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16 Signs You're Too Strict With Your Kids

If this sounds like you, it may be time to change your discipline style.

5. You don’t watch your words.

It’s not just how you say it; it's what you say. Even if your tone is measured, your words matter. "Calm voices can say mean things," Darling says. "Content is more important than the way it is said."

6. You don’t put in the time.

When you ask your children to do something difficult, don't just order them to do it. Work alongside them instead.  "Good parenting is about putting the time in," Darling says.

7. You are always the cop, nag, monitor, or reminder.

"If these are the mainstays of your relationship to the exclusion of other things that one could and should do as a parent, you may be too strict,"  psychologist Ron Taffel, author of Childhood Unbound, says.

8. Your child leaves you out.

"If your child talks to you less and less about the things that matter, this could be a sign that you are too strict," Taffel says. "You can win the battle, but lose the war. You can get your kids to do things that you like them to do, but they are not opening up to you about the things that make them anxious or uneasy."

9. Your children don’t bring their friends over.

"Kids want rules, and all kids will gravitate to a house with rules," Taffel says. "But if you spend your time reminding children about the rules, criticizing your child in front of other kids, and asking too many probing questions, your kids may stop bringing their friends by. If children do ask for return play dates, and other kids talk to you and approach you, you have made your house a home that kids want to be in."

10. Your child is seen and not heard.

"In the 21st century -- with kids tweeting and Facebooking everything -- they expect to be heard," Taffel says, adding that you're too strict if you don’t give your kids an opportunity each day to state their opinion. "You don’t have to agree with them or do what they are saying," he says. "But you should allow them the time to say it."

11. Your child is all work and no play.

Taffel says, "Kids need comfort time and downtime to synthesize what they have learned. If they are filled with skills, knowledge, and information that they can’t use and are just learning for the sake of learning, their brains end up like sponges absorbing things, but they have no idea what it all means."

12.You are the only one.

"Find out what other parents are doing," Taffel says. "When no other parents are doing the same exact thing as you -- such as not allowing your children to go online even with parental supervision -- you may be too strict."

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