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Strict Parents Raise Better Kids- What They Do Differently Than Other Parents

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I am a sucker for reality TV shows and I will watch any of them at least once. If there was a job for reality critic, I'd be the woman. I am the biggest critic of these shows because I was a Psychology major and can spot flaws in any tactic, process, or social experiment. Having done research in psychology, it amazes me how strict the ethical standards are within the field of psychology compared to run-of-the-mill reality shows (basically unethical social experiments). Nevertheless, these shows are popular in our culture and can give insight into the humans and social psychology.

One reality show caught my eye years ago, "World's Strictest Parents", which aired on Country Music TV (CMTV). I watched several episodes- basically they take two random, troubled teens out of their own home and put them in the homes of "strict" parents to live there for a week. At the end of the week, the teens seem to be completely different and go back to their own parents changed, more appreciative, and losing many of their bad habits (smoking, aggression, laziness, etc).

A Minor Note

I've recently added to this hub a note especially for the minors that comment here. Reality is, being monitored by your parents including random cell phone checks, room checks, etc. is not an "invasion of privacy". You are still a minor and your business is your parents' business. They are legally liable for you and your actions and if they are responsible then it is their duty.

The common complaint from minors is this does not seem "fair" or "reality". Adults are monitored at work, including calls, emails, etc. This is reality. Your parents should be preparing you for this. The government also monitors the public in many cases and on many types of devices. It's not "cruel" or unnecessary.


A Strict Disclaimer

"Strict" parents are not louder or yell more than the average parent, they are not authoritarian or abusive, or strict military styles parenting. While some may easily confuse the label "strict", I have a strict definition that I use to describe it below:


Characteristics of a Strict Parent

1. Family First- Behind every troubled teen is a broken family. It's true some kids become extra responsible within a broken or abusive family, but far more become troubled themselves. Many are single parents, but just as many are families that may be together, but distant in every other way. Yes, families can be together...but not. Teens raised by strict parents do not go out with their friends during dinner time or during family activities. Having dinner together is expected, family game night/family time, worship time for the religious, household chores (benefiting whole family), or other activities that include all family members is a must, and an expectation. Kids need a sense of belonging and to feel important so would you rather them get that from their friends/peers or from their parents/family?

Family first starts at an early age and can even be established in a broken home. It's a non-negotiable expectation...and a routine. You must realize our kids get a free ride from parents and expecting them to put family priorities before social engagements is not unrealistic. Single parents can still set up together time and rituals to spend quality time sans guilt and often need even more help around the house.

2. No Abuse or Yelling- Strict parents rarely yell or lose their temper, they don't have to. All parents yell, but some do it far more often and it does more damage than is necessary. As a parent you may notice the more you yell, the more you have to. If you don't want your child to yell or hit you (or others), you can't do it to them. Yelling is demanding rather than commanding respect and usually is at a time when the parent is impatient. Teaching things (including manners, cleaning up) takes time. Strict parents show respect for their children, modeling desired behaviors. They talk to them and expect the same treatment in return.

Teens tend to shut out adults yelling at them, but one way strict parents get through is partaking in an activity with them that the teen specifically enjoys (playing baseball or horseback riding for example). Showing interest in the teen gets their attention better than a yelling match. When you have them in their element, they tend to open up. After the activity, the child is more open to hear what you have to say if you need to talk to them about something in particular.

Even better- tie in their favorite activity to a point you are trying to get across to them or set up a meeting with someone they admire or has a job that they want someday and have that person explain to them what it takes to make their dream come true. For example, In the reality show, a strict mom used a horseback riding analogy to tell the teen that horses don't always do as their told, aren't easy to control, and it would be easier to just quit and get off the horse; same as how her mom was probably feeling toward her sometimes.

3. It's ALL Your Business- Most teens nowadays have a life away from home and just as much privacy and seclusion at home too. Knowing their business is not necessarily being in their business. You should know what they're doing, but doesn't mean you must control what their every move is. These are fine lines, but a distinct separation. Snooping or random room and cell phone checks is a parent's right. Privacy is like currency- to be earned.

My mom was a single parent who worked two jobs and there were no cell phones at the time, but she always knew my business- she randomly called home and I better be there to pick up the phone or she would come home from work immediately...and she would. I never smoked, took drugs and waited until after my teen years to have sex- all the same expectations I have for my children so you better believe I will know their business. Too many parents wait too long and are afraid to know about their kids' business by that time. Teens are young adults, BUT their brain is still not mature enough to make clear decisions about yes, they do need as much guidance as they do freedom.

4. Raising a Capable Adult- My husband's first daughter lived with us full-time when she was 8- she didn't know many of the basics for taking care of herself. This is an example of enabling your child, creating unnecessary challenges. Too much freedom can make a child helpless or hyper responsible. Neither are healthy.

Teens on the reality show were between 16 and 18 and didn't know how to do dishes, shovel dirt, or make themselves a meal! Not only does this create a lazy child or teen, but it contributes to low self-esteem and eventually an adult who can't appreciate accomplishing a task or don't even try. Low self-esteem is a snowball effect and leads to promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse. Not only should your teen be able to accomplish the small tasks, but they should also know how to weather the rough times and be resourceful as well.

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5. House Rules- Every strict family on the TV show had "house rules" and there was no negotiating them. House rules start when your baby is born because they are standards the parents live by too. A short, distinct list of rules gives a child boundaries, such as No yelling, No smoking, No certain kind of clothing, No hitting, No swearing, No Lying,etc. You can always make rules specific for your family. If you break them, you own up to it. Set the example.

6. Love- Strict parents are not void of love. In fact they are heavy on showing their appreciation and feelings and giving random hugs and pats on the back. On the TV show the strict parents gave the troubled teens regular hugs, and the teens often stated they hadn't hugged their own parents in a long time. I once read that kids realize how many negative words are being spoken to them versus positive- it adds up after a day or throughout the years. They need to hear more positive. Do's instead of don'ts, for instance.

Does it seem sometimes that we hear double for doing something wrong and hear nothing when we do something right? Parents forget to show love and compliments for their children doing something right. We get in an argument, nag, yelling momentum and never get out of the habit. In several studies it shows the most unhappy parents give the least compliments and positive feedback to their children while happier parents tend to have happier children. Also, what we know in the field of psychology is that labels (and even kids can come up with their own labels from their environment) have a profound effect on how they view themselves and act. If they're made to feel bad, they will do bad.

7. Charity Work- Doing something for nothing teaches kids to appreciate what they have and create their own feelings of an intangible reward. It teaches them there are other people in the world besides themselves. By nature, teens are self-centered and as parents if we don't curb that trait they become selfish adults.

8. Keeping Busy- This doesn't mean racing from the track meet to dance class and pottery class to a point of exhaustion.Doing chores and things that will benefit the family, especially lighten mom's load help keep a child busy. Responsibilities for pets, yard work, cleaning the house, etc. These duties help the family as a unit and are not self driven or self-rewarded like taking many classes that only benefit the child. A balance of the two is optimal- something the child wants to do and something for the family.

9. Consequences- may be the most important factor. For every action, there is a consequence. Bad actions deserve bad consequences like cleaning out the garbage can or poop patrol in the yard. Good actions deserve good consequences like picking the movie, ice cream, going swimming.

The biggest mistake parents make is threatening a consequence and not following through or not matching the punishment to the crime. Grounding a kid for 2 weeks is worthless- it's way too long for even my attention span at age 35. Also grounding is too general a term- what exactly does it mean? Simple psychology states punishment is not as effective as reward, but if you use punishment then make it immediate and/or creative so it will be more memorable.

Being creative can pay off. The other night my daughter wouldn't pick up her blocks so I said she could go to sleep with them then. I put her blocks in her bed and it was no longer than a minute before she realized they weren't very comfortable in her bed so she quickly put them away.

10. Keep Talking- Not nagging, but talking. Explain to your children WHY they should behave a certain way and why there are rules. Don't waste your breath on telling them "How many times do I have to tell you..." or " you never...". Instead tell them if they act a certain way in the real world, they could be fired, evicted, or divorced. Don't nag them to include your issues and vent on them, but give them useful advice and pertain it to their life. Use analogies and stories that pertain to them. Lessons in story form are remembered easier. You never know when something you've said will impact them greatly.

Strict versus cool

Sometimes parents think being strict means their child won't like them. You have to forget this notion. Your child may be in junior high but you are not so don't play by those rules. When you begin to implement rules and standards that haven't been in place, they will clearly act like they don't like you.

Sometimes, in single parents families, the one parent vents and takes their day out on their child. A good routine is a cooling down time. Maybe the parent can find a nice park to park their car at and sip on some ice tea or water or listen to calming music on the drive home from work.

Whatever, the scenario, you must remember you are preparing them for the real world. this doesn't mean yelling at them cause the real world, in your experience is tough. It means giving them coping skills and yelling is not a coping skill- you'd get fired on the job for that. Always keep the end goal (raising health happy productive adults) in mind.


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Marko Todoric from Novi Sad on March 23, 2017:

People must understand that being a laid back parent does not mean you're being a neglectful parent.

