Strict is good, but not out of balance. A parent can only be as strict as he is affectionate. In fact, the stricter he is the more the affection has meaning; the more affectionate he is the more the strictness has meaning. By “meaning”, I mean the child understands the thing for what it is: he understands strictness as a reflection of the importance of the underlying law and not as personal coldness. And he understands affection as flowing from a person who values some things and rejects other things, but embraces him — no cheap affection, in other words.
Children are praised far too little, get far too little affection (even in our affirmation-obsessed culture), and at the same time move in a desultory world of low standards. All together.
- In the wider culture, we are losing the ability to discipline children and the ability to love them.