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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.

13. You forbid anything.

"You don’t encourage something, but you also don’t forbid it," Short says. "Say, ‘I'd rather you didn’t do this for these reasons. But if you choose to do it anyway, I may keep a closer watch on you because of my concerns.’"

14. The rules are the rules, no questions asked.

"You have to have rules in place," Short says. "There have to be clear, consistent rules because it helps with predictability and expectations. But there also needs to be some wiggle room in special situations." For example, if your child has a midnight curfew but the designated driver is drunk, your child needs to feel comfortable phoning home to ask for leniency and a ride, she says.

If you are authoritarian not authoritative.

There’s a difference, Short says. Authoritative parents set clear expectations and can be hard on their kids. But they do it out of warmness and concern for a child’s betterment, whereas authoritarian parents say, "It’s my way or the highway." Authoritarian parents, Strong says, are "controlling and not warm. An authoritative parent is age-appropriately controlling and also warm."

16. You are as cold as ice.

"Nobody cares if parents are tough as long as they are warm," Short says. The problem, she says, is "when you are tough and cold."

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Reviewed on February 02, 2011

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