"By no means is a laid back parent, a neglectful parent, and we are not suggesting children be left unsupervised in a room full of knives and poisonous gas. Rather, it’s time to take a step back and allow children to learn a few things naturally. When boredom strikes, they must tap into their imagination and create their own games. Here are some occasions you could practise laid back parenting with a very positive outcome, and equally beneficial."


Ann on December 04, 2014:


I am a mother to a15 yr old girl and a 11 yr old.boy. The father is physically and emotionally distant. Quite a hadful they are what with their arguing, disobeying, challenging, tantrums. Its hard to be strict with them to.discipline them. Any suggestions ?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 16, 2014:

There's not a lot known about parenting a generation who has constant contact with friends via Internet and cell phones. Our parents didn't have this issue nor all the generations before them so this is all new. At this point, what your gut and your heart tell you is probably spot on. Our job is being parents first and protecting our kids so that sometimes means we have to listen to that gut feeling and check up on them form time to time. Involved, but not controlling is key.

L.A. DiNardi from New Hampshire on November 04, 2014:

izettl, this is a great article! Especially the part about the privacy - I always feel guilty when I read my teens texts or chats, but I know in my heart I have to do it to keep an eye on things. Reading this helped me validate why I know I should do it. Thank you so much for sharing.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on September 16, 2014:


Great insight. Even some words I could take as advice.

PMARTIN on August 18, 2014:

Very interesting. I also think that the mom plays a vital role. If she is the type fighting dad for supremacy instead of putting him and supporting him as head of the family--kids will take advantage of the weakness. Got to question dads tactics, do later alone. Parents got to be firm no matter what other kids parents allow to happen....just watch the Leave it to Beaver show! Amazing how those old shows show how to do it.

Pam from Gulf Coast Florida on June 12, 2014:

This is such a great article..!! I have 2 grand daughters who,with their parents,live with me ..They are 5 and 6,and they're never known not living with me.I am constantly making sure they have as normal and happy a childhood as possible because their parents don't know how to be parents.Dad thinks he does,but hasn't had anything to do with his now 18 year old son since he was 4. Mom has never had children before these two,but she thinks she knows everything better than anyone who's raised children to adulthood,that is, "they don't know what they're talking about"...They make rules but most of the time,don't stick to them,and the ones they try aren't age appropriate...I have to remind them all the time that yelling at little kids won't help the discipline situation,never say "get away from me" to your child" when you're upset with them,when they say something inappropriate (bad words,I hate you,no,etc..) sometimes it's better to ignore what they say until they calm down,then talk to them about why what they said isn't right...Kids will say things out of simple frustration...Unwelcome repetitive bad behavior is sometimes a way to get mom or dad to pay attention to them,screaming at them and then punishing for it won't help....And on and on...I think you probably get the idea....I always tell them I love them,I'm always giving out hugs and kisses,even if I get mad at them for something,and always trying to teach them to be good people...I want them to always know that,even if they do something wrong and I get angry at them,I still love them. Mom and Dad pretty much do the yell and scream in their face thing while standing over them (which to me looks more like a bullying tactic),or threaten with time outs, or no dinner, or take a toy away.I tell them they can't talk to a small child like she's 30 and expect her to fully understand what the grown up is conveying.When a child doesn't understand,they don't listen anymore and block out what's being said.Mom and Dad don't believe me when I tell them they have to talk to their kids on the kids level of understanding.All I get back on that is "Oh,they understand,don't let them fool you,they just don't want to do what they're supposed to do.Nothing I say or do is working anyway." Well.....duhh...

I'm going to have them read this article to show them what they need to know about effective discipline....Hopefully they'll get the idea...

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 25, 2014:

Thanks for the conversation Joshua. The checks might seem random to the kids, but hopefully the parent would have reason. I have a teen and two small kids. It starts when they're small. It doesn't do any good to just tell a kid what to do without explaining WHY we want them to do certain things or follow certain rules. Most of the time it's to keep them safe.

The thin lines...lots of them in parenting. Saying no just to say no isn't right. That would be overbearing. Doing something but telling your kid they can't, that's also overbearing and abusing the adult versus child scenario.

Joshua H. on March 16, 2014:

Thank you for the reply.

I think that the main source of my confusion came from the concept of "random checks" being just that - random. My idea of random was something you just popped in and did without warning OR reason. I understand the check not necessarily having a warning, but without reason would be frustrating. I've had friends who's parents who would go through their belongings without reason. Just snooping. No reason or rationale. Just because. Once they found out, it changed their perception of their parents and distanced their relationship to a degree.

I think there are merits to "strict" parenting (I acknowledge that "strict" doesn't really do the position justice, but I'll use it for lack of a better term). I believe that I will be somewhat of a strict parent someday. However, I think that parents who choose to be strict must always pay very close attention to that thin line between strict and overbearing. Being from a very conservative area, I've seen many parents that don't recognize that line and cross it all too often.

Anyways, I appreciate your civil replies. Thank you for the clarification.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 13, 2014:

Thanks Amiebutchko,

Thank you for stopping by. I hope that it helps some parents get perspective.


I would never tell my child to hand over their phone for the heck of it- it needs to make sense to them too. That type invasion of property is unwarranted. It's stating a general lack of distrust. I don't distrust until someone gives me reason. I think, or hope, parents know their children enough to know when "something" might be wrong. If the child doesn't talk about it or is extra quiet then some checks might be warranted for safety. I know how to keep my kids safe better than they do...until they're grown. It's my job, my duty to prepare them so that I might not have a heart attack when they leave the house. Lol. I might sleep a wink when they're away knowing I prepared them the best I could.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 13, 2014:


A parent/child relationship is not a business, but if I am to prepare my child for the real world they need to get used to a "monitored" existence. It's not a comparison, it's a preparation.

Anonymous, it seems that privacy is your utmost concern so I don't know why we're discussing this. Humans aren't perfect so I can't say I would be trustful is EVERY situation. We're HUMAN. I put safety first. I have to be concerned, and not naïve to the fact that every human is capable of cheating and I would not like to catch an STD (safety). Also I will be in my kids' business and if I was truly worried (not just for the fun of it), I would read my child's diary. I have already in fact. I have a stepdaughter that I was suspicious of and I was right in reading her diary- it told me why she was cutting so that we could get her help. We only see her in summer so we do not know everything that goes on at her home with her mom. When you keep your kids safe and well, then we'll talk. Are you a parent? Or are you just disagreeing in an area you have no experience in?


I absolutely agree with "Do as I say, not as I do" or "Do it cause I told you so"- not being a good style of parenting. Both of my kids were about 2 when we began to implement taking away something or in time out as demonstration of consequences. My 6 yr old knows that whining doesn't get her something, but I know 16 yr olds who don't know that...because of negligent parenting. And that's simply the difference. Consistency is the biggest one!!! Thanks for stopping by.

Amie Butchko from Warwick, NY on March 03, 2014:

I feel like I need to go back and read this again so I can soak up all the wisdoms. I loved your hub and will be returning to it to extract your pearls of good parenting. So much made sense here.

Ashley Vailu'u from Central Texas on March 03, 2014:

Hello there! I agree with you, children need discipline (not to be confused with punishment). I thought that your example with the legos was a pretty awesome tactic because by having her sleep with her legos in the bed it showed her that there is a reason for putting them away. I think a lot of the time kids want to know why they're supposed to do something. I personally have never been a fan of, "Do it because I told you so!" It never worked on me as a kid, and I don't plan on trying it with my own. My son is going on 17 months now, and we're slowly adding in more structure for him. He understands that if he's done with a wrapper he has to throw it away in the trash, and that he eats at his table. Anyways great read!

Anonymous on March 01, 2014:

"No parents should not be snooping around constantly, but random checks are good. This is the real world and at a place of business, companies will snoop to see what you've been doing on your computer and what sites you have visited, etc. That's life into adulthood."

Improper comparison. A business isn't paying you to use office computers to conduct activities pertaining to your personal life. In fact, I'd venture to say most would prefer you to leave your personal life at the door upon entering and clocking in. A parent/child relationship should not be conducted like a busniess.

"It's been shown in marriages that it is best if both spouses have access to the others' passwords for facebook, social sites, emails, etc. It's not a lack of trust, but if you don't like it then it may be a reason for lack of trust. Things like fb do cause a majority of cheating now so while many of us get caught up in the moment, it's nice to know that our spouse or parent could catch us and it gives us an added integrity check on ourselves. I trust my husband and parents trust their kids, but never 100%, we're only human and we would never say in either case, trusting you means leaving you alone. Realtionships of any kind don't work that way. We do it because we care.

It has been "shown" to be best in marriages for both parties to share in a common degree of distrust for one another? Where was that shown? If trust isn't 100%, then there is a deficit. Are you honestly asserting that maintaining a degree of distrust in a relationship is how a relationship SHOULD work? Nothing more assuring than looking into the eyes of your significant other and knowing that somewhere behind those beautiful eyes is a portion of conscious thought that distrusts you, checks your facebook for signs of infidelity, or believes that if you have a problem with any of the former, there may be reason to distrust you further. (On a side note, Facebook doesn't "cause" cheating. I'm not sure if you thought that sentence out when you wrote it, but I'll just assume you didn't mean it that way).

