I’m not sure when it started, but I noticed it a couple of weeks ago.
On March 13th, I celebrated having reached 3,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, after having it for nine years.
By June 6th, the number of subscribers had grown to 5,000.
Fast forward seven days and the number of subscribers has ballooned to 10,000.
Why the sudden growth?
After looking into why the growth was happening, we realized YouTube had begun recommending one of my videos to viewers.
This recommendation was based on the viewers’ search for similar videos or the history of other videos they had watched.
Over the last two weeks, my channel’s average daily views went from about 1,200 to about 48,000.
I currently have 953,000 total views on my channel.
If things continue at this rate, I should reach a million views in 2-3 days.
People pay for this kind of exposure/growth and I didn’t even know it was happening.
And now the video YouTube has been recommending has reached 644,541 views and has several thousand comments.
So, what is it about this video that’s struck a nerve with thousands of teens?
The title is “Parents, this is what could happen if you’re too strict on your child.”
Go here to see it for yourself.
What Teens Have to Say About Parents Being Too Strict
Although I don’t have time to read all of the comments, I’ve read enough to pick up on several common themes:
- Teens all over the world think their parents are too strict. I’ve lost count of the number of countries where the commenters are from.
- “Someone make Albanian subtitles for my parents.”
- “I need this in Mandarin for my parents. But Chinese culture be like, ‘oh no, it’s the way.’”
- “Could someone translate this to Portuguese, so I show for my mom?”
- Teens really do want to have conversations with their parents.
- “Me: *tells mom story that happened at school* Mom: *Oh that’s cool OR full blown lecture.* She never listens or gives me attention, but she wonders why I never want to hang out with her.”
- “I wish I had a good and trusting relationship with my parents with reasonable rules and boundaries. It’s so ironic, they think being strict will protect me, but it may just lead me down the wrong path.”
- “I couldn’t talk to my parents about anything. I didn’t know until I was an adult that they were actually pretty easy to talk to, but they never initiated a conversation. I was a teen mom.”
- If you don’t allow your daughter to have some amount of independence while she’s a teen, she won’t know how to be independent as an adult.
- “Now I’m in my mid 20s and since I was never able to be independent I have no idea how to pick a direction in life. I was used to someone making decisions for me. And now that it’s time for me to do it by myself I don’t know how. I work some crappy job I hate and just stay home all the time cause I never learned how to develop lifelong friends.”
- “I wish to leave. But I can’t. Because I’ve been forced to rely on you all this time. The person who’s been forcing me to be independent yet is making all my choices for me and pushing away any learning opportunities that would make me grow up. You’re an a%*hole. But I still love you. And that’s my biggest problem.”
- “I beg people, please do not suffocate your children. It can cause many problems in their adult lives. You will wind up having your children forever safe and never strong.”
What Parents Need to Know. What Can You Do?
1. Rules are definitely necessary, but they must be made in conjunction with a relationship.
Rules without a Relationship = Rebellion
Relationship without Rules = Promiscuity
Relationship with Rules = Positive Parenting
2. Explain the logic behind the rules/boundaries.
“If I asked my mom something and she’d say no, I would ask why and then she would say either ‘because I said so’ or ‘that’s why.’ She doesn’t even bother with a reason. But yet she’s so surprised that I don’t bother talking to her about personal things.”
3. Collaborate with your daughter on establishing some of the boundaries so you can help prepare her for setting her own boundaries and making decisions when she’s older. I do believe there are rules that should be non-negotiable, and as a parent, you have every right to determine what those are. But I encourage you to allow your daughter to provide her input on some of the rules/boundaries that don’t come with severe potential consequences.
“I’m grateful for my parents and for them protecting me, however, it makes me scared of the world and everything in it. Makes me scared of making mistakes. Overthink about everything and everyone. But I don’t want to be like that anymore. I want to take my life into my own hands and be the person that I want to be, not what my parents want me to be. It just takes time because, like i said, of the damage that takes affect when we get older.”
I imagine the parents of the teens who left comments on my video would be surprised to read what their teens had to say.
I also believe it can be difficult for parents to find a balance between being “too strict” and not strict enough with their children.
So, no judgements here!
Just encouragement to sit down with your daughter, watch this video together, and ask her the following questions…
…Do you believe I have been too strict?
…If so, in what way(s)?
Let her responses guide you both in setting and/or reinforcing healthy boundaries for her you both can feel good about.
After you do, I’d love to hear what you came up with. Just comment below with your feedback.
P.S. Watching the video spread like wildfire on YouTube was a great reminder that what we as adults think is a big issue with teens, doesn’t always agree with what they think is a big issue. And we can’t afford to simply dismiss what they’re telling us. Maybe your daughter has never specifically complained that you were “too strict,” but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t believe it. The only way to know for sure is to ask. But be sure to watch this video together first.
P.P.S. Clearly the issue of parents being “too strict” is a hot-button topic for teens and one that ALL parents need to be made aware of. So please share this post on social media. Thank you!