Q: When
I was growing up, my parents were really strict and I didn’t DARE go
against their wishes. I knew it just wouldn’t be worth it. They
definitely controlled my behavior and that is exactly the way I intend
to raise my daughter. How can you say that my parents didn’t control me
and that I can’t control my kids?

A:
Sometimes what happens is that parents have children who are high in
the need for love & belonging. When this occurs, these children are
predominantly motivated to create and maintain positive relationships
with those people who are important to them. They tend to avoid
conflict. So, if you have child high in love & belonging, he or she
is motivated by trying to please you and probably will follow your
guidance.

However, if that child has only followed your rules so he or
she can gain your approval, what do you think will happen when he or
she get out on their own? Typically, that is when things get out of
control. If they have been ignoring their needs for power and freedom
in favor of satisfying their need for love & belonging, then when
they are out from under your strict hand, they will most likely try all
the things they weren’t previously allowed to do. And, if they had no
practice managing difficult situations, then they will be ill-equipped
to manage their new-found freedom.

Sometimes parents have to give up
what they want now (compliance) in favor of what they really want (a
child who knows how to independently, successfully function in the
world).

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