You're not the type to read a diary, are you?

suraj punjabi from jakarta on February 24, 2014:

I love this hub, you put it in such a great way and format. I can especially identify with point no.4 on raising a capable adult. Where I come from we have 2 full time maids and 2 part time maids who does everything. Being brought up like this definitely took a toll on my self confidence, as rarely had any challenge, let alone accomplishing it. It is only until after I got married and got to face problems that comes with marriage and the fact that I am living separate from my parents with my wife for the time being that I am facing challenges and boy do I love every minute of it! it sure is not royalty but its nice to feel human. I should also inform you that people like me actually yearn for challenge. There are many times where I told my mother that I would love to have a life that is challenging. There are many times where I see people who are independent and capable and i think to myself, what wouldn't I give to go through the hardships he/she has gone through to be what he/she is now.

Joshua H. on February 22, 2014:

1). I'm not a minor, nor do my parents pay my phone bill. I understand, based on my stance, that you could arrive at that conclusion.

2). My parents paid my phone bill when I didn't have a source of income, but it definitely wasn't free. I had to maintain a 3.7-4.0 average throughout highschool to keep my phone. The same has spilled over into college where excellence is still demanded, along with some rent and payment of my own phone bill ;-). That's the rule. Had my parents ever instituted random checks of my belongings based on the knee-jerk reaction to other societal ills that were only being associated with me because of my age-group, rather than my individual character, I'd have given that phone up in a heart beat. The unwarranted invasion of my privacy would have been insulting and honestly not worth my trouble. If they decided to snoop in my room today, it'd be my first indication that it's time to find somewhere else to live. I don't have anything to hide, but that's not what's important to me. My parent's trust is of far greater value. I've never had a problem communicating with my parents because we're always had open and honest lines of communication. Beyond scholastic demands, my parents were never strict.

Now, if you're speaking of warranted checks that have clear rationale and justification, then I apologize for my own knee-jerk reaction to your post. It's just that I personally know parents who use blanket statements about who's paying the bills to justify many overbearing and occassionally oppressive behaviors. I guess I agree that parents have the right to what they pay for, but I would caution them to think carefully about how to exercise that right (necessity, mode of implementation, rationale, duration, etc.) Can we both agree on that?

Grace on February 19, 2014:

I totally agree,i am more like

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 18, 2014:


"modern permissiveness" is a great term. Probably why a lot of young adults are living at home than ever before. Since the beginning of time, and I can't imagine it any other way, a parent's job is to get their kids ready for the world outside of home.

Joyette Helen Fabien from Dominica on February 17, 2014:

Good useful advice. Strictness always pays off in the end and the children will thank you for it later in life. All this modern permissiveness is contributing to the failure of societies worldwide.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 10, 2014:


I'm going to go back to the legality point I made- if you are a minor in MY house, I have access to your things if I feel warranted to. I'm not suggesting a parent go in and check or check your phone pics just to be mean, but parents can sometimes pick up on some warning signs and if they have those suspicions then they need to get in their kids' business. If you were my kid and had a problem with that then you wouldn't have a cell phone- No parent should just go out and get their kid a cell phone without guidelines, boundaries or rules that go along with it. If my young child isn't picking up her toys (granted I gave them to her) then they get taken away. that's pretty basic- a job has cell phone guidelines as well. The kid being my responsibility is right. Boundaries are comforting to a kid and God I hope I teach them to speak to adults with more respect and a little less cursing- makes you sound kinda dumb. Just sayin...


Some of being a "strict" parent is setting a good example for your kids and sounds like you've achieved that with yours.

Anonymous on February 09, 2014:

Checking someone's cellphone , if they are 17 or 18 is unfair , u may pay for the phone bill but they have a cell phone for a reason if u bought it , it means u r going to respect their privacy and let them handle themselves. If you spy on phone calls they will distrust u and no u dont have to b a friend to ur kid , u just have to b a considerate human being and leave them alone to talk. Second of all u say that family should spend time together and be religious and all . Im assuming from what i read in this blog that you have either grown up in a very loving family or have a very loving family right now, but the truth is this cant and wont work for everyone because its too late,lots of parents have been jerks to their kids for too long for them to be a one big happy family and religion shouldn't be pushed on anyone either so.... Anyways bottom line is this is the example of a "perfect family" and even the really fucked up families have put on this facade of having a happy family, its total bullshit in most cases because humans arent perfect most of us are screw ups . And by the way , you taking care of the kid , isn't their free ride or a privelege for them , its your damn responsibility so quit complaining, you didn't give up the kid for adoption , and if you for example didn't mean to have the kid, taking care of the child would be u taking responsibility for ur actions shit!!!

anonymous on February 09, 2014:

If you mean strict to a small acceptable level then sure . But there are some parents that are so strict their kids hate them and will probably rebel 10 times more than the ones with freedom ever will , i know bcus i have parents that r strict as fuck

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on February 07, 2014:

Some good ideas here, but I suppose you have to adjust them to your personality. To be honest our kids grew up with the bare minimum of discipline and could basically as they please. We did point out the correct behaviour, ways to do things and the difference between right and wrong. Today they are both adults and have good jobs, suitable friends and a good life keeping all the standards that we pointed out but did not enforce.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 06, 2014:


Also I wanted to mention to the minors who comment...

You don't get any more rights than adults do. Adults phone calls and emails are monitored at their work places and even by the government in some cases. So yes a parent has rights to your devices as well.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 05, 2014:

Thanks everyone the comments.

Nick Hanlon,

Yes, there can be dysfunctional strict parents. I've seen this in extreme religious households. with dysfunctional comes abuse of some kind and/or paranoia on the parents side. None of this is healthy parenting.

Stephanie Mclain,

I agree. The "strict" label truly is not the best label out there for what I would call Hands-on parenting. Sounds like you're involved and that's what its all about.

Joshua and Hennie,

There are a few parents who should have been in their kids business. From the outside many kids who have gone in and shot up schools seem normal and it would have been a parent that was in their kids business who could have prevented some of them.

Also Joshua I'm willing to bet you don't pay for your cell phone so if your parents pay, it's their business and their property. Sorry, but in light of what goes on in teen's lives like gang rape and sexting and school shootings. Damn right it's the parent's business. I know parents that check their kid's stuff everyday. That's not what I'm talking about but random checks...yes. Also teens tend to stop talking to their parents openly somewhere around your age or younger so a parent has to realize this comes with the territory. Random checks are great for preventing anything horrible like what we hear in the news.

You will understand it someday.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I know Authoritarian style is not the best. We both probably know that lots of parents yell...out of frustration, it's not really a parenting tool. We both know that it gets nowhere and the more we tell the more our kids stop listening and the more we feel like we have to use that. Unless a kid has a mental illness, a troubled teen isn't born that way. Yes, its a stage just as terrible two's is, but there is always something underlying if it's a truly troubled teen.


I know what you mean, There is some trust established there. My mom had to trust me cause she was a single mom with two jobs. I never had a curfew because there was no need. In our case, we were/are good teens but not every kid is like this. I never tried drugs or smoking, but could have. But the bottom line is sometimes rules and involvement from parents is seen as caring to kids and that's what you have with your mom without the extra rules.

JillandJessie on January 27, 2014:

I agree with what you said, but I also think not every kid is the same.

I'm 16. This is NOT to come across as spoiled, this is just the truth about my mom:

She lets me do what I want, when I want, however I want. She is not 'strict' in the slightest.

But what I want to do whenever I want is ride my horse or go to the park. I still respect my mom, she knows how my day went, whenever she goes somewhere, even if it's to take a drive, I actually run out excited to meet her. She doesn't 'snoop' because there is no need. I mean, none at all. I always tell her how my day goes, she doesn't need to ask me, I don't even think about it, it is a conditioned response and I do it automatically.

She also doesn't 'punish' or 'discipline' me because like I said there's no need. I mean, what is she going to punish me for, falling off my horse? lol :) There's nothing much to worry about from a 16-year-old girl who is horse-crazy, still plays at the playgrounds for little kids and watches Spongebob Squarepants.

Great article though! I really liked it. Just wanted to share my mom's 'parenting'.

She might act like she doesn't care, but believe me she does. I almost died last year, horseback riding accident, at the age of 15. She works at a job that doesn't let people early NO MATTER WHAT. She didn't give a shit and walked out anyway. If somebody hurts me physically, emotionally, or mentally (or all of the above) God help them because angry momma hen will be coming after them.

Oh and one more thing! I might do whatever I want whenever I want but I am in no way irresponsible/lazy. I know how to cook a meal for all three of us or whoever comes to visit us and I do it willingly, I clean my room, take care of all our animals w/o being asked (we have 8 chickens, 3 horses, 2 cats, and 1 dog)...I don't have a job, because I don't know how to drive yet (my mom's car is not in proper condition for this, anyway)...but I help around the house w/o being asked, which is helpful.

