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8 Things Only People With Strict Parents Would Understand

8 Things Only People With Strict Parents Would Understand

If you grew up in a home where your parents ruled the roost with an iron fist, you may look back at it with a mixture of indignation and respect. Strict parents are usually authoritarian and show little warmth and affection, which is probably the one thing you wanted from them most of all.

Maybe your strict parents would be surprised and a little uneasy about research published in the University of New Hampshire, which claims that authoritarian parenting often results in delinquent behavior such as stealing and substance abuse.

Looking back on your own childhood, you see both the negative and positive effects of strict parenting. The question is, will you do it differently when you raise your own children?

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Here are 10 things your strict parents may have done.

1. They always regarded sleepovers with deep suspicion

As soon as the word sleepover was mentioned, all sorts of scary scenarios used to play out in their minds. If your parents were overly strict, this was a definite no-no. Even less strict parents made endless phone calls to your friends’ parents about the arrangements to be made. These parents had to be vetted. Even though you know they had your safety in mind as their top priority, you despised having to tell your best friend that you were forbidden to attend a totally harmless sleepover.

2. They thought academic success was very important

One of the great advantages of strict parents is that they wanted you to do your best and be successful in life. They pushed you hard, made sure that your homework was always done, and forbade you from taking shortcuts. These principles have stood you in good stead, because you know that hard work pays handsome dividends and that you now have enough self-discipline to meet life’s stiffest challenges.

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In fact, it seems that Asian and Chinese children do better academically due to an authoritarian style of parenting. They also scored higher on self-esteem than their American counterparts. It looks as if insistence on homework being done can be beneficial.

3. They constantly criticized you

Strict parents tend to be harsh with their criticism. As a youngster, you probably had to put up with complaints about your room, your untidiness, your laziness, your lack of character, your sloppiness, and your wastefulness. This also usually extended to cover your hair, clothes, friends, and tastes in music. Rather than encouraging you improve yourself, however, it only encouraged you to hide things from your parents. The clothes you had dared to buy in the mall were always carefully hidden, and you swore your parents would never, ever find your hidden stash of forbidden video games and movies. Strict parents want their kids to be well-mannered, but you always thought they went too far!

4. They set very clear limits and boundaries

One good thing about your authoritarian parents was that you always knew the difference between right and wrong. You learned about the values of honesty, thrift, and hard work. You were lectured about self-control. This was a great advantage when it came to resisting peer pressure at school and avoiding risky behavior in college. Because your parents always made sure you faced the consequences of your actions, you grew up understanding the risks of impulsive behavior.

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5. They gave you practically no freedom at all

You were driven everywhere – to school, to movies, and even to parties (the ones they let you attend, anyway). Your friends envied your attentive parents, but you would have preferred to bike or walk everywhere if given the chance. If your parents actually let you have a cell phone, they called you at all times of the day wanting to know where you were and what time you would be back. My brother hated these questions and always replied, “At half past!” You became adept at erasing your phone history and were extra careful about hiding your tracks, constructing stories that wouldn’t backfire and establishing alibis everywhere you went. It was exhausting.

6. They rarely intervened to help you or defend you

There was no helicopter parenting in your house. It was unthinkable that your mom would rush to your defense when you had a problem with your teacher, or storm into the coach’s office when you didn’t make the swimming team. Autonomy was your only choice, and that meant solving your own problems, often completely alone. There was no way to ask your parents for help because they would only blame you, punish you, and criticize you all the more. This was somewhat of a blessing, however, because you are now completely independent, and you never play the blame-game at work because you were never entitled as a child.

7. They ruined your fun with a very tight curfew

When you were finally allowed to go to parties or hang out with friends, your parents imposed a very tight curfew that often made you miss out on the best part of the evening. Getting garbled, second-hand versions from your buddies the next day wasn’t much consolation, either. You often wondered why curfews mattered so much, because bad things can happen to you at anytime, even in the afternoon!

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8. They taught you the value of money

Doing chores, sometimes earning a little money from them, was an important part of your upbringing because it taught you the value of money. Because of your parents’ emphasis on hard work and earning money, you knew how to save up for an important event and learned the basics of budgeting and financial management. You never counted on waiting around for gifts, and if a toy broke, there was no rushing out to buy a new one.

There are moderate approaches to everything in life, and that includes parenting. Kids who were brought up by overly permissive parents tend to be slackers, because they were never expected to work hard. They were overprotected and have none of the skills that help people survive in the adult world. Kids who had strict parents, on the other hand, had little freedom, were constantly watched and criticized, and were rarely encouraged or praised. The best solution is to adopt an authoritative parenting attitude where clear limits are set, but allows parents to love, support, encourage, discuss, and help out without being too protective.

Featured photo credit: homework/Bjorn Bulthuis via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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