Overly Strict Parents: Problems and Consequences

It's alright for parents to guide their children and have certain control over their activities and responsibilities. However, too many demands will result in more problems than benefits.
Overly Strict Parents: Problems and Consequences

Last update: 31 July, 2018

We all know that raising children is no easy task. However, being overly strict isn’t always the right answer. It’s true that many parents receive criticism for being too permissive, especially in today’s society.

However, going to the opposite extreme and demanding too much of your children is also detrimental. Some parents place too much pressure on their children to be obedient, polite, smart… in other words, perfect.

There are countless cases that demonstrate what overly strict parents are like. For example, when a student gets a B+ on a test and her parents punish her immediately so that next time she’ll do better. When she gets an A- on her next test, her parents reprimand her for not getting an A.

Why does this occur?

Mothers and fathers who are overly strict and demanding with their children practice what is called authoritative parenting. These parents tend to be inflexible in their expectations. They often feel the need to control every aspect of their children‘s lives in order to assure they meet their objectives.

A possible solution

A healthier approach would be for parents and children to agree mutually on expectations. This often results in a more positive outcome. It’s all about staying away from excessive demands. Furthermore, when parents constantly remind their children of everything they need to do, this can produce a certain degree of dependence.

Overly Strict Parents: Problems and Consequences

As adults, these children tend to be lacking in basic life skills and autonomy. They don’t know how to make decisions on their own, and this affects them in their daily lives. With so many demands and an incapacity to meet them, these children end up being completely and noticeably insecure.

“These parents tend to be inflexible in their expectations. They often feel the need to control every aspect of their children’s lives in order to assure they meet their objectives.”

The consequences of having strict parents

Children who have overly strict parents may display the following characteristics:


This depends on the parents’ character, and the personality and capacity of every child. Some children set out to meet their parents’ expectations and manage to do so through optimal performance.

When that’s the case, these children often end up with a personality similar to that of their parents. In other words, these children also become demanding and in many cases, perfectionists. They aspire to reach the same level of performance that their parents impose.


In many cases, parents place demands on their children that are too high. Upon failing to meet these expectations, children become frustrated, rebellious and paralyzed. All of this translates into insecurity, dependence, low self-esteem, and a predisposition towards anxiety and depression in adulthood.

What do specialists have to say?

Specialists assert that this is a common issue among parents, especially in regards to academics. In today’s society, most parents want their children to have a good education, be competitive and stand out in their studies.

However, parents often make these demands without knowing if their children have the ability to meet them. There are even cases when parents create expectations without even asking themselves what their children really want in life.

Of course, there are many parents who aren’t only overly strict and controlling in regards to academics. Rather, they are also extremely demanding about completing household chores, succeeding in sports, fulfilling family commitments, etc.

Overly Strict Parents: Problems and Consequences

Recommendations for achieving a peaceful parent-child relationship

An excess of demands creates trauma and stress in children. When they reach college or even high school they may lose their sense of commitment. This, of course, will cause grades to drop. Some teens may even decide to abandon school altogether because they’re tired of so much pressure.

On the other hand, parents who place excessive demands on their children without taking into account their own desires may in fact inhibit their feelings.

Below is a list of tips to help you avoid being overly demanding with your children:

  • Spend quality time with your children and have conversations with them about their day.
  • Find out what your children’s interests are, what their hobbies are, what’s their favorite sport, etc.
  • Encourage and motivate your child as necessary.
  • If your child lacks a goal, help them by guiding them towards a goal they desire.
  • Be affectionate.
  • Congratulate your children when they succeed. If they’re struggling, encourage them to keep trying.

Over time, you’ll come to see that trying to control your child’s life won’t always get you the results you’re looking for. Most often, love and affection are the best techniques for raising happy and successful children.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Manuel, J., García-Linares, M. C., & Casanova-Arias, P. F. (2014). Relaciones entre estilos educativos parentales y agresividad en adolescentes. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 12(1), 147-170. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/2931/293130506007.pdf
  • Jiménez, M. (2010). Estilos educativos parentales. Recuperado de http://www. juntadeandalucia. es/educacion/webportal/ishareservlet/content/bfbb12cc-abc8-489e-8876-dd5de0551052. http://www.fapacealmeria.es/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/ESTILOS-EDUCATIVOS.pdf
  • Torío López, Susana, Peña Calvo, José Vicente Y Rodríguez Menéndez, Ma del Carmen. (2008) Estilos educativos parentales. Revisión bibliográfica y reformulación teórica. Teoría de la educación. Revista interuniversitaria.
  • Raya, A. F., Pino, M. J., & Herruzo, J. (2009). La agresividad en la infancia: el estilo de crianza parental como factor relacionado. European Journal of Education and Psychology, 2(3), 211-222. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1293/129312574004.pdf

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.