April Garner from Austin, Texas on January 24, 2014:

This is my favorite part of this hub:

"The biggest mistake parents make is threatening a consequence and not following through or not matching the punishment to the crime. "

I say this all the time. I often notice parents threaten consequences without following through. Then, they wonder why their kids don't listen to them. Follow through with a logical consequence that doesn't also torture you as the adult, is key.

Andrea Kim on January 24, 2014:

1. Not true. Troubled teen does not equal troubled family. Even the "best" parenting cannot always prevent troubled teen years

2. Not true. All types of parents yell - including strict parents

Also, as a psychology major you will have learned about the four parenting styles in intro psych and again in developmental: authoritarian/strict, authoritative, permissive/indulgent, and uninvolved/neglectful. Many people would describe the authoritarian parent as "strict", but studies show this is not the "best" parenting style. Authoritative parenting style is shown to create the healthiest environment for children to grow up in. Firm and consistent, not strict, parents are the "best". But any parent who is there for there child and never abuses or neglects them is a great parent. :)

Otherwise, great article. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Yann on January 23, 2014:

I visited the Dali exposition in Paris where it said that having lost their first child. Dali's selfish behavior was encouraged by their parents. It then struck me that the more freedom kids have. The less their imagination is restricted hence their creative potential. Growing often means adults forcing rules on you starting as a baby with routines..

But is it not every strictly-raised child dreams to become a police officer or a lawyer?

HennieN from South Africa on January 16, 2014:

@Joshua H. - Point taken and I do agree with privacy.

Joshua H. on January 15, 2014:

I stopped reading after your third point. As a young adult, I understand that much of my business was/should be my parents business. However, where is the trust and respect for privacy exemplified in a parent who would randomly check my personal belongings for... well, anything. Checking my room and my cellphone really isn't my parent's right. It's not protecting me from anything, it's showing an overall distrust. That's just my two cents, however. You probably had some valid points beyond where I stopped reading. I just feel strongly about that one.

Stephanie from Texas on January 08, 2014:

I am raising my kids as a "strict" parent. I have 3 children, one is almost at teen status. We have strict rules about treating others as they want to be treated, family dinner time, household chores, and trust being earned.

I don't feel we are raising our children to "strict." I just feel that we are simply "parenting" as it should be done.

I feel if you are taking the time to parent your children you will raise great little people.

Great hub! Thanks for sharing.

Kachina Autumn on January 07, 2014:

Cool hub, I agree! Though I'd prob leave the house rules unwritten, I wouldn't want them to feel too institutionalised ...

Nick Hanlon from Chiang Mai on January 03, 2014: parents we're both strict yet dysfunctional. In a way they were so far off the rails that I've been far stricter on myself..and that came mostly from my school.They're both dead due to alcohol-related illnesses but they both excelled in their professions.I think I learnt just as much from their mistakes as from the things they did right.

zapdmom on December 19, 2013:

Wow, I didn't know I was a strict parent?! I just raised him with being and getting involved in his life. I never spanked him. He told the truth about things because he learned there would be twice as much punishment for lying and the wrong. We were honest with him. I shared his happiness as well as his sadness. I encouraged him to start making small decisions when he was young and bigger ones as he grew. He learned how to appologize. How to be good to others as others were to him. He learned to share ... He read a lot because he loved reading. He loved/loves school because he mixes with all kinds of people. So if all these things make me a strict parent, then I am doing a damn good job (according to my mom anyway).

Joe Poniatowskis from Mid-Michigan on November 30, 2013:

Excellent hub. We raised our kids pretty much in accord with these principles. They are both unique, well-adjusted individuals, working on their college degrees. Your emphasis on consistency is spot-on. Reward doesn't have to be lavish, nor punishment severe. Both just have to be consistently applied.

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on November 19, 2013:

I can relate to this hub as my parents especially my dad was very strict. But, now I realize that everything that they did was for the betterment of me. Now, the modern generation has surely undergone a considerable change and they don't like bossy type parents. I beleive that at times it's ok to be strict with your kids but simultaneously, you have to strike a balance that you don't cross the line.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 13, 2013:


You're absolutely right and glad it has worked for you. I think the other key ingredient is consistency. I wonder where the theory and trend of being the child's best friend came from. As a teen it astounded me that there were parents who smoked pot with their kids saying the kids are going to do it might as well do it with them. what? I never took drugs and I have no expectations that my kids will.

My daughter is only in Kindergarten and she is strong willed. I have to pay close attention to being consistent with her, but at her first parent teacher conference the teacher remarked how kind she is, eager to raise her hand and learn, and follows rules wonderfully. So far so good.

I have a teen step daughter, which is difficult in that she is raised mostly by her mom with loose rules. I'm sure many families go through this with split homes.

Carol on November 13, 2013:

I'm a strict parent and now that my daughter is getting older, I'm so PROUD that I have stuck to my guns. I get so many compliments on her through the school systerm and teachers always ask me, what is the secret. I tell them, DISCIPLINE, plain and simple. I have house rules that they MUST follow everyday but they are REWARDED for the good behaviour and DISCIPLINED for the bad behaviour. Most importantly, I don't try to be my childs BEST friend. Biggest mistake that many MODERN day parents are making. My mother-in-law used to say that if you don't have CONTROL at age: 3 you certainly won't have control at age: 13 and shes right.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 12, 2013:


Yes that would help, but it's only one aspect. I think it depends also if you communicate with them like a friend or from a place of respect, etc.


Thank you for sharing your experience. My husband also comes from a military background. There is discipline but also love and joking around. There are expectations but also respect and understanding. I really hope our kids do understand too like you have. It is tough to be the bad guy sometimes. It is also tough to keep some order in a house full of little ones. Thanks for stopping by.

mslenai on November 12, 2013:

I know exactly what it feels like to come from a strict family. My father was very strict. When I look back at, I believe his military background played a role in how structured his household was and how disciplined he expected us to be. I despise it when I was younger but I appreciate it now as an adult. I understood exactly why he did it. He was very protective but he protected us for good reason. Nowadays, it seems like parents are more concerned with being a child's friend than their parent. They might not like you but they will respect you and when the time comes they will understand the why and appreciate you!

Brandon Hart from USA on November 11, 2013:

I think that being able to communicate with your kids is one thing that will help you greatly when dealing with your kids.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 29, 2013:


I completely agree. It gives them little successes that lead to a sense of accomplishment- every kid thrives on that. And they feel needed too! Thanks for sharing!


We guide our kids in strict parenting. We set them up with chores and liabilities to responsible with. It's not pressure, it's life. There are thousands of laws in each state. Is that too much pressure? We must all abide by them or pay/serve the consequences. This is life. I think taking our kids to 5 lessons a week for after school activities is only keeping them busy. You want to set your kids up to do the right things when they are bored. It's ok to be bored too. Pressure is being placed on kids who are over booked, not over loved.

bhavishapatel on October 28, 2013:

I believe the more pressure that's being put on a child gives them a better advantage or reason to rebel. Its till a point a child can tolerate. Sure there are consequences but at the end of the day you cannot live the childs life.

PandaAEG on October 28, 2013:

This is great. A lot of parents think that rules, chores, and boundaries are mean and restrictive but kids thrive on them. My son is 2 and loves to help with chores because it makes him feel like he is a part of the family and a functioning part of the house. My neighbors are all so impressed to see a 2 year old helping to take the trash out but he's so proud doing it and there's no better time to start instilling that work ethic and helpful mentality than right now! I enjoyed reading this.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 18, 2013:


Yes, Strict by what my definition is and by the TV show I referred to in the hub is not overprotective or abusive- the title, "strict", comes with a negative connotation though. Thanks for stopping by.


Thanks and great analogy with the garden.

Richard Parr from Australia on October 12, 2013:

Brilliant advice. Children need nurturing, like a garden. That takes discipline, commitment, understanding, compassion and common sense. Like a garden, children left to their own devices will soon present a weedy problem. Voted up across the board.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on October 05, 2013:

I agree with izetti that strict parents are not necessarily overprotective. They are also not abusive. I believe they set expectations for their children then help them meet them.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 05, 2013:


And where did you come up with this nifty piece of info? Write a hub and base your info on something then we'll talk. I don't overprotective is healthy, but protective certainly is. If you read my hub you'd understand that strict probably isn't what you may think it is. Read it next time dear!

Cher on September 24, 2013:

Strict and overprotective parents actually make psychopaths because they aren't able to express their true selves!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on September 04, 2013:

Cassie- your parents probably think you're doing great so what they're doing with your curfew is working...if it's not broke don't fix it. But you are right, you are old enough to earn some more time or more privileges for good behavior. I agree with you on that one. Good luck...

Cassie on September 03, 2013:

I think a lot of this is not universal - it cant be applied to every situation. Im 16, and my curfew is still 6pm, even though I practically never misbehave. I dont drink, or party, and I'm a straight A student - yet I'm still treated like I'm 10. I think there needs to be a little more empathy. Being a parent and not a friendakes you unapproachable, and then we become oppressed and our self esteem is compromised.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 18, 2013:


It's refreshing to know that a younger person like yourself agrees that having a "cool" parent is not the nest nor giving them everything they want. As a parent, at some point we need to put ourselves aside and know that we will sometimes be hated by our kids and be the bad guy, but it's for their good even when it's not pleasant or easy for us. It's about them.

