Are you too strict with your child?

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5 Warning Signs That You Just Might Be Too Strict in Disciplining Your Kid

Is your baby not an actual “baby” anymore? Are you parents who are stuck in the middle between being traditional or new age when it comes to implementing discipline and fostering good behavior for your kid? Singapore just may be one of the toughest places for anyone to bring up their children in. The pressures of fitting into criteria set up any education establishments, or your common social norms, trying to bring up your children in certain ways your parents did for you, as they might have enforced their values and still continue to do with current parents having their young ones. Mix parentings coming from grandparents and parents might be confusing for newer aged parents and their kids.

What are the measures local parents take if their kids are being difficult or just plain naughty? We surely at some point or another have encountered our pioneer generation elders making passing comments stating that our generation have it easier, children these are spoiled. However, it happens, in our own experiences we would see our older generation still being strict and traditional with their children (who are new generation parents), and yet being a different more lenient way with their grandchildren, as they are their little gems of the family’s bloodline, happy hope for the future to come!

There are no straight set rules with the ways you can discipline your own child. However, there is a fine thin line between what is technically wrong or right. What might work 10 to 20 years ago, possibly will not work now with current social standings. With such parent dilemmas, can they identify when one being an overly strict parent? When is one actually going over your boundaries?

Here are 5 warning signs that parents might come across more than once, and if so, perhaps take this opportunity and try a healthier approach, by taking a moment during such happenings to reevaluate if you are going too far, and if this is right path in disciplining your child.

  1. You threaten, name-call or just being overly verbally abusive.

Threatening with blackmail or physical attraction, yelling at them in a violent crazy way and calling them names, these done constantly may have an emotional impact, and can even cause emotional trauma which might eventually affect their social kills and how they perform academically wise. Putting your kids down, insulting and calling them using negative words like “stupid”, “ugly”, “useless”, or throwing threats that you will physically abuse them will affect their self-esteem and may not give you the foundation for the trust needed to form healthy relationships between you and them, or with others in the near future. Comparing them with others, withholding your affection and love from your child and showing love only when they are behaving good or do well in school can cause deeper feelings of anxiety to make them feel inadequate, like they aren’t good enough for you and maybe for others too.

  1. Too many rules, expectations that is causing you to be overbearing and controlling

No doubt parents need to have rules in place, it helps with predictability and expectations. However, forbidding your younger kids to have a certain treat, or for the older children, not having any wiggle room for certain situations. Like for example, not letting your kid play Pokémon go! with their friends, because as controlling parent might be overly concerned on the negative effects of such gaming apps that includes accidents. However, the game is being played worldwide and your kid might feel very left out if he or she is not in the loop. There is always a way to meet a happy medium, such as playing the game in a safe environment or under supervision. Many of these rules add up and as a parent you probably think it would easier to have things under controlled however you can’t possibly control everything. “Set fewer rules, be consistent in reinforcing them, following through, is really important.” Said Nancy Darling, a PhD psychology professor.

  1. Your overly controlling attitude and demanding rules over step your parental boundaries.
There are your basic common rules parents can and should set, like how a child should treat others (common courtesy, how they should act) how he or she does in school, and even controlling or putting strict rules on certain things that might threaten their safety emotionally, mentally and physically. But rules that concern certain personal issues, like a prime example, if your kid’s picking up a fun activity but you choosing what they should do instead. Be it the type of instruments they should play, or curriculum activities. Parents might reinforce their ideas, perhaps one parent thinks learning the piano is a more respectable music genre than playing the drums (if let’s say the kid has personal interest in that). The problem with this, is that parents and their children don’t always see eye to eye on such personal issues which are related to morals and safety, according to Denise Mann from, and with teen or even younger kids it might just be their personal taste and what they are passionate in. Because such boundaries are not always clear, it is important to talk and explain to your child the pros and cons when deciding on such issues, that involves letting your child grow into his/her own unique person.

  1. You aren’t your child’s go to person! Your child doesn’t like being closer to you, talking or confiding in you.

The actions mentioned in points 1 to 3 might have caused you to be a very demanding and perhaps a difficult parent to your child. With that being said, this might naturally lead them to be scared to get close to you, or be afraid more open to you about anything. That is where parent and child lose communication, and fail to understand each other in process of growing older and growing up. Communication is a two-way street, and it is crucial for lines of communication to be positive, this is important for their self-esteem, so they won’t be hesitant in sharing things with you, in fear of them being scolded, made fun of, criticized, or punished. So watch your tone and attitude when speaking or even acting around your child, be mindful regularly in being positive, so they will feel confident in being open about their feelings or even just wanting to be closer and around you more often. Please do try avoid being the ice queen/king,

  1. Children drastically acting out and shows hints of depression.

Depression is a very unpopular and tabooed topic, more so in such Asian countries like ours. But as unpleasant as this topic may be, depression is very real, it is a form of illness, and it can happen at an early age that might cause very concerning problems for your child. How the child is being treated at home, if it is poorly, or huge amounts of pressure piled on, even just unhappiness caused by disagreements and domestic fights, these can be contributing factors. But it is important to also note parents who have or had depression, that your children are of greater risk in being depressed. There is a common misconception that depression is what only adults can truly go through. However according to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, their posting states that it affects all ages, genders and girls are highly likely to develop depression during their adolescences. “Research shows show that is a risk factor for suicide, as many as 2 to 3 percent of children from as young as 6 to 12 may have serious depression” according to ADAA. With the recent Facebook trending video from Father of 13-year-old boy Daniel Fitzpatrick (who took his own life due to the constant bullying in school, shows how negative talk can impact a kid’s life to such a damaging point), it is an always good idea to be more open in communicating with your children about their feelings, to take it more seriously if the signs and hints of depression are constantly lurking around your child. Signs to watch out for are: changes in mood, highly irritable and very easily angry, social withdrawal, change in diet and sleeping patterns, sudden crying or outburst. Please seek professional help or advise if you suspect your child is going through depression.

No matter what, always let your kid know you are for there for them and they have the support, and shoulder to cry on if needed.

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