Most people, especially Nigerians, think strict parenting produces better-behaved kids depending on the style. OLUWATOSIN OmoNIYI writes
No doubt, parenting style has a profound effect on the kid’s brain; it is one of the main influences on a child’s future wellbeing. Their brain is moulded by how parents treat their kids and this thus far affects their self-confidence, psyche, capacity to withstand real challenges of life including their academic strength.
According to a recent research, strict or authoritarian child-raising actually produces kids with lower self esteem who behave worse than other kids and get punished more! Strict parenting actually creates behaviour problems in children. Interaction with most parents and teenagers in Lagos revealed that strict parenting could distance the children from their parents.
Peter Makinde, 16 years old teenager said his parents were very strict in virtually everything most especially his social life. For him, his parent’s hard grip often made him feel lonely. “There is always no one around or parent for me to confide my worries to and they were not always at home and whenever I express my desire to go out, they told me stories of how bad and unsecured Nigeria has become. “They would tell me that there are evil people out there, so I should just stay at home and watch the ceiling. When I’m really bored, I love going to a neighbor’s house or go visit a friend but they would not let me. As you see me, my friends are the walls of the house aside the ones I have in school. I feel real lonely and choked,” he lamented.
For Makinde, he believed his parent strictness went too far because they made it a routine of screening each film he had to watch. “Whenever I was on the phone talking, my parent would wait to listen to my conversation and when I was done, they would ask who I was talking to, and what the discussions was all about. Because of these things, I rarely talk to my parents about things that are bothering me, many a times I talked to my sisters when they were around. As a teenager, I never wholeheartedly agree on any issue with my parents. I always pretended to agree but nothing goes down well. I always do, so that they can let me be!” He said.
Hazan opeyemi, 15, years, accused her parents of being extremist when it comes to discipline. She said, “My parents are extremely strict when it comes to clothing and boys. As a rule, I must not receive phone call from male friends. The last time I received call from a boy, my mother seized the phone. When it comes to clothing issue, I don’t have a say because they choose my clothes or that which they believe is suitable for me. Many a times my parents make me wear clothes that I don’t like all in the name of looking really descent. If I must confess, their taste and discipline made me really unhappy. I don’t really agree with my parents on everything, sometimes I do what I want instead of what they are imposing on me. They brought out the rebellion inside of me,” she said
According to Tiodora Shopeka a 14years old girl, “the only time I perceive my parents to be overbearing is when they give me too much work to do and they will still be adding more when I have not even finish one. My parents are strict when it comes to my clothing. They never allowed me to wear clothes above kneel outside the house. Any attempt to argue with them will attract what history of decency was like and what it’s turning to be.
The above scenarios are stories of a few teenagers who feel choked and probably suppressed by their parents discipline styles. That is how they see it but mother differs on their views and argued that children, given free hand would go out of control couple with the fact that they are still growing, their knowledge still need to be guarded.
Sarah Akinwande , a mother, said she is a strict mom, and being strict to young people is the right to do because that’s the only way to mould and shape them to a desire type of children. “With children of nowadays under all sort of influence especially peer influence; it is imperative that parents get strict with them. As they grow up, there is that tendency that they feel they have arrived or do whatever they want and make all the decisions about their life by themselves. In fact, some even talk back to their parent, but when one is strict towards them from the beginning one will be able to handle them properly.
As for James Madueke, believes he doesn’t have to be strict with his children before they behave appropriately. “I’m not a really a strict parent, but I do not take nonsense from my children. I make rule and nobody most go against my rules in the house, because I am trying to enforce discipline in my home. When they go against my rules, I make sure they don’t get pocket money for three days or they stay in their room after school for two days. Their mother is very lenient with them, so she pleads on their behalf sometimes. My children don’t really talk to me about things, except if it is money issue. They talk to their mother a lot even about their problems and their mother tells me about it. For me, that is okay. We both mustn’t be soft with them, else, they get spoilt,” he said.
According to Mrs. Foluke Makanjuola, she is a strict mother. “My children often say I am wicked. It doesn’t matter anyway because they carry out all of my instructions, else, I will punish them severely and yet we are close. The bond is there. I actually know when they are not doing things from their heart, because it shows on their faces. My children tell me about their personal problems, their dreams and even their friends. I advise them if I see the need for that and pray with them if they have bad dreams.
From the stories of the parents, it is obvious that strict parenting is the best method of parenting especially in this time that they believe children getting exposed faster than they should.
According to Mr. Omotola Olayinka, a counselor at the university of Lagos, UNILAG, strict parenting is termed authoritative parents in counselling. He described such parents as parents who do not bother about their children’s opinion but just want them to do what they want. “In counseling, we do not encourage that, when parents go the extra mile to make their children do something, most of the time it’s for their own selfish interest. Parent could be strict to their children in divers’ ways. It could be in the area of academics, dressing and even their social life. Some times when parents see their children going the wrong way and scold them, the child/children may not see it that it is for his/her own good because of the discipline style. They just take it that their parents are too wicked.
He advised that when a child is above 18, he/she should be allowed to his own free will because the child is already an adult and should not be controlled. “We encourage parents to believe in their children and accept them the way they are. They should handle their children with caution and control them to a limited extent because if parents exhibit too strict measures to their children at home, when they go out they tend to do worse things. So it best parents allow their children to be themselves at home so that they can correct with love that which is necessary,” he said.
Olayinka added that, “Most of the time, when parents seems to be over protective, it is because they don’t want their children make certain mistakes that they might have made, but they have to be careful about the way they go about it so that their children don’t take it the wrong way and their communication gap will not be bridged. At times, parent may not fully commend something that is good in their children so that it doesn’t get into their head, but at times they should be commended so that they would be appreciated. He however highlighted effects of strict parenting on children.
EFFECTS OF STRICT PARENTING
• Children withdraw from their parent.
• Children start to fake their character.
• They lose trust in their parent.
• They would not like to discourse their problems with their parents.
• They become good liars.
• They see their parents at lions
• They don’t tell their parents about their decisions
• They won’t be free with their parents.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE PARENTING
• Parents should be close to their children.
• Parents should show their children that they love them.
• Parents should work on their attitude.
• Parents should love their children’s friends.
• Parents should love all their children equally.
• Parents should try to have effective communication with their children.
• Parents should show interest in their children’s education.
• Parents should avoid misunderstanding with their children.