Thanks for stopping by.

M on August 17, 2013:

I'm not talking about any tv shows..but yeah,I totally agreed of being a strict parent/parents. To me..if you love your kids,never spoil them till they think it's okay to break any laws. No matter how much you wanna be a "friend" with your kids,never let them forget that you are their parents. When the line between Parents and just and Adult gets blurred due to spoiling,things could get ugly. Your kids no longer know what it means to respect you and you can bet your words mean nothing to them. There's no way I'll let my kids be having like that. Strict with understanding and explanation is the answer to raise children. Never try to be "Cool" as a parent. You can see the result of such way of parenting on Instagram. Teens around the age of 15 proudly uploading pics of themselves smoking and drinking. It's very disturbing..and their parents know,but done nothing. If my kids ever do something like that..there'll be more than just grounded. And I'm not even a parent yet. Still in my early 20s.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 21, 2013:

The way I see it Moonlake, is your son is still alive. He may someday see the value in your discipline. Does he have kids of his own? I wonder how he would think about that raising his own kids. I now see it as my parents thought I was special enough to care what I was doing and keep tabs on me.

moonlake from America on March 17, 2013:

We were strict parents. Our oldest son never seems to get over it. His complaint we wouldn't let him jump off the bridge into the river like the other kids. The river was not safe and there were rocks down below. The kids that hung on the bridge had parents that never kept an eye on them. His other complaint we grounded him if he was five minutes late. Our reason we let it pass when he was five minutes late and the next time he would be 10-15 minutes late so we went back to the five minute rule. We will never live down our strictness but if I had it to do over again I would do exactly the same thing. I may change a few little things but not much.

Voted up.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 17, 2013:

trusouldj~ I know many parents have the excuse that they are very busy now, and many have multiple parents working in the house or a single parent working. Life is tough, but kids still need to be that priority and parents still need to be in their life, I mean IN IT! Whether that's less time watching tv, playing online games, or dating or whatever parents do.

I remember when the term "helicopter mom" came out and I thought to myself so what? I may classify as one but I have to forget what society thinks of me, and as long as I'm paying attention to my kids, teaching them how to work out problems, then they will be prepared. Parents don't need to be closeenough to their kids at various stages to really know them and be able to have that inner alarm go off when something is "off". I completely agree with you especially on that last paragraph and cell phones. I see parents at my daughter's dance class on their phones and not even watching their kids dance. Sad. I'm with you on this and thanks for stopping by.

Besides whatever advice is popular now, will be outdated and replaced a minute from now.

And I tend to ramble to...

LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on March 16, 2013:

Good stuff Kiddo. It's interesting because I was just listening on the radio this morning about a 9 year caught for carjacking -- but then, he was hanging out with 14 and 15 year olds. So I wonder whose idea it was and why the parents were letting this kid hang out with these others.

As well, you may or may not have heard about the 6 month old shot 5 times while her dad was changing her on the side of the road. Dad has gang affiliations and he had his baby out like that ... Breaks my heart.

Everytime I think I'm sheltering my kids by putting general parental restrictions on them, all I have to do is watch the news or look at some young mother more obsessed with her cell phone than holding her 2year old's hand as they cross the street .... Sorry, I tend to ramble.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 06, 2012:

J.P~ I guess I could agree that every child is different but some things (simple) are best for all children. Such as structure and schedules or things that are constant and dependable- this helps ease anxiety associated with many "gray" behavioral issues.

I would also argue on the other spectrum that kids get easily diganosed with ADD, etc. and it turns out it is the parenting and/or environment. For instance, my husband;s daughter was 8 when she came to us. She had been on Prozac/pills for ADD. She had none of that when she was with us. So there are parents (such as her mom) who sought medical help before trying to fix or "diagnose' environmental influences- this is the case for many kids and parents. It could be a lot more simple, but as you state...not in your case.

I have a "high maintenance" child. She is very smart, not in school yet (just turned 5). I don't know if she is gifted or ADD- but she is always "on". She seeks stimulation and is always using her brain or her body. I know she does best in structure and plenty of rest time before she goes to bed so her brain shuts off. She is also high anxiety...has been since she was a baby. So bottom line, strict parenting (as referred to in my article) is effective. If there are additional issues then sometimes other resources are needed- I think that goes with the territory. But I'm willing to bet there are more people who overcomplicate and wonder what is going on or wrong with their kids when all it has to do with is unstable environment or conflicting parenting cues, or no consistency.

J.P. on October 05, 2012:

With a child that is physically normal, this is true. However, this is an oversimplification, harmful to parents of children who were born with behavioral issues. I'm not talking the extreme stuff either, like with autism. I'm talking the grayer areas, where often parents are incorrectly blamed and the child never gets the help they need (since it is a situation where the parent is doing right, but the child needs help outside of what a parent can do). Learning disabilities often come with issues, often from high anxiety and depression. Gifted children are often emotionally intense and need extra help, which very few parents actually get. Perpetuating this oversimplification leads to mischaracterization and judgementalism, as parents with normal kids pat themselves on the back and place themselves above other good parents who were less lucky in the genetics department. I'm fortunate to have the money to get help for my gifted and LD kids starting very young, both through CBT and through therapies for the LDs, and enrichment until my LD+Gifted kid was finally identified gifted. I did, and do, all things your article discusses for "strict" parenting. Thankfully, there are psychologists and neuropsychologists who don't oversimplify this. I just wish it was as well covered as other medical issues, so folks less fortunate than myself could get the help they need. My story is ending well, but others will not, and not because they failed as parents.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 21, 2012:

Bethaleg~I completely agree. I live near a city where it's "cool" or "hip" to let your kids be "free" and I see it as being free to raise themselves, which doen't make sense at all. I do tha same in our house- we express our love all the time. Most of the time my daughter loves having expectations of chores and things SHE is responsible for. And yes, psychologically speaking boundaries is love.

There are lots of children in our neighborhood and I am the only parent that is out there supervising my child. 4-8 yr olds still need supervision but the other parents believe they can figure things out for themselves. yes, they can but do you know how or what they figure out? No. So that doesn't even seem very involved. I care deeply for my kids and they know that...just like your kids I'm sure know your love for them.

Bethaleg from Minnesota on July 19, 2012:

I think this is a great hub on parenting. Sometimes I feel guilty when I am disciplining my children for something that they did together with a group of kids and the other kids are not getting into trouble. But I feel that it is so important to set rules and be consistent, that I have to! What kind of mom would I be if I only enforced the rules when other people weren't involved?

I love that you also point out that strict does NOT mean unloving! I read to my kids every day and try to play games with them regularly. We tell each other we love each other often, and even have some fun songs to sing about loving each other. I grew up with a father who never expressed love, and it is my determination that my children understand how much I love them. I believe setting rules and boundaries IS loving them, though!

I hope you don't mind that I linked to your Hub from mine, as I wrote about a parenting style that works for us. There are many similarities between yours and mine : )

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 12, 2012:

Nick~ I'll be the first to tell you that kids (babies) are born with certain personalities. My daughter is opposite of me- I was always compliant. My daughter is loud, excitable, social, and strong headed. I know exactly what you mean- I was so frustrated that my parents made it so important to behave be and be good oh i hated much that I refuse to so that to my daughter. I love that she's so strong and outgoing- i will never quelch that in her.

i'm talking about following through with discipline- teaching manners at young ages so they know it into adulthood. One thing i am thankful about having manners my parents taught me was that it has gotten me quite far. my husband believes in teaching the same because he had opposite experiencein that his mom let him do whatever he wanted and he had a rough life following that.

I foster and encourage my daughter to be individual- you can certainly pick her out of the bunch...seriously.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 12, 2012:

Allmyrage~Sorry I did not respond sooner but your comment came as spam (??) I understand what you're saying but we're arguing semantics now. maturity is different than wisdom. Yes kids can be intelligent and wise at a younger age, but maturity literally is about life experiences- you will (guaranteed) look back when you are older and realize the difference. I have been told and considered myself wise as a youth, but maturity comes with age and that is being able to calculate risks and consequences (some adults still can't do this). It also comes from those who have been through several experiences. Someone who has been through cancer for example has a different perspective than someone who has not. An adult woman can probably foresee a bad situation and possibility of rape better than a young girl. Sad, but true. So no maturity isn't intelligence so much as it is life experiences which come with age.

Yes I realize the show is in no way valid or possibly even believeable, but it inspired me to write something on this topic and jut use it as a fun example.

Most studies are based on theories and theories are only true until proven otherwise, which almost anything besdies gravity and the like can be proven otherwise. The studies most people see are in magazines, on the internet, etc. So not only could you be getting a biased study but the person reporting or writing on the study can put their bias on it too. The studies that matter are those that the APA (American Psychological Association) approves and deems credible, which how many people do you know read The Journal of Psychology or other scientific journals- not many.

