As I go around the country teaching parenting seminars and trying to help parents make healthy changes in their family relationships, I notice there are two things which get asked the most.
1. What do you do for attitude problems?
2. How do you stop tantrums?
In January 2009, the interviewer from the BBC Britain asked me if I thought I was a strict parent. I have never liked the word strict, because I have associated it with a parent who yells a lot, is stern looking and engages in power struggles. So, in response to the question, I said, “I wouldn’t use the word strict to describe me, but I would say I am firm.”
I shared my thoughts about the word strict with a wise friend of mine. She looked me in the eye and said, “You are wrong about people who are strict. A strict parent DOESN’T HAVE TO YELL.”
All of the sudden I wondered if the semantics of the word strict have been changed in recent years.