"Strict Parents. Fear of Parents"

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Post  Tue, Dec 12 2006, 10:56 am
I'm wondering about this very much.
My DD is not scared of either of us and both of us really are not the type that can be strict. Two softies in other words Very Happy .
People tell me that a child should be scared of the parents (usually the father) and that a father (or sometimes the mother)should be strict.
Strict and Gentle.
I know I was scared of my father, (not of my mother though). and b''h they have good kids.
Is it OK that my husband and I are not strict at all, and that she's not scared of either of us? I am consistent when I say something but just not strict.
Is your Husband the strict one, are your kids scared of him (or of you?)

Please advise
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chocolate moose


Post  Tue, Dec 12 2006, 11:00 am
How old are the kids?
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Post  Tue, Dec 12 2006, 11:22 am
Just be consistent - who says they have to be scared. We want them to do things cause they're right or not cause they're wrong. Strict is not loud - I like your firm but gentle ways - I wish I could have been that way.
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Post  Tue, Dec 12 2006, 11:23 am
Sometimes I tend to be strict and I guess I put on this really serious and scary mommy act and a lot of times my kids do buy it and then I wonder if I am not over doing it. I don't think a kid being scared of a parent in a plain sense of a word is good respect definately, awe maybe if it is possible- great but not fear. A kid should feel that a parent loves him and will be there for him but at the same time has an obligation given to him from Hashem to educate him and that's where strictness comes in, but it is only out of love for a child. In a relationship like this there is no place for being scared of a parent
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Post  Thu, Dec 14 2006, 2:21 am
The key is not percentages. It is your intention in being lenient and strict. Both are tools to be utilized in a clear chinuch goal. The same goes for encouragement and criticism. Parents need a full stocked toolbox and to know how to use the right tool for the job at hand. Something like pick your battles. But once your in them fight them to the end if that is what's best for your child.

If you are strict to control the child will rebel. If you consistantly forbid things only because they are bad for your child you can be as strict as you feel is necessary w/o having to conform to the child or surroundings. Your child will realize that you don't say no stam. The test I have offered here several times is: If you are angry the need to control is probably in operation. If you feel love, concern or pity then your love of your child is probably in operation.

If you are lenient because you think this decision is what's best for your child stick to it and don't let others influence. (Except your LOR or DH in private where apprpriate ).

If you have to stand firm on a highly charged issue try to have the rav or someone else be the one to do it as the relationship is less charged. If the issue is halachic you can ask the rav and make him the one to say no. Most good community rabbonim will participate in this kind of chinuch.

There are IMO 2 clear rules.
When in doubt take the stricter approach.
Whatever you decide be consistant. Do not enter into negociation when a situation that already is covered by your rules.
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