No not everyone is self-centered by nature. Oh my God do you know how much I've given up for my children? How much of my life I put on hold for them...and don't really mind. I'd do anything for them and that's the commitment I made.

There are situations where you can trust. In my case, I have a 13 yr old step-daughter who visits us from several states away every summer- I don't know her or much about her. I get to know her each year, but that's hardly REALLY knowing her. She wasn't answering any of my husband's questions about her life so he checked her phone in front of her. Some people agree and others not- it's not immoral. I know teens and kids who go through their parents stuff. I knew some boys in high school that always brought their parents' porn to school. it is a trust issue and parents (if they've raised the kid) can determine whether the child may be lying or something is going on, then deem it necessary to search. One thing parents of (I know 2...friends of mine) who commit suicide is they wish they had searched for clues or searched their stuff regularly to know what was going on in their life. That to me is very moral.

Nick on July 11, 2012:

This isn't about making kids better. It is about making kids into what you want them to be and behave how you want them to behave. It has nothing to do with right, wrong, goood, or bad. You just want your kids to behave a certain way because you were raised to be a certain way. People think that what is "normal" is "good" but that is false. People are always trying to impress other people be it their parents or someone else by raising their kids to be "compliant". It is like a contest to see how much you can destroy a person's individuality and make them into a mindless lemming.

AllMyRage on June 07, 2012:

The brain can be fully developed anywhere from around 18 to 50 years old, but that does not mean it isn't capable of higher thinking and reasoning as it is, so you can't use this in an argument. Also, you're assuming the maturity of a person comes from their intelligence.

"You must realize our kids get a free ride from us parents in many ways and expecting them to put family priorities before social engagements is not unrealistic."

I'm sorry. The way you worded this made me think you believed that children owe you everything for being their parent. Yes, a child shouldn't be spoiled rotten; I just thought you meant that your kids are there to serve you. Also, the quotes weren't yours, they were just examples.

Also, literally nothing in this show is reliable whatsoever, and it really shouldn't even be used in this conversation, let alone back anything up. So please, let’s just drop that.

And you learned in Psychology that you shouldn't put too much emphasis on studies? Okay, so how are we supposed to learn about things? Studies can be biased, but then you don't use that study. Don't understand where you're coming from. If we both pull out contradicting studies about a topic, then at least one of them isn't valid, if not both. A verified, accepted study is very useful and should be relied on.

“Oh come on...many teens are self-centered by nature. That's scientifically how their brain works. Look that up..."

I didn't say that teens aren't self-centered by nature; I said that EVERYONE is self-centered by nature; thus, it doesn’t have relevance. Self-centeredness is not solely present in teens.

"Ask a teen how their day was? You get nothing...come on. you know that!!"

If all you do is ask them about their day, you won't get anything. I always would have conversations with my parents about my life and such. A teen needs to feel like they aren't on trial, and with you constantly in their business by searching their room and checking their phone, they feel like a prisoner--and essentially they are.

Snooping like that is immoral. There is no trust, because you don’t have to; you know every little thing about their life. Sound like 1984?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 01, 2012:

sonam singh~ discipline shoule be consistant.

sonam singh on May 23, 2012:

should discipline must be followed all the time?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 22, 2012:

Allmyrage~ dang thats a long comment- should have let you write the hub. If you notice on my Profile page I state I have a psychology degree and its just a piece of paper. When I mentioned my psychology degree in this hub, I was merely mentioning it to comfirm my interest in psychology and my conditioned and repetitive training during school in psychology experiments- mostly I reviewed psychology experiments and requests for them so it was job to find flaws- of course reality tv is not a psych experiment- I used the show as an example of what is found to be true in child psychology and other schools of thought under psychology. I still read new studies coming out in the most reputable journals and online sources.

First you put quotations around a sentence that I didn't even type...and you said I typed it. I simply said family and family priorities are to come first. If laundry needs to be done, or something imperitive to the functioning of the family then that should come before kids and teens running around with their friends. I was raised by a single mom who had two jobs- I had to do things around the house like feed the dog and take care of chores so the house would run good and not chaotic. You're telling me you know more about all this yet you don't even know how to use quotations properly.

You can establish a regular routine of either dinner together, an outing on the weekend, ways to connect with each other- like I said I had a single mom and we had a routine and things that we did to connect even if it was helping me with homework. It is even more true for teens with a single parent to establish family first because they are sometimes half the family (in my case) so they are important to the family unit. In the days of no cell phones, my mom called in between her two jobs to tlak about school, what was going on that day, etc.

When teens are old enoug hto ge a job, they can and should. Yes many teens are entitled because my responsibility as a parent is to care for my child, clothe, keep clean, and feed, but many teens are not that simple- they want designer brands (not the responsibility of the parent) they want a car (also not up to the parent to provide)- as parents we supply needs, not wants- wants is up to the teen. I wanted designer clothes and a car- I got me a job and worked for it. I also paid $200 in rent to my mom so we didn't have to move to a lesser neighborhood. Kids want tech gadgets- also not responsibility of the parent (its a want). Parents supply needs and love. We do not bring a kid into the world to have them be the best dressed, have the best car, and newest phone. If you're sick to your stomach maybe you cant imagine life without your cell phone or designer jeans.

How can you say parents like me justify any treatment- I'm saying I don't justify yelling or abuse, but you're right i'm a bad parent because I believe in order, helping out from all family members, earning things instead of getting them. I'm definitely not a do as I say parent- I know that doesn't work at all. I set an example and guidelines.

Your explanation is weird on abuse and yelling- if there is no abuse or yelling then what does that have to do with putting fmaily first? Moving on...

THis is where I'll throw down some- not I am a parent- but I was once a teen. Ask a teen how their day was? You get nothing...come on. you know that!! I was a teen and it's like asking anyone how their day is..."Fine"...and that's about all you get. At my house we sit down at dinner and talk about our day. But you're right, I brought my child into this world and I'll be damn straight making sure they are safe- I AM responsible for their safety while they are in my care.

A teen brain is not fully mature...look it up...that is scientific. They don't have the region of the brain that understands consequences fully developed either.

A chld that doesn't know the basice yet doesn't have developmental problems had a parent who did everything for them without explaining or letting the child try for themselves. My 4 yr old knows when its time to take a bath or brush her teeth because we do it all the time and sometimes I let her do it and sometimes i do it so she at least learns. If you don't let a teen earn and pay for some of their stuff then they don't learn responsibility, therefore enabling. My daughter has a chore chart- I take care of her in all ways but if she WANTS something she must earn it. Low self-esteem is proven to lead to drugs, promiscuity, and many other not so pretty things. If a teen can't basically take care of themsleves around the ages of 16, 17, and 18 then they have low self-esteem. This is also backed up in several studies. I don't put so much into studies as I do brain research and real life- you put a lot of emphasis in studies yet many are totally flawed- more flawed than my so-called illogical reasoning (as you put it) here. Many studies that you'd like me to quote have major bias, or are polls...more bias. That's one thing I did learn getting my psychology degree is not to place too much emphasis on studies. I bet you and i could both find and cite a study to back each of our statements and claims and yet which one of us is right. There is a study for eveything and every side of things (for or against anything). So what is your point about finding a study...blah blah. I'm speaking of cimple cause and effect, brain research, and real life examples.

Oh come on...many teens are self-centered by nature. That's scientifically how their brain works. Look that up...

My daughter outsmarts me sometimes and I used to despise my parents for acting like they were right or making it seem that way whe nI was a kid so I vowed not to do that. I admit to my daughter, well before I thought I'd have to, when I'm wrong.

I compromise all the time with my daughter- I think it's important to listen to her so that she feels heard. Also you may have misunderstood strict- so I would define it as hands-on versus not hands-on parenting. Is that a better definition for you. Real like experience- I lived near a troubled neighborhood where parents were on drugs and my mom and I would invite the kids to stay at our place whenever they needed. Some kids did a few things wrong and parents labled that kid bad- parents give up on their kids a lot. I've seen in so many times- they figure they can't control them so they give up. It's not about control.

Now my friend, do you have evidence that I'm wrong? its good for you to speak up and question things and maybe we'll find something we can agree on...or not, but it doesn't make either of us right or wrong. You're saying I'm wrong based on you don't agree with me. That's also faulty reasoning.

AllMyRage on May 21, 2012:

I disagree with a lot of the things you said, and I don't understand how someone can be so illogical. But here it goes.

--I was a Psychology major and can spot flaws in any tactic, process, or social experiment.

A Psychology degree means absolutely nothing now, if you do not constantly study and learn about new methods and breakthroughs, so you can stop with the self-entitlement. I can see and feel the bias that is coming already.

Obviously, the show does not have any scientific relevance whatsoever, because it's a TV show, not a valid research study.

--Kids need a sense of belonging and to feel important so would you rather them get that from their friends/peers or from the parents/family?

