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How Do Parenting Styles Affect Child Development?

Every parent wants their child to develop the very best that they can. There are so many different factors that we look at to make sure that our children have the very best. And when we're talking about creating an environment for that child development to happen, we can't ignore the parenting styles.

The parenting styles are vital for creating the right type of development environment for our children. If you're wanting to have the best developmental results for your child, this article is for you. In previous episodes, I've talked about the 3 different styles of parenting.

That style of parenting is traditional strict parenting. In this article, we're going to talk about why that is and the difference it makes in your child's development. Imagine a home where you say to your child, "I need you to clean the toilet." 

They look at you keep a calm face voice and body and say, "okay." And then they walk off to clean the toilet. And then a few minutes later they come back and they say, "Mom, I cleaned the toilet is there anything else?" Does that seem too good to be true? It happens at my house all the time. Since 1999, we have been teaching our children self-government. 

We have been living in a traditional strict environment. So, they know things. They know how to follow instructions like that and to check back. And when they do come back to me, I praise them, of course. Because it's a positive environment. Traditional strict parents aren't mean. They're incredibly positive. They're motivating, they are helping their children with all of their problems, they're not taking the problems personally. Just to be clear, let me define the word strict. 

When I looked the word strict up in Webster's 1828 dictionary, it said that strict is governing yourself by a set of principles. So, that means that your actions are actually matching your principles. That's what strict is. And traditional strict parents have historically looked back in time and figured out that people who have followed their principles with their actions have the best results. 

So, let me share with you some of the developmental benefits of traditional strict parenting. When parents decide together what type of parenting they're going to be doing in their home, then the result is unity with the parents. When there's unity with the parents, then there's increased bonding between parents and children. So, one of the most obvious results is the bond between parents and children. And this bond usually looks like happiness and understanding. 

A friend of mine said to me one time, "Nicholeen, your family is the happiest family that I know." That was a really nice compliment that she gave me. I didn't solicit it at all. In fact, she said, "Another family was talking about your family and how there are some differences with your family and the rules that you have." And she said, "I looked right at them and said: Those children are the happiest children I've ever met in my life." What a good friend. And she noticed that the decisions that we made as a family have impacted the happiness with our children and the bond in the relationships that we have together. That is a huge benefit. 

Can you imagine what that does for the security of a child? For their feeling of safety and encouragement and empowerment for life? It does a lot of things. Let me tell you about my children. All of them want to start college early. When they hit about 15, they're like, "I want to start college next to your mom. And I want to do these different things." They want jobs. They want to get their driver's licenses. the moment they turn 16. 

They want to do a man's day's work and a woman's day's work. They work with their dad, they build projects. They pull out weeds. They work with me in our family garden for hours at a time without complaining. Just the other day my 18-year old and 16-year old disappeared from the house. And then I heard a sound. I went, "Is that the lawnmower going?" And I went outside and they were just mowing the lawn. Then the next day came. 

They disappeared from the house again. They had free time. They were done with some of the other things they needed to do for school and so forth. I look outside, they're washing my cars. 2 days in a row, mow the lawns then wash the cars. This is what they do. Sometimes they'll be gone for a portion of a day and I come back and they've cleaned the entire house without even being asked. And they say to me, "Mom, it's fun to clean the house. I like to see it when it's done. I'd like to be here myself cleaning it and just going through the process." That is a person who has security. 

Who cares about their family. They're motivated, they're empowered. These are all things that come from having parents who were on the same page with traditional strict principles. Taught their children's skills that match those principles and follow-through is love. And those are all the components of creating a traditional strict parenting atmosphere. Another thing that people notice immediately when they meet me or some of my family members is it's calm. 

There's a feeling of peace and calmness in our house. In fact, when we were on the BBC program, even the camera crew cried at the end. They didn't want to leave our home. And to be honest, we didn't want them to leave either. We love people because we love each other. The love is round and encompassing. It brings in our neighbors, it brings in our families, it brings in total strangers. 

When a family has calmness and love with each other, it spreads out to everybody else and essentially brings them into the safety of that family. One of the members of the camera crew said, "Nicholeen, can I come back to your house for a holiday? I would really like that." Oh, yes. We were so excited at the prospect of him coming back to visit us when he had time off. Obviously, if there's a lot of calmness, that means there's no yelling. 

