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Stricter is Better?: Being Raised by Strict Parents Leads to Efficient Adults

Stricter is BetterThinking back to high school, the memory of asking parents – “can I go over so & so’s house?” The answer for many was always, “do I know their parents,” or “can I speak with their parents?” etc.

Being considered ‘strict’ in ones parenting style can either have positive or negative effects on the child’s development, and how the child is integrated into the work force. On one hand, strictness instills adult-like morals and standards in children. On the other hand, strictness in child development can be negative because it makes children more rebellious or angrier.

Looking at strict parenting from a beneficial standpoint, some would say that it creates self-discipline, establishes the idea of responsibility and accountability, and also instills some sort of fear in that child to never want to disobey.

Christen Piersanti, a junior criminal justice student, explained her experience growing up, and how she believes it positively influenced her adulthood: “I was the youngest of three, so I wouldn’t say my parents were super strict, but they definitely laid the law down most times. Some examples of rules always set in place are, curfews, the people I hung out with, and my grades.”

Piersanti also stated, “My parents set expectations for me to achieve, which some people might think is absurd, but it gave me something to work towards – and something to achieve. I feel like their parenting style has affected me in such a positive way.”

“From little things, like making my bed every morning when I wake up, to bigger things like the curfew instilling in me to never be late; I think it has all prepared me for what is ahead and I hope to raise my children one day in the same type of way,” Piersanti continued.

While strict parenting may instill these great habits, there is also the side of this argument that claims that strict parenting can be extremely detrimental to a children’s psychological state. An article from Livestrong.com argues this idea by stating, “control-freak parents often make every decision for their children and refuse to let them take on age-appropriate responsibilities. As a result, children despise their parent’s unfair and domineering behavior, and feel like they have no room to spread their wings.”

Dr. Janice Stapley, Departmental Advising Coordinator for the Psychology department, said, “there are so many variables that affect how we live our lives as adults, but certainly parenting has an influence.”

“In psychology literature, Diana Baumrind’s work on parenting styles suggests that there are two dimensions of parenting ‘Demandingness’ (whether parents have high expectations for their children’s behavior) and responsiveness (whether parents are attuned to the individual needs of their child and his or her developmental status- some things are reasonable to limit for a toddler, but not an adolescent, and they are sensitive to the child’s cues, emotional state, temperament, etc.),” she continued.

“Two ‘parenting styles’ that come out of the combination of these are ‘authoritarian’ (low responsiveness, but demanding) and ‘authoritative’ (high responsiveness and demanding -- they are known for giving an explanation for rules)” Stapley added.

Stapley explained that in mainstream American society, the latter style of parenting has had the result of adults who are able to be self-sufficient and goal oriented. Authoritarian parents have been known to produce adults who are more susceptible to the rebellious culture and in turn, not as self-sufficient.

This can easily be seen in students who move away to college and away from home for the first time. More often than not, it is the student with the strictest parents who are the wildest when they get a small taste of freedom. In contrast, the students that had the parents who were mildly strict, but allowed for expressive freedom, tend to be less wild and more goal-oriented.

Coral Cooper, a senior English student, was raised in a strict environment. "In public situations, I tend to speak quieter because I've grown up to respect other people's voices and opinons over mine."

It is interesting to see different viewpoints on different types of parenting. It makes one wonder how they might raise their future children in the future, and also it might open some eyes to how the way they were parented affects them daily. Behaviors and attitudes that were instilled in children at a young age undoubtedly cascade through everyday life in the future.

PHOTO TAKEN by Alexandria Afanador

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