None of these things seem over the top to me. Yet, people are always saying we need to lighten up. Maybe what they don't see is that our children run around like banshees a good portion of the time. Maybe they don't see that my kids get to play outside after school with friends (when we or friends don't have a list of activities a mile long) . Maybe they don't see us singing and dancing in the kitchen, or store, or the parking lot, or anywhere and everywhere. Maybe they don't see the HOURS of Lego building, school playing, or family games. Yes, our kids have an early bedtime, but we play games or read together after they're all ready for bed. They must not see the smiles and hear the laughter. What others also forget is that we lead by example. We try to show our children that we, too, follow the rules. We show them that there are consequences for our actions as well. We always try to explain to our children why we make the choices we make. We try to explain our children how we weigh our decisions and how we weigh the different outcomes to make the best choice possible at the time. We show our children that, sometimes, we make poor choices, too.
"Strict" does not equal cold. "Strict" does not equal no fun. "Strict" is us trying to raise children to become decent people. Having chores and following rules does not mean they never get to have fun. It means that when they are adults, they will actually be able to do things on their own. Is our way the best? No. We make plenty of mistakes. We realize that sometimes we are too hard on them and we try to ease up. Can parents who are less "strict" still raise responsible children? Of course. What I'm saying is, the next time you look at my family and say, "Wow, you're so strict", understand that we're OK with that. Everyone chooses how to parent their own children. The goal is to raise happy, responsible people. People who know that choices have consequences. both good and bad. People who know life isn't about always getting what you want. People who understand life isn't about feeling like you deserve people to hand you things simply because you exist. People who know how to laugh and have a good time while still respecting themselves and others. People who appreciate life and all that they have. People who have strong values and morals. Good people, because right now, this world is definitely lacking in good people.