There's no manipulation too. Just honesty. You know, yelling is a form of manipulation which means that it's actually dishonest communication. In a traditionally strict family, everything is based on truth and honesty. The family has morals and foundational values that are based on what's right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. So, that means all communications are done with honesty and humility. Not manipulation or coercion in any way. 

Of course, it feels safe to be corrected when somebody isn't taking your misbehavior personally. And we don't. We're not worried about manipulating the emotions of our children. We just teach them the principles and the skills that they need to govern themselves. So, that brings us to another benefit. Governing yourself. Did you notice in the story about London and porter going out to mow the lawn or to wash the cars? They just chose it all on their own. 

I didn't tell them to do it. That's governing themselves. When they wake up in the morning, they immediately go on runs, go shower, get all ready for the day. They start their math, they do their chemistry, they do their music. They just tick through every single thing that they have to do. And they know what chores they have to do and they get those done. And I don't have to ask them. Their lives are happier and freer. 

There's no nagging. If they forget something, I'm going to give them an instruction. Nobody's perfect. But the majority of the time, they just do what they know needs to be done. And everybody when we talk together, the type of open communication that exists in our family unit is priceless. I don't have to talk to them about what they didn't do all the time because I've been consistent in my correcting for years for their entire life. 

Because we've been strict in the following principle and applying our skills to those principles. When we have communications, it's about meaningful things. We talk to each other about the things we care about. My children tell me about the boys and the girls that they have crushes on. And we talk about how to develop good relationships. 

We plan things for their future. We laugh and joke and play games. And there's no stress attached to that. You don't know how bad I want every family to experience that type of freedom and peace. Everything I do with teaching self-government and the parenting stuff I teach is to try to free people from emotional bondage. 

Finding that freedom that's on the other side liberates the children and empowers them and makes them desire to be parents and be really functioning adults. Another wonderful benefit of being raised in a traditionally strict family is you become a good problem solver. 

We teach our children certain skills that help them solve problems so they can look at the things around them and determine what they need and what skill they need to use to solve that problem. Whether it's a problem with a relationship or a problem with a chore or something else. Everything is about skill development and they learn so many different skills that their problem-solving becomes easier. In fact, oftentimes people come to my children to solve their problems. 

My oldest daughter who happens to be in college right now is like a therapist for almost all of her friends. She said, "Mom, I feel like I'm the mother of my whole apartment sometimes because they come to me and ask me advice on everything. And I coach them through their problems. And I help them find the solutions." Well, why is she so good at solving problems? I mean, I guess you could say it comes naturally for her. I mean, she is my daughter. It sort of comes naturally for me too. 

But I think it's more because that's just how her life has been all the way long. She doesn't take mistakes personally. When she makes a mistake, she accepts it. It's okay, it doesn't ruin her day. And when someone else makes a mistake even if it affects her, she doesn't take it personally either. She just picks herself up and moves on. 

People who are raised in traditional strict families know that mistakes are okay. They're part of life. They don't have to feel like a failure. In fact, life is just about learning and the excitement goes with that. Not about whether you were better than somebody else or whether you looked good to somebody else. It's just about the processes that we're going through. And we always trust in those processes in our home. 

I've been telling a lot of stories about my children and I guess you can pretty much determine that they're pretty confident. 3 of my 4 children are adults. And I have one that is still high school age who acts like an adult. There's nothing that they think they can't do. They're incredibly confident when they communicate with people. If they have a problem they address it. 

If there's somebody they need to talk to on the phone because they need to reschedule an appointment or ask about a scheduling problem with their college schedule, they just call them up. They just talk to him, they just solve the problems. They're incredibly confident. When you can accept your mistakes as okay and when you can follow through on skills that you've learned for your development, you just naturally become confident. Especially if the environment is not emotional in a manipulative kind of way. 

Emotions are definitely part of the love that we have for each other as a family. But they're saved for those moments where we truly bond and cry together and laugh together and talk about the important things. They're not meant to use each other and abused each other. That's not what we use emotions for in our traditional strict family.

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