As an only child, it was inevitable that I would have strict parents. I was the kid who could never sneak out of the house, I rarely went to a friends birthday party without a parent present, and I always had one of my parents as a chaperone on every single field trip I ever took. As a child, I hated that my parents were always there! I was jealous of my friends who had more lax parents that allowed them to go ice skating on a Friday night by themselves. But now, as an adult, I am so thankful that my parents were as strict and overprotective as they were. Because it turns out there are a ton of awesome things about growing up with strict parents.
1. You develop self-discipline early.
As a kid, growing up with strict parents allows you to learn self-discipline quickly. In fact, it’s these critical life skills that allow you to be a great student, employee, and overall person. Life has a way of kicking us in the butt sometimes. We may fail, we may change careers, or we may get our hearts broken. But no matter what happens in our lives, the self-discipline that is instilled in us from a young age allows us to bounce back from any seeming disappointment and continue on with life.
2. You become an independent badass.
Maybe it’s a combination of being an only child and having strict parents but there is a beautiful thing that happens when your parents force you to take care of yourself at an early age. All parents want their kids to be healthy and practice good behaviors. Strict parents are able to explain to their children the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Investing the time to actually explain the negative effects of drugs and alcohol allowed me to understand the importance of being active and staying healthy in adulthood.
3. You are the best gift giver.
Although my parents always provided me with everything I needed they kept their indulgences to a minimum. In fact, when they treated me to a new bike or a trip to my favorite city, NYC, they always explained why I was receiving this gift. Whether I got an A on my English test or won a gold medal at my figure skating competition, they made sure I understood why I was receiving a gift. As a result, as you grow up you start to make an effort to give presents to friends and family that actually mean something. Since you were provided with gifts that actually meant something to you, you understand the importance of gift-giving and put a lot of thought into a present.
4. Overthinking is in your nature.
While overthinking can be seen as a detrimental character flaw, it’s actually a great quality to have when used selectively. For instance, my overthinking allowed me think things through when I was in college. It allowed me to act responsibly and rationally when most of my friends were being reckless. That’s not to say that I didn’t indulge in some irresponsible behavior. However, as an adult those reckless behaviors became more and more seldom. In fact, most adults who grew up with strict parents make good choices even when it’s the difficult choice to make. We definitely act a lot less impulsively and spontaneously than our peers who had more relaxed parents.
5. You will be successful.
Your biggest motivation is likely to always please your parents. Maybe it’s my people-pleaser nature, but I always want my parents to be proud of my accomplishments. Even as a kid, it was something that motivated me to do well in school and spotIn fact, there are plenty of times I may not want to do a certain thing, but if there is potential to see a proud mama or papa, I will find a way to get it done. In the end, kids who have strict parents fear disappointing their parents. Therefore, having them be a motivating factor provides them with a constant reason to do big things in the world and be successful.
6. You’re honest and care about living that way.
Although children of strict parents really want to make their parents happy and proud. Our bigger life goal is to live honestly. Although our parents may not agree with every aspect of our lifestyle or understand our unique or creative career choices, we choose to be honest with them. In fact, by being honest with your parents you can develop mutual respect as an adult that allows for a beautiful parent-child relationship to blossom.
So thanks mom and dad for never allowing me to go to a dance without a chaperone, constantly calling me to check in, and making sure I grew up into a wonderful adult.
Now, it’s your turn! Have you grown up with strict parents? If so, what things did you learn from that experience now that you are an adult? Please share in the comments below. As always, I love hearing from all of you! Let’s continue the conversation below.