Parents Can Control Their Children, but Psychological Control Is Dangerous

There are few things that many individuals across different cultures and countries can agree on, but most parents can approve that parenting is difficult. There is the urge for children to achieve their independence while simultaneously attempting to protect them from certain aspects of life until a certain age. However, there is some evidence that one particular trait might be essential when raising a happier child.

In 2015, a University of London study concluded that parents who continue to exert psychological control over a child affect their mental well-being. It’s also important to note that psychological control differs from behavioral control.

Behavioral Control

The truth is that every parent SHOULD control their child’s behavior to some extent. Here are some prominent examples of behavioral control that many parents are familiar with:

  • You are establishing a curfew to ensure your child’s safety and the knowledge of their whereabouts.
  • They are encouraging and expecting your children to meet academic deadlines.
  • You are assigning household chores to your children.

Psychological Control

Psychological control is much different. It involves parents trying to influence children through emotions. For example, an example of psychological power is to suggest that a parent will no longer love their child if they act in a way that isn’t harmful to themselves or anyone else. 

If a parent suggests that their children shouldn’t have their own opinions about various subjects, this can also be viewed as a form of psychological control. These parents are intent on their children remaining dependent on them rather than hoping they one day explore the world on their terms.

The Right Boundaries

Parenting can be challenging for many reasons. It might be uncomfortable to bring up specific topics, such as masturbation, pornography, and sex. It also involves making sure that your child is honest and develops friendships in a meaningful way. However, it’s essential to recognize that you cannot control all aspects of your child and shouldn’t want to.

There is no question that parents cannot simply let teenagers go out whenever they want, as this might lead to behavior that will derail their education. However, if you are a parent more concerned with telling your children what to do than ever listening to them, it will undoubtedly cause them stress and anxiety that can affect their overall sense of self.

Better Communication

Your children might rebel in their way, but there’s a good chance that they also understand the role of a parent. You can explain to them why certain boundaries are in place and that you genuinely care about their safety. 

This will help them understand your concerns rather than feel you are trying to control how they think and act. It would be best to encourage independence at the correct times, in increments, from an early age. One of the advantages of being able to communicate is that you can ensure that you and your child are on the same page.