Children who grow up with well behavioral controlling method tend to be happier and more independent compared to ones perceived that their parents psychologically controlled them throughout their childhood. According to a study of Mai Stafford.
- Behavioral control refers to the extent to which parents expect the child to conform to high standards especially when it is difficult. It also capture the extents to which parents follow through on rules they set.
- Psychological control is the extent to which parents try to control the child’s emotion state or beliefs. The core of psychological control is that it assaults the child’s self by using guilt induction. For instance, it involved not letting children make some of their own decisions, not allowing privacy and encouraging the feeling of dependence.
Parents who want to embrace their kids will opt to behavioural control but it is definitely time consuming process because you are negotiating and letting children to make their own choice. They are usually reluctant to make a choice that we wish they would but being patience and respectful to their decision would maintain some degree of behavioural control without straying into the psychological control zone.
Having say that, what we have done lately was to set clear expectations and go one step farther which is explaining why we set those limits and have those expectations. We let our kid express herself and we as parents respectfully listened to them. But the most important thing is we shown them our supports along the way.
So an advice for my fellows is that make sure you let your kids make as many of their own decisions as you can and it must start now. Ultimately the goal is to raise our kids to be successful and independent adults because that’s a great recipe for happiness and satisfaction.