Why Is My Dad So Strict? (11 Reasons Why)

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Isabelle O'Gallagher

Isabelle O'Gallagher is a personal development and relationship expert who has consulted for some of the biggest companies in America.

Parents can be strict, but dads tend to be more strict than moms. If you have a strict dad, it can be frustrating to deal with all the rules and regulations they put in place in your life.

Why is your dad so strict? Is there something that made him this way, or did he decide to be like this by himself? Is there anything you can do about it or are you stuck?

Why Is My Dad So Strict?

1. He Came From Another World

Your dad could be strict because he came from a world. Most parents have about a 20-30 year difference between their kids. They were born in different times.

When your dad was young, he likely did not have access to as much technology. There was more limited access to information and scary items that happen in the world.

Because of this access, it can be scary for a father to raise a child in the world. He might be strict because he’s not used to everything this world offers to a kid.

2. His Dad Was Strict

Parents often parent kids in the way they were raised. If your dad had strict parents, he could be strict as a reflection of how he was parented. It’s only natural to imitate.

If you want to be certain, you can reach out to your grandfather or even ask your dad about his childhood. Good questions will reveal a lot to you about the parenting style.

The good news is, that strictness often fades as you get older. Your dad will become more relaxed as you prove to him that you are more than capable of handling yourself in the world.

3. He Wants To Protect You

Many parents are strict because they want to protect you. They only have your best interest at heart, and the strictness may be out of a desire to see you as safe as possible.

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If you feel like they don’t trust you, you can always ask your parents why they want to protect you so much. Maybe you can help them understand that you are capable of thriving.

Of course, some strict rules really might be for your benefit. It’s critical to respect your dad if he really thinks there is a restriction that will keep you safer than sorry.

4. He Doubts Your Ability

There are some parents that, unfortunately, don’t have much faith in their children. Your dad might be afraid that you can’t succeed without the rules he puts in place for you to follow.

It can be frustrating to have a strict parent that doesn’t think you’ll succeed. If you think this might be the case, a helpful conversation with your dad might be the right answer.

When you turn eighteen, you have the chance to leave the house and escape the strictness. Until then, unless harmful, abiding by the rules until you succeed may work.

5. He Has Cultural Influence

Some cultures are stricter than others. If your dad came from a culture like that, he might be stricter as a result of his upbringing and the people who raised him.

It can be difficult to handle cultural influences. Likely, you can’t convince your dad to shift from the environment he thrived in and continues to thrive inside.

Try to understand your dad’s culture. By doing this extra work, you can better understand where he’s coming from with his strictness.

6. He Wants Control

He Wants Control

Some men want nothing but control. Your dad might be strict because he wants to declare that he is number one in your family.

It can be frustrating to handle a guy who wants control, especially if he is your dad. You will need to find a way to assert that you are in control, even in domineering situations.

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Get out of the strictness when you can, and obey when it seems fair. Caution will work well with a dad who only wants control.

7. He Has High Expectations

Every parent has expectations, but some are more intense than others. Your dad might be strict because he has an expectation for the way you will turn out later in life.

If you know your dad has high expectations, it’s critical to talk to him. You can convey how you feel and let him know about your goals and ideals for the rest of your life.

High expectations lead to strictness to guide you on a path to success. Unfortunately, they can lead to trouble for your mental health for the rest of your life.

8. A Sibling Failed Expectations

Are you a younger sibling? If so, your dad could be strict due to a failure from an older sibling. They don’t want you to go down the same path that they did.

Your sibling might have crashed in a big way or gone in a different direction than your parents expected. Either way, your dad may be strict because of it.

If your sibling disappointed your parents, communicate with your sibling. They can help you navigate through the strictness.

9. He Wants Perfection

Some men have a vision of a perfect family and won’t settle for anything less than that. The strictness is intended to shape you into an ideal image of what they want.

It’s impossible to reach perfection. The strictness works to shape you into something perfect, but it might push you further from that in the end.

If you have a dad who seeks perfection, talk to him about what you can and cannot do. Strictness can’t change you, and it might actually harm you.

10. He Has A Serious Personality

Some dads are strict because they have serious, almost military-like personalities. They don’t like messing around and want all of their children in line at all times.

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If you have a military-like father, it will become evident in the way they act. You and your siblings might be treated more like soldiers than you will be children.

Communication is critical here, but it might be best to try to empathize with your dad. There is something in his life that made him the way that he is to be this way.

11. He Has A Plan

Some dads have a goal in mind for their family. They want kids to go one way, and their children may shift that expectation. Strictness might be a result of his vision for you.

It’s critical to talk to your dad. He might convey his plan to you, revealing that he has a certain standard for success. You might not want or be able to meet his ideal standard.

If your dad has a plan, the strictness works to push you the way he wants you to go. A strict dad might have good intentions, but they can cause harm.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why your dad gets mad over little things, why dads are so protective of daughters, and why your husband checks out other women.


There are many reasons why your dad might be strict. He could desire control, want to protect you, or be influenced by the culture he grew up in. There are many influential factors.

If you have a controlling dad, there are a couple options. You could talk to him, fight the rules, or deal with them until you can leave. Sometimes, the strictness comes from a place of love.


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