Even at face value, this is a terrible, terrible thing to say. Yes, of course, a sense of belonging and importance among your family is quintessential for a child. And, according to you, a sense of belonging and importance should never come from friends or peers. Do you understand what you typed? Your message is: "Friends/peers are worthless and you should only want to be with your family." Please, tell me, how that is healthy for anyone, let alone a child/teenager?

--Family first starts at an early age and can even be established in a broken home. It's a non-negotiable expectation.

What is your defintion of a broken home? Because I don't understand how broken homes can establish "family first" when it's hard to establish anything in a broken home.

--You must realize our kids get a free ride from us parents in many ways and expecting them to put family priorities before social engagements is not unrealistic.

This is AWFUL and DISGUSTING. I'm sick to my stomach right now. Read this:


A child does not owe a single penny, physically and metaphorically, to you. The sperm and the egg did not meet because the child got them together. You chose to have a child, and YOU have to provide for them. Yes, there is a limit to this as the child grows, but parents like you have this narcissistic self-entitlement in which you justify any treatment of your child (whether it's good or bad is irrelevant) with the fact that you brought them into this world. "I pay for your groceries, so do what I say," or "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it!" type of mentalities are awful.

--2. No Abuse or Yelling

To summarize, this is basically saying to treat your child as a human being instead of subhuman, which number one completely disagrees with. If you do as number one says, you are treating your child subhumanly, plain and simple.

--The downside to giving teens too much privacy is they'll stay home forever- they get privacy, a warm comfortable rent-free or low rent place.

This is where I draw the line, because you have not a single piece of evidence or credibility, besides "I'm a mother and you aren't so I know best." Are you simply illogical? Do you not like to use reason?

First, how can you give a teen too much privacy? Second, how does privacy mean they will stay home forever? Also, what do you have to back up these claims?

--Parents should always be in their kids' business, including snooping or random room and cell phone checks.

I read "Parents should always be in their kids' business," and I was hoping you would not say snooping and searching their rooms. I was hoping you were going to suggest asking them how their day went, how school is going, how their other relationships are going, etc. Oh gosh I was wrong.

Privacy is not something a child needs to earn. If you have not a very good reason to search their room or check their phone and such, then you do not have any reason to snoop. As long as your child gives you no reason to lose your trust, they should have it. You are treating your child subhumanly if you constantly search and snoop. What if there is something they do not want the world to see, like a diary? Oh no, please don't tell me you read your child(ren)'s diaries.

--Teens are young adults, BUT their brain is still not mature enough to make clear decisions about eveything.

You associate age with knowledge, don't you? Well, knowledge=/=age, obviously. You say every teenager's brain isn't mature enough make clear decisions about everything, but NOT A SINGLE PERSON ON THIS EARTH CAN DO THAT. I guarantee you that no one can make perfect decisions on everything.

Also, you're assuming that since a teenager's brain is still growing, it does not have the capacity to make good decisions. Does this mean you should control every single action, feeling, thought, etc. of your teenager? Well, if a teenager's brain is so incompetent, then you should. Do not let them have any free will, because they'll end up OD'ing on heroin while driving into the Grand Canyon.

Since their muscles and organs are still growing, you should also put them in some sort of machine to make sure they don't malfunction like their brain.

--My husband's first daughter lived with us full-time when she was 8- she didn't know many of the basics for taking care of herself.

This has nothing to do with parenting styles. Either the child has developmental problems that need to be addressed immediately, or the parents are not raising them (I am not counting "not parenting" as a parenting style).

--This is an example of enabling your child, creating unnecessary challenges. Too much freedom can make a child helpless or hyper responsible.

How is the child being enabled? All you said was she didn't know the basics of taking care of herself. You are making an argument based on evidence that you are not sharing or that you made up. That right there is the definition of bias.

Also, what is too much freedom? How does this make a child "helpless" or "hyper responsible?" You are stating things without an explanation. As an extreme example to show my point, "Too much freedom can make a child helpless or hyper responsible," has the same meaning as, "Disney movies can make a child throw up or bring about eternal happiness," if you do not further explain.

--Teens on the reality show were between 16 and 18 and didn't know how to do dishes, shovel dirt, or make themselves a meal. Not only does this create a lazy child or teen, but it contributes to low self-esteem and eventually an adult who can't appreciate accomplishing a task or don't even try. Low self-esteem is a snowball effect and leads to promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse.Not only should your teen be able to accomplish the small tasks, but they should also know how to weather the rough times and be resourceful as well.

This is... I... Just... What in the actual fuck? You are citing a TV show as evidence to back up your claims.

Please tell me how you are all-knowing about low self-esteem. So what if a child has low self-esteem from the get go? You tell them to do cheer up and do some chores, because if they keep up the self pity bullshit, they will become promiscuous, alcoholic, drug abusers.

--By nature, teens are self-centered and as parents if we don't curb that trait they become selfish adults.

No. By nature, young children are self-centered, because it is impossible for them to put themselves in another person's shoes (metaphorically). Teenagers are no more naturally self-centered than any other person. Do you always make things up to make yourself seem credible?

--10. Keep Talking

You also must take into consideration what your child is saying. Also, if you are wrong about something, you have to own up to it.

You also keep defining parenting as this straightforward thing that can be defined completely and definitely by strict and non-strict, as if those definitions mean something.

Answer back, please, because I seriously don't see how you or anyone else can't see the flaws and lies in you article/comments.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 15, 2012:

Ashley~ its hard not to spoil kids. I was spoiled when I was a kid up until my parents divorced when I was 10 so then I was unspoiled pretty quickly as life changed for us...and a little less money. But I am thankful cause I have strong work ethic and saving money for those "tough times" rather than spending it.

Remember you can't spoil a new baby, but discipline should start around age 2- this is when they act up the most anyway. I've never spanked my daughter (age 4) because we've had established rules and rewards for doing her chores and discipline is usually a time-out or something taken away and she has to earn it back. People see discipline as negative but it can be using rewards as well. That works great for little ones who want to please you.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy- I have a 3 month old now. And good luck with your baby.

Ashley on May 13, 2012:

Thank you so much for posting. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and though my mom was the best I could ask for and my best friend I feel she could have been way harder on me. I think I turned out fine... Career, good job, no brushes with the law. But I have a streak of spoiledness in me that I'm trying to ixnay and don't want my kids to be that way. Thanks again!!!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 29, 2012:

ASHLEY~ its hard to give personal advice not really knowing you or you're entire situation so I try to steer clear of giving specific advice. But it seems you are going through a lot and its a lot for a young person to handle because you don't have all the coping strategies that adulthood lends in one's life. There is the old statement but still holds true...parents just don't understand. My mom thought I was doing drugs and smoking when I was a teen and I never did either. Stay true to yourself and fleeing I doubt will improve your situation. You know you are doing the best you can and that's really what matters...not what everyone else thinks. You will see that life has a lot of ups and downs and this will not probably be the worst of it- it only seems that way because it is probably the worst so far in your life. I wish you the best.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 29, 2012:

rob~ you could be right about the unruly teens going back to "normal" when they get back home. The point I'm trying to make though is that parents should be raising their children as the "strict" parents do from the start.

I do believe one aspect of the show and that is the kids and teens raised in the strict family are a lot different (better) than the teens from a family raised without strcit parents. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how different the two types of parents are just from watching the show, which I know that part highly correlates with real life.

rob on April 29, 2012:

I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned it but in your opinion do you really think the show has any true benefits other than tear jerking? To me it is the same deal as treating a drug problem in a sterile environment (in a WEEK!!). Once they go back to their home environment and the cues are their and the consequences go I would expect a 'relapse' into the antisocial behaviour and laugh up the whole experience

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 22, 2012:

Also "Electronic Era"~ Kids will be kids and teens will be teens but you still parent them- you don't just expect them to fall prey and there's nothing a parent can do about that. Problem is parents treat teens as if they are still children, but each stage requires different parenting and teens require extra monitoring (of friends, computer activity, etc) and extra paying attention to for little clues that aren't spoken. They still need boundaries but more freedoms and to be taught work ethic and guidance for their future as an adult.

I think you misunderstand when I say strict parenting enables kids to not reach certain pre-desitined milestones. Because a parent is strict does not mean a teen isn't going to act like a teen.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 22, 2012:

Electronic Era~ I think the point is to be a hands=on parent. You sound like you've thrown your hands up and have a defeatest attitude. You can monitor your children and still teach them values no matter what. You rememebr when your parent's advice kicked in when you were in your late 20's and you're glad their voice was in your head about something- kids listen- they listen to body language too. It seems when they are teens that everything you taught them went right out the door, but that's a stage and what you taught them will come back into play in their life.

The strict aspect is for your kids' safety- monitor what they do closely SINCE IT IS THE EXLECTRONIC ERA. No, those things can't be avoided so you must know what your kid is doing.

Considering that a child is formed for life within their first 5-6 years of life, then you as the parent were their greates influencer so while it may seem they are not the child you raised, they are a teen. They still need guidance and it may seem like all your work was wasted but wait until they are older. It pays off.

