Which parenting style is better – strict or lenient?

A picture by James Wheeler

Today as the world changes gradually I see a lot of communication going on between parents and children, parents are ready to nurture and hold the little one’s precious little hands at every hurdle of life. Earlier in my days me and my parents never spoke about any topic under the sun which makes me think which of the two generations is doing a good job – are we millennials parents taking up the game a notch higher and just talking and talking to our children even on topics where it is not required or were our parents right by not attending to every little hunch.

Well I remember in my household showing affection or even talking about it (I for sure don’t remember the last time my father hugged me LOL as am sure you won’t either) was a rare scene and now there are tons and tons of books being written on how to show affection to your child for their proper cognitive development. As babies parents tend to overflow their love on them with kisses and hugs and as soon as they grow up the awkward gap just grows and grows until it becomes a generation gap where nobody understands each other (although everyone is talking the same thing) with periodic bouts of shouting and yelling.

And before you think of something – YES I was grown in a perfectly happy family and am sure you also resonate to some of these occasional bouts although very few admit to it because we all are apparently living in a world where it becomes imperative to assure yourself and others all the time that you are happy instead of dealing with the elephant in the room.

So all this rumination followed by a lot of reading, talking, research and a few podcasts led me to think which style of parenting I am going to adapt – should I be more like my parents vis-à-vis Strict or lenient like many millennial parents are in today’s age.

  • Research says parenting style has a profound effect on a child’s brain. We are their role models and how we behave or carry ourselves become their stepping stones to adulthood. Strict Parenting is more common in China or East and it means parents have the complete authority and defying them can lead to punishments or terrible consequences.

From time and again we have seen Asians produce many Maths and science geniuses which is attributed to the strict parenting followed, tight schedules  and never-ending high expectations of the parents.

Talking about the disadvantages research says that these kids lack creativity and imagination – naturally because they are jumping from one subject to another without having any time for themselves and many of them show signs of psychological problems like depression and anxiety.

  • A term known as Permissive Parenting emerged which was more common in the west and even though it was lenient but it avoided confrontation, here the parents are more concerned about their child’s self-esteem rather than their academic excellence. Many of the examples of this kind of parenting are Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg who had the ability to think creatively and be the masters of their own fate.

The main con of this kind of parenting is when parents are not there to talk or for confrontation kids generally seek out to talk to their peers for guidance and influence which might or might not turn into a good source of life direction. They also turn out to be weaklings who do not possess the abilities to work hard and strive for more in this competitive and tough world.

A Smiling Child
  • Now let’s talk about Balanced Parenting for which I am all in. The best part about this kind of parenting is it’s a mix of both strict and lenient parenting.

Think about it, your child is just a miniature version of yourself so just follow through what or how you would like to be spoken to or persuaded. What will make you happy or sad, agreed that you do not own your child and they might be a different version of you or your partner but you are there somewhere in them so you need to figure out a way or skill to make things happen while all the way your child feels content and valued.

Every child is different and we have heard it a thousand times and it even means siblings showing totally different traits. So observe your child – do they show potential on their own (Momma you are in luck if she is a prodigy!), wait for signs of her talent or interest in any particular field before shoving down some book under her throat, with genuine interest your child will not feel the work hard at all – combine fun with work.

As parents, your job is not to hold them back because you made some mistakes in your teenage years and presuming that they might also fall into the same trap is lame. Your job as a parent is to get their back if they fall down, show them that you will always be there for them. Encourage them to try out new things but teach them not to step into deep waters with both their legs.  That could lead to drowning. So before trying out anything let them read and do their research and are still convinced that they love it and want to pursue it.

A picture by Issac Quaseda

Help them how to make a decision rather than make a decision for them.

You can never fall short on hugs and kisses (sure they might feel embarrassed when they are teenagers but they will love you more when they turn into parents or be of your age).

Nurture your kids like you would nurture a business client. We spend hours and hours of our lives on clients and money which are tangible assets, instead invest in your kids emotionally, socially, intellectually and you will have a very happy life.

Set Limits. Talk to them about your decisions rather than direct verbal commands. Set and discuss age-appropriate limits for your kids.

Whatever parenting style you choose, be sure not to do these two mistakes – Over-Parenting and please don’t become the “helicopter mom”.

Hope you liked the article, comment and let me know.

Signing off!

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