Ideas & Advice

I’m a parenting expert – the eight signs you’re being too strict on your kids

I'm a parenting expert - the eight signs you're being too strict on your kids
Written by Publishing Team

Have you ever wondered if you are being a little too strict with your child? When taken to extremes, being too strict can lead to long-term negative effects for your child.

It’s best to strike that balance between a strict and relaxed approach.


You might upset your kids more than you thinkCredit: Getty

Sophie Baron, founder of the Mamamade parenting platform, said: “I have learned so much about children and babies and how their brains develop, and I am constantly learning.

“It definitely helped me connect with my own kids and take away a lot of the anxiety about whether or not I’m doing the right thing. “

Here are eight signs, according to Sophie, that you may need to relax your parenting style:


It’s like you’re constantly harassed

Parental expert Sophie explained that if you feel like you’re constantly harassing or punishing your child, you might be acting too strict.

She said, “You can be disciplined for things that don’t necessarily need to.

“Of course, certain behaviors or actions are undesirable (spilling food on clothes or a rug, for example) but are not necessarily a reason to discipline or get angry.

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“Stop the cycle by finding the right one – challenge yourself not to criticize your child for an entire day, focusing on positive reinforcement instead. “

You expect perfection

“It can put unnecessary stress on your child and tell him that he is not acceptable the way he is,” explained parenting expert Sophie.

She encouraged parents to listen to their children and accept that they are their own person, as this in turn will help build their confidence.

The parenting expert added that a child who moves slowly to put on shoes in the morning does not do so to be irritating.

She explained, “They don’t necessarily do something wrong – ask yourself what you can do differently to support their uniqueness, because it can be about changing the routine more than anything else.”

You don’t trust your child to make choices on their own

If you don’t trust your child to make certain choices on their own, this could be a huge sign that you are being too strict with them.

The parenting expert explained that children should be empowered to take care of themselves and be independent, as they can trust their own voice and forge healthy relationships.

But if you find yourself deciding what to wear and how your child wears their hair, or forcing them to eat, for example, you might be overshooting.

Sophie said: “Boundaries are good – they help children feel safe. It might sound like “when we leave home we brush our teeth”.

“Controlling would be more like ‘when we go out of the house we have to wear a ponytail’ – ask yourself how important it is for you to be ‘straight’. “

You make your love feel like it’s conditional

You may find yourself humiliating or attacking your child (“what’s wrong with you!”), Which can seriously affect their self-esteem.

Sophie explained that it is important to set limits, not to make them.

For example, she revealed that a healthy thing a parent can say instead is, “I still love you, but I expect you to do X, Y, and Z.”

She said it focuses on their behavior and actions, rather than who they are.

Sophie added, “Children shouldn’t have to do or say anything in particular to win our love and affection.”

Your child is lying

If you catch your child lying or hiding things from you, it may be because you are being too strict.

Sophie said: “Some lies, especially in young children, are very normal – but if your child is completely reluctant to open up, they may fear harsh punishment.

“Being clear about what behaviors are acceptable and why or why not – setting clear limits – can help children feel safe.

“Reminding them that this is the behavior you don’t accept – and they don’t – can help them feel safer to share things about their day. “

you don’t often laugh

Children are a joy – if you allow yourself to enjoy it – but often strict parents are so focused on whether their children are doing the “right thing” that they forget to enjoy it, Sophie said. .

The parenting expert explained that laughing and making jokes with your little ones tells them that you enjoy their company and that you like being with them as they are – plus it’s good for your own well-being. !

She said: If you have a hard time with that, try putting on some funny music and being silly yourself. Your child will participate, or at least enjoy the spectacle of seeing his parents let go.

You find yourself saying “No” more than “Yes”

If you catch yourself saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’, ask yourself why you are so rigid, Sophie asked.

Allowing yourself to say “yes” to certain things – especially things that won’t hurt your child – can build trust between you and help improve your child’s self-esteem.

She added, “Ask yourself if you’re saying ‘no’ just to exercise your own power and control – and then say ‘yes’ if you can.”

You reward results rather than efforts

If you reward results rather than effort, it can create a “good” and a “bad” – and can raise children who are afraid of risk and afraid of failure, Sophie added.

This can create children who are often stressed and anxious and might suggest that you are being too strict a parent.

Sophie said: “Praise your child for the effort they put into something, no matter what the outcome.

“It helps build resilience and collaboration – two skills that will come in handy in life. “

The parenting expert said she wanted to remind parents that being a parent is hard work, and it can often seem like we get conflicting advice, for example, on maintaining your boundaries, but not setting too many.

But how can we help ourselves and our children when we have crossed the line?

Sophie explained that it’s important to be aware of your values ​​as a family – you may even want to write them down.

She said, “Then you can be sure that the limits and rules that you place on your children are in line with these values.

“If they aren’t, they might not need such a strict enforcement or could just be arbitrary.

“Often, as parents, we are strict or think that our children do not meet our expectations. .

“Ask yourself if there is anything else you are answering – or why you think being strict here is the right thing to do.

“Being radically aware of the choices we make when communicating is often enough to decide whether or not we are ‘too strict’ – there is no right or wrong, only what looks right for you and your children. . “

Praise your child for the effort they put into something, regardless of the outcome


Praise your child for the effort they put into something, regardless of the outcomeCredit: Getty
Boundaries are good - they help kids feel safe


Boundaries are good – they help kids feel safeCredit: Getty

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