The parenting habit I know I should break is that I am one strict momma. While I would love to be my kid’s best friend by fulfilling their every request, showering them with leniency is not my idea of good parenting. A child who uses his parent as his personal genie will grow up expecting the rest of society to treat him with the same regard.
People often compliment my children for their polite, positive attitudes, but have trouble understanding my methods of discipline. In my house, whining, arguing, and back talk results in a suspension of favorite activities like video games and movies. Instead of pouting in their rooms, they have to find something that needs to be done around the house. Normal suspension of favorite activities include anything from washing clothes, to folding laundry. Before fun activities can be resumed, they must issue an apology to either myself, or their father.
Art and media is a very important part of our household, so I encourage my children to discover movies and other media that inspires them. I am very lenient on allowing my children the freedom to watch movies of most genres. We are a homeschooling family, so I’m always looking for ways to make learning fun, but I expect it to be taken seriously. I find ways to turn fun things like movies, music, and video games into school assignments. After watching a movie, the kids turn in a typed review of the story which includes plot summary and character breakdown.
Speaking of media, all of the kids’ electronic devices are checked regularly. The children are not allowed in chat rooms or online groups, and I know the name and location of all of their online friends. One year ago, my son broke the chatroom rule, and he lost his computer privileges for the year. I did not allow him to be on the computer unsupervised two months ago. One whole year without emails or social games? What an unfair mom I am!
Taking my son’s laptop away from him was painful for the both of us. I know I am probably being too strict. Kids are not perfect. They make lots of mistakes. I often worry if I am doing the right thing. I was convinced I was the meanest mom in the world, until I did a quick scan of my son’s laptop yesterday. What I found was a search history which included gaming tips, Loch Ness monster facts, and mother’s day gift ideas. The most important aspect to making strict parenting work is making sure to acknowledge the improvements your child is making. My son’s smile of accomplishment was the best gift a mother could get.
Am I too strict on my children? I know I really don’t need to pack a package of box of bandages, pain reliever, and two changes of clothes for a one-night sleepover. I could probably loosen up on interrogating the parents of my children’s friends whenever they have a sleepover. Maybe being too strict is the right answer for my family.