Why so many parents want to keep their children on a VERY TIGHT leash? Isn't childhood supposed
to be a time of exploration, letting go, and just BEING. Childhood should be the time of just exploring and sometimes going beyond the parameters, knowing that parents will be there to provide safety. However, many parents do not want their children to be children because to them, that is misbehaving. Also they are fearful if their children explore certain areas that are "forbidden" by their respective family construct. What is rebellion to many parents is a normative part of childhood and adolescent development.
Some parents are over-protective and it seems that this is the kind of parent you refer to. They may mean well, but because of their own socialization, they choose the "very tight" leash. They can be taught and sometimes the children themselves manage to convince them that it is necessary to change their methods. That said, parents still need to exercise cautionary measures to protect their children; they just don't have to be monsters.
The reasons why so many parents want to keep their children on a VERY TIGHT leash may include:
1) They are overconfident about themselves. They think they know EVERYTHING about what is good and what is bad for their children.
2) They believe that tight leash is good for their children all the time, but it is not true. The environment when the parents were young is completely different, but they want to guide their children with their own experience that is out of date. As parents, we all need to learn how to help our children, our precious gifts from God.
3) They don’t have faith in God who plants good seeds in every one of us even before we are born. We all want to be good in every way of our lives. Even a little baby has a tendency to perform well in front of people as soon as he can understand things around him. What we, as parents, need to do is to provide all the support for them to grow and develop their unique personalities. If most of the time, you say “No” to what they want to do, you may kill their creativity or seriously limit their potential.
Very tight leash is not good, but adequate discipline is necessary. Being good and successful parents is not a science but an art. It requires patience and flexibility.
Most parents have the child's best interest at heart. Some parents do go overboard, but children need guidance. A teenager does not have the maturity or wisdom to always discern properly. Children that are free to do whatever they like, usually have a hard time in the real world when someone actually tells them NO.
That might be your idea of childhood but everyone has a different view. Some parents were not meant to be parents. In my perspective, every parent should take a class about child psychology and read four books that helps you adjust to being parents. Three of them talk about the schedules and requirements each stage of childhood needs in order to feel secure. The fourth book is titled "How to Live with Your Children and Like Them". Written by three psychologists (a father and his two sons who are all clinical family psychologists), it talks about dealing with your children in all stages, what makes a happy family, how to respond to alcohol or pouting, etc. A must read for every parent. During chapter two and three are when I realized both mine and my husbands parents messed up. But how to make sure that our parents mistakes wouldn't continue to our children? By following the book.
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