I was recently asked if I thought I was a strict parent. I have never liked the word strict, because I associate it with a parent who yells a lot, is stern looking and engages in power struggles. So, in response to the question, I said, “I wouldn’t use the word strict to describe me, but I would say I am firm.”
I shared these thoughts about the word strict with a wise friend of mine. She looked me in the eye and said, “You are wrong about people who are strict. A strict parent DOESN’T HAVE TO YELL.”
All of a sudden I wondered if the semantics of the word strict have been changed in recent years.
Strict isn’t what I thought it was. I looked the word up in my Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. It said:
“Exact, accurate, rigorously nice, governed or governing by exact rules; to observe the strictest rules of virtue and decorum. Not indulgent.”
I think it is safe to say, I am one of the strictest parents I know. Low tolerances make everyone happier and more industrious. Being strict makes a parent a fun person to be around. Children love strictness because then they know the exact road to success. This gives them direction, success and confidence.
At least I now know why I don’t feel the need to yell. Remember, “a strict parent doesn’t need to yell.” A strict parent has a system based on principles, which virtuously govern the home. This system keeps the parent calm. It keeps the children calm. A good system of government = security for the parent and child.
It is also good to point out that if a parent finds themself anxious, frustrated or yelling, then they have probably forgotten to use their government system during a specific incident. For some reason the parent gave up their strict principles. A strict system keeps everyone secure, even the parent.