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The Effects of Strict Parenting

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Growing into Sophistication…Does Strict Parenting Allow it? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Isaac Newton’s words are the perfect parallel of strict parenting. There is not ONE simple, dictionary definition of ‘strict parents’, however, when asking children to describe these parents, almost all the interpretations are negative; strict parents are ‘selfish’, ‘oppressive’, and ‘uptight’-basically straight out mean. Now these may seem like a bias perspective of a fussy 8 year old, or a hormonal teenager who doesn’t know what’s right for him, however they are right to jump to the conclusion that authoritarian parenting is substandard. Strict parenting can account for the child not developing on its own. Later on in life, they might not know how to handle the world, because they weren’t exposed to it as a child on account of the artificial environment and limitations set by their parents. And finally, in trying to force all the rules and regulations, strict parents flip their children from the well-behaved prodigies they envisioned to a trouble-making, rebellious child. Parents never want to see their children grow up too fast, so they think it’s a good idea to restrict what they’re allowed to do, and force their kids to fully rely on them. What they don’t realize is how bad their raising their children. As teenagers are raised to rely on only their parents, they develop no self-confidence, which can force them into abusive relationships. 70% of abusive relationships also involve the guy pressuring the girl into prostitution; the first act of prostitution, on average, takes place at age 14 (B). Because they lack the self-confidence to stand up for themselves, or to alert their parents of the situation, these girls just have to be violated, or beaten because they were raised not to question the system. However, strict parents are too narrow-minded to see the negative aspect of raising a “perfect” child. A football player’s snicker is cut short when the pretty birthday girl saunters over to the kid that doesn’t talk to anyone and hands him a pink, perfume-laced invitation with a smooth and cheeky “hope you can make it!” The kid looks up in surprise. What is he feeling right now? Confused is a good answer. He is one of the socially awkward kids that never goes anywhere because his strict parents keep him on a short leash. This student doesn’t know what to do. Should he go? What should he wear? Should he even bother asking his parents if he can go? As these questions flood through his mind, when it dawns on him-he has no outside life. His parents had always forced him through school, and then made him come straight home. Nothing different. No variation. They wouldn’t allow variation. Emotions flood his mind: anger, disdain, hatred towards his parents for not teaching him the necessary life skills. It forces him into a deep, spiraling hole of depression. 30%-40% of depression cases develop in teenagers that feel trapped in their lives (C). He realizes he will forever be stuck as the socially awkward kid. Now, because his parents believed it would be a good idea to keep him from experiencing life, this poor teenager now has to suffer from the awkwardness, and the lack of knowledge of what to do in life; Not to mention the anxiety and depression that comes along with it. The main goal that strict parents strive for is to have kids that listen to their every word, and don’t ever disobey them. Nevertheless, this is exactly the opposite of what really ends up happening. The kids turn full circle and develop into rule-breakers. Studies show the strictness of parents is directly correlated with children’s’ decision-making: the stricter the parents, the poorer choices their kids make (A). This is logical if you think about it. If a teenager wants to go to his friends house, but his parents are always telling him no, he will end up doing something much worse, maybe going to a party with drugs and alcohol. In a teenagers mind, they believe that if they do something so much worse than what they weren’t allowed to do in the beginning, their parents will see that what they originally wanted doesn’t seem so bad now. Juvenile facilities report that they take in just as many kids with parents that are uptight as kids with parents who don’t care at all (D). These statistics show that the overprotectivness of parents isn’t effective, if anything, it’s counterproductive! Basically, teenagers under this “protection” aren’t given the right to exercise their decision making skills, and all kids between the start of puberty and the age of 17 believe their parents are wrong, so they will be twice as likely to rebel from the authority and make the wrong decisions. While, in a parent’s mind, being strict on their children will raise a well behaved, successful kid, this isn’t reality. As a matter of fact, it actually has a negative effect on the child. Not only is the child not able to develop on its own, or make its own decisions, but the kid raised under strict parenting might also grow up being more rebellious and more problematic than if its parents hadn’t made such a big deal.
MY SOURCES!

A- Andrew J. Fuligni and Jacquelynne S. Eccles in The American Psychological Assosiation INC.

B- Seamist, a major in Biology and B.S. in Environmental Science

C- Abramson, Lyn Y in Developmental Psychology

D- Article: The Study of the Teenage Mind

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