Do Strict Parents Create Sneaky Kids?


Alyssa Lacap and her mom Josie Lacap are on a family date at the waterpark. Though Alyssa is unable to spend time with friends, her parents take her out occasionally to make up for it. “I have amazing, caring, and loving parents that I am grateful. I can only just hope that someday I’ll gain the trust from my parents that I’ve always wanted,” she said. Photo submitted by Alyssa Lacap.

Alyssa Lacap, Reporter

I was raised by parents who were both strict and overprotective. My mother complained when I stayed at home “doing nothing,” and my father complained when I wished to go out and spend time with friends or have them over. There was never a mutual understanding and no way to bargain with them.

“As long as you live under my house, you live under my rules,” was one of the repeated mantras my parents used with me. I’m sure my parents are not the only parents who have said this.

Based on a psychological study, strict parents who use too much discipline and restrain their children from doing most activities have kids that are “at higher risk for mental health problems, ranging from anxiety and depression to alcohol and drug abuse,” according to the article “American Parenting and Physical Punishment” by Emily Cuddy and Richard V. Reeves. It can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety, and/or disassociation within children.

Parents and their children should find a common ground and maintain constant communication rather than setting strict rules without knowing how their children might feel about it. For example, parents and children can work together to create a schedule and curfew as to when the child should be allowed to go. This allows children and adults to develop a trust because when parents lack the trust for their children, it can create more distant parent-child relationships later on.

Parents are legally required to support their children who are dependent on them. Supporting children includes providing food, clothing, shelter, and basic care. Since they are legally required to be responsible for you, there is no other option but to accept your parents and their rules reluctantly without protest.

If a child makes the decision to become independent before the majority age, the child may be emancipated with the guardian’s consent. Emancipation is the legal process that allows a minor to assume responsibility for his or her welfare. When a child becomes emancipated, his or her parents are no longer legally obligated to support the child.

“Strict parents make sneaky kids” is a phrase that makes you stop and think for a minute. Start by asking yourself if you have strict parents, and then, a follow-up question is to reflect on your behavior and ask if you’ve become mischievous and sneaky because of that fact. As someone who was raised with strict parents, the way I was being treated seemed completely normal. Then as I grew older, I’ve gained a bit of knowledge of how other parents treated their children.

I understand that my parents are worried when I’m out when they’re not around. However, it gets to a point where they won’t allow me to leave the house at all. I’ve become depressed as I locked myself inside my room. Last year for my 16th birthday, all I wished for was to hang out at the mall with my friends and for nothing else.

Lacking the ability to leave the house has been one of the major reasons why I’ve turned to build friendships with people online. I’ve had friendships that lasted months and even years. My parents will point out that I’m on my phone or laptop often and the most simple explanation I have is that that’s the most fun I’ll ever get to have with friends, at least up until I hit the age where I can be independent.

And don’t get me wrong, I come from a great home. I have amazing, caring, and loving parents that I am grateful. I can only just hope that someday I’ll gain the trust from my parents that I’ve always wanted.