How strict should parents be with their children?
It’s like saying, how much attention should parents give to their children? Everything depends on the circumstances. It’s impossible to give any prescriptions, but in general parents must supervise their children. They must keep an eye on their children. Boys and girls in the same house must be watched constantly. Constantly! They shouldn’t know you’re watching them, but you should chaperone them constantly.
And it’s very unwise to leave children alone in the house – especially boys and girls. Always chaperone your children. They shouldn’t know you’re watching them though – it’s unhealthy that they should think you’re suspecting them, but keep your eyes on them. Things do take place and parents sometimes are shocked to discover. So keep your eyes on your children.
Where is your child when he walks out on the street? Especially when it’s dark. Younger children should be in the house after dark—even older children. You must train your child to be willing to reveal to you and be open with you. Where were you when you went out on the street tonight? And everybody must come home by a certain hour – no question. Just to wander on the street is out of the question! Where are you going? There must be specific answers; a certain destination. “I’m going to Chaim’s house,” or “I’m going to Rivka’s house to do homework.” And you have to find out who Chaim and Rivka are because the friends are very important.
So therefore, instead of saying strictness, we’ll ask it like this: How much supervision should parents give to their children? And the answer is, without any hesech hada’as. They shouldn’t remove their minds from their children at all! At all times they should be thinking about their children and watching them. But the children should not know that their parents are on guard and that they’re under surveillance.
TAPE # 720