The Effects of Having Strict Parents on Teenagers
Parents enforce rules, set boundaries and offer support in different ways. In general, parents set these boundaries out of concern for the child and true affection. While not always the case, strict parents tend to be authoritarian -- one of the parenting styles psychologist Diana Baumrind identified in the 1970s 3. Parents who are strict or authoritarian, often were raised in a strict manner and know of no other way to parent their own children. The other styles Dr Baumrind pointed out are authoritative and permissive. Unlike the authoritarian parent, the authoritative parent sets limits, but isn't overly controlling. Permissive parents rarely set boundaries at all. Teens that are raised with strict parents can certainly grow to be happy and healthy adults however they may have many clashes with their parents growing up and it can take years before a positive relationship with their parents can develop.
Likely to Rebel Against Authority
A strict parent may believe her teen should accept family rules without question. If a teen asks why he needs to do something, her likely answer would be, "Because I said so." However, the teen may not internalize or even understand his parent's values. He is more likely to act disrespectfully because in this case he doesn't view his parent as a true authority figure, states WebMD.
Likely to Lack Interpersonal Skills
Teens with strict parents may have a hard time making friends or getting along with others. Strict parents tend to lack sympathy when setting boundaries, so a teen obeys out of fear, not out of respect or a sense of right and wrong, according to psychologist Laura Markham. When a teen who has strict parents is around her peers, she may bully others or use force to get what she wants, because she is mimicking behavior that her parents model. In addition, for some teens, the lack of autonomy at home may make it more difficult for her to make her own decisions and she could be more likely to give in to peer pressure in order to please others.
Likely to Have Emotional Difficulties
The lack of warmth that some strict parents show may make a teen feel angry and depressed. Instead of correcting behavior through discipline, strict parents use punishment to control or manipulate a teen's behavior. This parenting style communicates to a teen that his parents don't fully accept him as an individual. The teen is often left to figure out how to cope on his own. When parents fail to offer support or teach their young person how to cope with negative feelings in healthy way, the teen may act out. He does so because he is unable to regulate his emotions. A teen may have low self-esteem if his parents are difficult to please, or if they regard their child’s shortcomings as unacceptable flaws.
May Experience Academic Shortcomings
Positive feedback promotes learning better than negative feedback, and strict parenting can hinder academic achievement. In a 1999 study published in Developmental Psychology, researchers Melissa Kamins and Carol Dweck found that a young person might not perform well on academic problem-solving tasks if she has strict parents who shame her for not performing well generally. In a 1992 publication of "The American Psychologist," the study’s authors reported a connection between authoritarian parenting and low grades, regardless of a teen's ethnic group 3. A teen dealing with emotional struggles may not feel motivated to do well in school, and a strict parent may not offer the academic support the young person needs.
- WebMD: Overly Strict, Controlling Parents Risk Raising Delinquent Kids
- NPR: Parenting Style Plays Key Role in Teen Drinking
- Parenting Science: Authoritarian Parenting: How Does it Affect the Kids?
- AhaParenting.com: What’s Wrong With Strict Parenting?
- Psychology: Concepts and Applications; Jeffrey Nevid
- Torbjorn Lagerwall/Hemera/Getty Images