As far "what the other kdis are doing"- do their parents care about them? No matter what it may seem like to you or your teen, discipline is a form of caring and your child will recognize this now or later. My parents taught me different was good...and it is everywhere you go nowadays. Only the different get noticed. Being different than other teens or their friends should be taught that it's OK. That should have been taught when they were young. Don't get them toys when they are children because their friends have them. That should be parented from early years.

And... they aren't teens forever. Teenage is just the time in which it seems like all your parenting was wasted. During teen years, monitor them within reason.

Ashley on April 16, 2012:

Also, I have been going through pretty tough time. Between my high school closing down, my dream is gone ( no, supports me or lets voice my opininon about it.) Two of my sister have been hopitialized (fine now) and the day after my last day of school I lost my grandmother (whom, I found I am closer than I thought and my biggest fear is losing my grandpa that I had since I was (her husband and their both greats). So, I need adivice please!

Ashley on April 16, 2012:

I am 19. Is it bad that my parents tell me "that is not way I raised you." I am not bad teenager. I have been grounded before for an extent amount of time. I go to a communiy college and work. My parents are divorced both had different opinions how to raise me. I spent couple of weeks with my aunt and mema when I was like 12ish. I tried spending a summer with my mom, but it didn't work. My parents don't really help me on anything or support for that matter. My family joked about being on this show when younger, around 16 and 17. So I changed, brought my grades way up. I don't know what are problem is now and I want to fix it before I leave for a big school in the fall. My parents really didn't raise me, but they did. It was constant battle from my Mema's house, to dad's, to mom's, to whomever could take care of me, or control me at that time. I do have facebook, but I don't get on it. I don't copy people. I don't do drugs, or even drink acohol hardly. I don't socialize with my people. I don't talk at dinner table because my parents put my opinions down. I do the chores compared to two of my sisters, actually three and the oldest. I have two 18 yrs old and seven. I use to four 18 yrs, (same age). Could this contribute? I really want the life I had the past 2 and half years. I really want the support for school. I had to choose between my old job and babysitting (which they do not think is a job and my mom babysats a kid and thinks it job)or school. My family thinks I need a counselor but I can't afford it. So I go to friend and they get mad ( she fouryish and use to watch my younger sister). I feel like I am always being knocked and I don't want to flee away from my parents like my aunts have. Please help, I will take anything included cronstrucive critism. Thanks

Electronic Era on April 16, 2012:

I have Read All Of Your Comments.. Maybe If You Are Talking About Kids Being Raised Before The Cellphone & Internet Era I Might Have Believed In These Comments.. All I Can Tell You Is.... (Sooner Or Later !!!!) They Will Be Influenced.. By Friends Or Cousins Or Family Members.. No Matter How Hard You Try.. No Matter Your Strict Rules..

Keep Them Away From Facebook, Twitter, Or Any Social Groups On The Internet. They Will Be Jealous And Envious Of Other Familys.. Other Than Your Own.. They Will See What Other Kids Are Getting Away With.... Spoiled And Special Treatment... If You Try To Spank Or Touch Your Kid Inapropriately... You Will Be Charged For Abuse.. Along With Childrens Aid Society.. Getting Involved..And Once They Have Reached The Age Of 16 Years Of Age Good Luck!!! They Can Legally Leave Home.. Without Your Consent.. You Might Think Im Crazy... But Im Seeing It Over And Over Again.. The Most Dangerous Age Is Between 14 TO 19. Grades 7 To 12... If Your Child Has Made It Past This Age Group... Your A Damn Good Parent... on March 02, 2012:

I agree with everything you say 100% except that I wouldn't call it strict, I call it having rules. Keep up the great work!

onthegrind from Florida, United States on February 27, 2012:

I enjoyed this hub. Particularly the part about raising capable adults. It's amazing how many kids these days truly aren't being prepared for adult lives. I agree with pretty much everything else you had to say, and wish more parents shared your views. Voted up, useful, and shared.

SevenTeen on February 26, 2012:

I agree with everything in this and I'm sure my mom would too (I'm seventeen). However, what my mom thinks she does and what she really does are two completely different stories. I'm usually the only one doing chores, and she makes the biggest mess. So I get irritated and do not want to do them. My chore is cleaning the kitchen, but not cleaning up after my mom, step-dad and little brother. So I really like the parts where it talks about family chores and love. My house needs more love, I deserve a "good job" or a "thank you" every so often. Anyways, thank you for writing this! It opens my eyes for future situations.

kimberlyh32 on February 24, 2012:

This hub is very helpful. I have recently been expeiriencing some behavior problems with my children (they have been disrespectful, lazy, and acting as though they are automatically entiled to things) I have not been very strict or very consistent when it comes to handing out consequences. I think that by providing my children with clear expectations it has enabled them to think they do not need to do what is asked. I am definitely going to adjust my parenting techniques in order to teach my children to become the best people they can.

Anonymous on February 24, 2012:

I don't agree with snooping through all of your teenagers things.... You should be treated with respect as a kid if you want them to respect you back. If my mom was going through all my things and my phone then what does that say about her? she doesn't trust me. I doubt any of you will agree with the lifestyle my parents raised me in. My parents both smoke pot and they both have college degrees, my dad makes over 750,000 a year and my mom is a stay-at-home mom. I also graduated college smoking on a regular basis and I just entered the workforce a few years ago and i'm already doing quite well.... I wasn't raised with a lot of rules or disciplines... but I got a lot of support from my parents and I'm generally a good hard working person... I did have to clean my room, etc... But I was allowed to drink soda, eat candy, stay up late, pretty much treated me like I was an adult since i was about 12-14. I've seen kids in very strict family households lash out and go way down the drug tunnel.... so being strict isn't always the best thing.... I think more-so the relationship you have is the most important. A lot of strict parents aren't really liked by their kids... You have to ask yourself... does your kid love you? love being around you? love talking to you??? if no, then maybe they will have some problems later on.... if you're too busy working all the time or have your head in a newspaper every evening then you're going to have problems.

Tania on February 20, 2012:

Great advise, I would have to say i agree with most all of this I do alot of this, I don't make my teens play family games because they just don't want to and I don't feel forcing a kid of any age to do something fun that they really don't think is fun. I have good kids I could be more strict and wish I were more strict but it's hard. To be a strict parent you need to have an organized planned out life, dinner is never the same time at home for us my work ours are different and I'm single so its hard.

Mrs. agricula P. Narte on February 17, 2012:

I happened to pass your Hubpages and I'm very thankful 'coz I'm looking for a topic for my research, about the behaviour of the teenager.

Sue Bennett on February 04, 2012:

Just came across this site on the internet. I was brought up the youngest of four children in the 60;s uk. We did have a fairly strict environment. I loved my parents unconditionally and would never have disrespected them. When I look back on my childhood it was happy any

Ashantina on January 30, 2012:

So glad I found this hub. Very insightful.

Bookmarked, UP!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on January 22, 2012:

Patience~ I struggle with this with my step-daughter and her mother being very leniant and wanting to be her friend while we are structured and involved. The step-parenting aspect is something I'm still trying to figure out, especially when the other parent doesn ot have same expectations and rules. Dealing with a parent who is not on the same page as you is like movnig forward 2 steps and moving back 3- very frustrating! I odn't know how often their with you but I can tell you when I was younger I was with my dad less time and my mom more- my mom was "stricter" and that's what I learned how to be like. Even if my dad let me do things my mom wouldn't, I still heard my mom's voice of reason so it really depends on the kids if they take the high road or the low road wherever they are at. That's all you hope for with teens anyway. At least they can depend on consistency at your house and anywhere else you just hope they take the high road- there are so many influences in their lives and at least they have a chance to see a structured way of life with you. That gives them the option to be that way too.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on January 22, 2012:

Kellyward~ you are so right!I was as surprised as you at how loving and involved the strict parents are- very misleading name. THanks for stopping by

kelleyward on January 22, 2012:

Great hub. I've watched the show and also saw how loving and capable most of the strict parents were. I think the name is a little misleading they are consistent livening parents. Sometimes strict has a negative tone to it. Thanks for the info

Patience on January 13, 2012:

I am a step-parent and my husband and I have the same strict rules. It's the other parent who causes the confusing with the children about us being so strict. We do not allow kids to use bad words, smoke, drink or make fun of others. We all go to church and kids are active in many things in school as well. They are all teenagers so maybe you can give me some advice.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on December 10, 2011:

jeyaramd~ thanks for stopping by. Example is certainly the best way and teaching responsibility, but most parents think that's harsh. Thanks for the comment!

jeyaramd from Mississauga, Ontario on December 07, 2011:

Strict parenting is a great hub. We definitely have to set examples by being the change we wish to see in in our children. Treating children as adults with obvious exceptions is a geat start. We are giving them an example of how we would like to be treated. Awesome parenting advice. Love the hub post.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on December 07, 2011:

Apryl Schwarz~ thank you so much.

Apryl Schwarz from Nebraska on December 03, 2011:

Great hub, I wanted to print it off and put it on my wall!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 17, 2011:

thanks minutecreature

minutecreature on August 11, 2011:

Nice hub to read!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 11, 2011:

HennieN~ thanks for your support and stopping by to comment.