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The disadvantages of real discipline

Updated July 20, 2017

Being a very strict parent can have many advantages and disadvantages. However, the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages. Real discipline is very strict and at times harsh. Although strict discipline may be successful in getting a child to complete a task, it can lead to rebellious behaviour, disrespectful behaviour, low self-esteem issues and anger. When deciding how to parent a child, it is best to consider the pros and cons of each different parenting style.

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Rebellious Behavior

Rebellious behaviour in children, especially teenagers, can stem from very strict parenting. Strict rules without equal love and affection can trigger defiant and rebellious behaviour. Overbearing rules without a strong relationship causes children to act out. Also, parents who are too controlling and do not allow children to make their own choices can trigger rebellious behaviour. Teenagers in particular need to have their thoughts and emotions validated and not micromanaged.

Disrespectful Behavior

Children often become verbally disrespectful to overly strict parents. When children are told not to speak in a particular manner, they can become even more disrespectful, whether it is in the moment or at a later time. Preteens and teenagers, in particular, do not like being told what to say or think. Shouting orders, handing down severe punishments and trying to control a child only adds to the disrespectful language and behaviour.

Low Self-Esteem

Children look to their parents for self-esteem. Supportive parents give children a sense of love, empowerment and capability. On the other hand, parents who demand perfection and hand down strict punishments can have the opposite effect. Thus, if children are constantly being reprimanded and disciplined, then they feel unlovable, stupid or unworthy. Low self-esteem affects the remainder of a child or teenager's life.


If children are continually exposed to anger or aggressive behaviour, they begin to internalise and imitate this kind of behaviour. Excessive discipline can be expressed through yelling, verbal abuse, physical abuse or severe punishments. This type of strict discipline and aggressive behaviour can be passed down to a young child, preteen or teenager. When children do not get what they want, whether it is a minor or major thing, they can react with similar aggression and anger. Therefore, disciplinarians must carefully balance between love, affection, gentleness and discipline and enforcement.

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About the Author

Rachel Costello

Based in the Philadelphia area, Rachel Costello has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her areas of expertise include philosophy, literature, education, food and wine. Costello has worked for several marketing companies and her articles have been hosted by many blogs and websites. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University and graduated as a distinguished Paul Robeson scholar.

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