a result.

Can Strict Parenting Produce Better-Behaved Kids?

While many believe that strict parenting produces better-behaved kids, it’s vital to understand that discipline should be balanced with understanding and responsiveness.

Rigid rules without compassion can strain the parent-child relationship.

In Summary:

  • Strict Parenting: Can be beneficial but can also lead to unintended negative outcomes if overly rigid.
  • Authoritarian vs. Authoritative: Both involve setting expectations, but the latter balances it with responsiveness.
  • High Standards: Motivate but can also pressurize. Balance is key.
  • Mental and Emotional Impact: Overly strict parenting can lead to resentment, low self-esteem, and other issues.
  • Balanced Approach: The goal should always be a positive parent-child relationship and the child’s overall well-being.

Remember, every child is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all parenting manual. Understanding the nuances of various parenting styles can help parents make informed decisions for their children’s best interests.



What is the main difference between authoritarian and authoritative parenting?

Authoritarian parenting is a strict parenting style marked by high demands and low responsiveness, often leading to rigid rules and harsh discipline.

On the other hand, authoritative parenting is characterized by high demands balanced with high responsiveness, fostering a nurturing and supportive parent-child relationship.

Why do some parents adopt an overly strict parenting style?

Many parents adopt a strict parenting style due to cultural norms, their personal upbringing, or out of concern for their child’s safety.

They often believe that setting high standards ensures their child’s success, or performance in school though it’s crucial to differentiate between beneficial strictness and domineering control.

Can children raised with strict parenting suffer from low self-esteem?

Yes, research shows that children raised under authoritarian parenting tend to experience low self-esteem.

The pressure from high expectations without adequate support or understanding can affect a child’s self-worth.

How can teenagers and young adults deal with a strict parent effectively?

Open communication is vital. Teens and young adults should express their feelings and concerns. In more challenging situations, seeking advice from a professional counselor or mediator can help.

It’s also essential for young people to practice empathy and try to understand their parents’ perspectives.

Is there any benefit to having strict rules and high expectations for children?

While setting clear boundaries and expectations can provide and structure structure and discipline, it’s essential to balance strict rules and structure with understanding and compassion.

Research indicates that children raised with a combination of strict and responsive parenting tend to fare better in various aspects of life.




This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.