People who had very strict parents growing up usually have these 8 personality traits

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

What are strict parents, exactly?

Are we talking about people who would wait until their kids ate half their dinner before giving them ice cream? Or are we talking about people who forbade sweets, didn’t let TV or phones in the house, and made their kids fetch water from the well a mile away?

Well, let’s look at something in the middle.

We can define strict parents as people who didn’t just let their kids do whatever they want whenever they wanted. They had rules and structure, and they were consistent in delivering them.

At times, they may have been too rigid and authoritarian and may have acted more like guards than caregivers. 

This sternness will have certainly had an effect on their children, perhaps both positive and negative.

So, people who had very strict parents growing up usually have these 8 personality traits as a result.

1) Self-discipline

Strict parents introduce rules and structure into their children’s lives at a young age.

The result is that their kids grow up thinking that the world is a very structured place. They understand rules and laws, schedules, and timetables because they have experience with them.

As adults, children who were raised by strict parents often have a lot of self-discipline because they learn to control their own conduct and make choices that are in line with “the rules.”

Instead of having their parents always tell them what to do and how to do it, which gets tiring, they learned to do things right and on time themselves.

They also learned to reject behaviors that were deemed incorrect or inappropriate by their parents, even when their parents weren’t around.

These are people who will refuse another drink because they have to work in the morning or get up at the crack of dawn to exercise as part of their morning routine while the rest of us are still snoozing.

These people might also find themselves happy to have a lot of structure around them because that’s what they’re used to. They may feel more comfortable in a work or school environment than in a purely social one since they see work as having clear rules and a structure that they can understand.

2) Self-sufficiency

Authoritative parents lay down the law according to what they feel is right for their kids, but they also explain their rules and have good reasons behind them.

These parents are still certainly considered strict by anyone’s definition because they still have rules and structures and don’t let their kids just run wild.

But they give their children reasonable structures that they can understand and thrive within.

These children are very likely to grow up into self-sufficient adults.

Why?

Because they have experience with structure and learned in their childhoods how structure can help them make their own rules and practices.

A simple example of this is from my own life. 

My parents were strict about bedtime because they knew that I needed to get a good sleep to feel good the next day. I still do, and I can get myself up and at ’em in the morning with no difficulty.

My partner, on the other hand, was allowed to go to bed whenever she wanted since she was about ten years old. Consequently, she still stays up late for no apparent reason and struggles to get up in the morning.

This is just one way that strict parents give their kids rules and structures that they incorporate into their adult lives to be more self-sufficient.

3) Dedication

Strict parents tend to believe in doing the right thing and working hard, and these are values they impart to their children.

They don’t let them get away with doing things half-assed.

Instead, they encourage their children to do things with their full intention behind them if they want to succeed.

As long as the children follow these ideas and see some success in their younger years, they’ll grow up believing in giving their all.

This means that strict, authoritative parents can produce kids who know the value of working hard and doing their best.

This applies to school, career, and even relationships.

You often see that some of the most dedicated, hard-working people come from families where hard work was considered necessary and being lazy was simply not an option.

4) Respectfulness

When I was young, I never knew any of our neighbors’ names.

Well, not their first names, anyway.

I was always taught to call them by their title and surname, like “Hello, Mr. Drinkwater,” and “Fine day, Ms. Diebert, isn’t it?”

OK, it wasn’t that bad – I wasn’t born in Victorian England!

But was certainly taught to be respectful to my elders and to mind my manner.

This is consistent with people who had strict parents growing up.

I certainly never called my parents Frank and Linda (not their names, anyway!) when I was growing up, while some of my friends called their parents by their first names. 

Whether parents are strict and authoritative or overly strict and authoritarian, their children almost always grow up to at least know what good manners are, even if they don’t always use them.

5) Rebelliousness

So far, we’ve looked at some of the positives of having strict parents, who I’ve mostly called “authoritative.”

However, parents who are overly strict and demand blind obedience from their children can be considered authoritarian.

And unfortunately, these parents have kids who tend to grow up to have negative personality traits.

One of the biggest ones is rebelliousness.

If parents are too strict, their children can feel stressed and pressured, and when they grow up, they often act out. They feel the need to rebel against the pressure they’ve always felt to perform, be good, and do what they’re told.

So, the most rebellious young adults usually come from the strictest families.

These people also aren’t well-equipped for success in the outside world since most of their rules and structures were imposed on them. They weren’t explained and rationalized so the kids could take them on board.

So when these people move out to live on their own, they suddenly feel both a reason to rebel against their past and an ability to create structure in their own lives.

6) Deceptiveness

If your parents have tons of rules and are extremely demanding that you conform to their high standards, you might find a way to compensate.

Instead of getting in trouble or disappointing your parents constantly, there’s one other way you can navigate the situation – lying.

Didn’t do your homework? Just say you did.

Want to go to a party, but you’re not allowed? Tell your parents you’ve gone to a study session instead.

When children feel such pressure to perform and to follow super-strict rules, they can learn to become deceptive as a coping mechanism. 

Of course, when they grow up, they’re already practiced at deception and tend to continue to use it in their adult lives.

This can have big effects on their careers and especially their relationships when they’re older.

7) Low self-esteem

If you don’t lie about following the rules or performing up to the standards that your strict, authoritarian parents demand, what can you do?

Well, the answer for a great many people in this situation is to develop low self-esteem

If you’re constantly being told that you haven’t lived up to the standards set for you and being punished for breaking the rules, you may start to feel like you’re a bad person.

Wouldn’t you?

While authoritative parents may set out structures for their kids to help them succeed, authoritarian parents often set rules to satisfy their own needs. These could be to maintain order in the household or even to have control over others.

But when they’re overly harsh, it’s the child’s self-esteem that suffers. They grow up feeling like they’re not good enough and not moral enough to please the people who should love them unconditionally, and this can affect all their adult relationships.

8) Depression

In some cases, strict parenting can lead to more than just low self-esteem. 

If a child feels beaten down and battered by their parents’ expectations and disappointment, they can become depressed later in life.

Depression and low self-esteem are intertwined in these cases. 

Without a healthy value for their selves, people in this situation lose the ability to rebound after difficult situations. They lack resilience and, therefore, can’t pull their way out of depression. 

Final words

People who had very strict parents growing up usually have these 8 personality traits.

However, the traits that they have depend on how strict their parents actually were.

If they had authoritative parents who had fair rules that were explained, they may thrive and have a lot of the positive traits we saw.

But if their parents were too strict and authoritarian, they may develop negative personality traits.

If you had strict parents, you can probably figure out just how strict by the level of success in your life now.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

People who are kind on the surface but mean underneath often display these specific behaviors

9 body language signs that someone has low self-esteem