Home Pregnancy & Parenting How is strict parenting equivalent to closed behaviour?

How is strict parenting equivalent to closed behaviour?

by Meghashree Das

Many parents are strict in their parenting. However, there is not a clear set of reasons behind this type of parenting style. Most people don’t know the full reasoning behind what we see as strict parenting. This article will explore some of the possible reasons for being strict and how it might lead to closed behavior.

It’s not always clear why a parent would be so harsh with their children, but sometimes it can be attributed to good intentions or history that has caused the parent to become overly protective and thereby setting up an expectation of closed behavior from their child. Some other times it could simply be outbursts in frustration that result from a chaotic home life, such as divorce or addiction problems within the family.

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Strict parenting is not too common in the United States, but it is visible in families who may have religious backgrounds or culture. The way the children are raised in these cultures allow them to be more “well-behaved.” It is not just because their parents are strict, but also because of the actions of the people around them growing up.

How do we know if a child is closed? Leach says that, “a closed person’s feelings are hidden from others and often even from him/herself” (Leach 1). This means that a closed person doesn’t share his/her true feelings or opinions with anyone else, making it hard for a close person to develop healthy relationships.

“He who knows what is right does not need to be told” (Delmore 29). In other words, to know right from wrong, a person needs personal experience. Many people struggle with the idea of being “taught,” therefore making it easier for closed behavior to be ingrained in their children. Therefore, even if a parent brings up the topic of being strict, it won’t get through to their child because the child has been taught already that he/she shouldn’t follow all of his/her parent’s rules.

How is the behaviour justified?

Leach says that when we can trust our own judgment and instincts as well as those of others, then we can have open behavior. This means that if parents have a closed behavior, while their child has an open behavior, it is a struggle for the parent to understand their child’s perspective or feelings.

The article also says that open and closed behavior patterns are not always linked to strict and lenient parenting. “There may be times when, despite being ‘strict’ with the children’s behavior or choices, the parents don’t become frustrated”. It is said that “the children become contented with such discipline”, therefore allowing for open behavior.

“Strictness [can] be detrimental to a child’s development of close relationships.” This is because it causes unhealthy or closed behaviors too many times. If a child is taught that it is not okay to express himself/herself, he/she will be unable to share in healthy relationships with other people.

Being “strict” with a child can be a parent’s direct attempts at teaching the child how to be independent or self-sufficient. Without this type of teaching, the child would not be able to find his/her own independence or be as successful in general. The end goal is for the parent to have raised a successful and happy adult, therefore needing to take away certain freedoms in order to teach their children how they should behave in society.