Communication Rules

This Viral Travis Barker Video Is A Masterclass In Being A Strict Parent

Travis Barker explains the philosophy — and rules — behind being a “strict but not strict” parent.

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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Alabama Luella Barker and Travis Barker attends Tommy Hilfiger Fa...
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A recent Tiktok posted by Travis Barker’s 18-year-old daughter Alabama has gone ultra-viral — and not because Barker is dropping some heavy drum licks. Instead, it focuses on Barker’s discipline style — and it offers a great lesson on how to effectively set and communicate boundaries and rules with kids.

The conversation between Barker and Alabama centered on discipline, specifically on Barker's approach and whether he saw himself as a "strict parent." In the TikTok, Alabama said she considers her dad's take on discipline to be "strict but not strict." To illustrate that point, she asks him a set of (sometimes) hypothetical questions, from “What would you do if me or my friends came home high and drunk?” to “Am I allowed to have guy friends over?” to hear how he would handle them. Maintaining his trademark chill, Barker answers each question frankly, while clearly articulating his boundaries.

The first question Alabama asked her dad was what he would do if he found out she’d snuck out.

"I'm going to tell you how dangerous it is and maybe try to put you on restriction," Barker replied with a laugh.

Alabama asked what he would do if she went out with a boy and she stopped answering him — to which Barker replied that he would go find her.

In response to Alabama’s question about what he would do if she and her friends came home high or drunk?, Barker calmly said, "I would tell you not to ever do it again."

"Am I allowed to have guy friends over?" she asked next. "If I'm home," Barker replied.

"Am I allowed to close my door with a guy in the room?" she asked. His reponse: "Not without me coming in to check on you."

The conversation then turned again to school and curfew. When Alabama asked Barker what he would do if she "got a C or lower in class," he laughed and said, "Well, you have.”

Throughout the entire questioning, Barker displays obvious affection for his daughter but also stays firm in his opinions and reasoning.

In the final hypothetical question, Alabama asked her dad about what would happen if she crashed her car. “I don't really care about the car; I worry about if you're OK,” he replied.

The entire exchange is cute, and seems like the pair has a strong relationship. And there’s a nice takeaway for parents in Barker’s “strict but not strict” answers — they’re not only focused on consequences for breaking the rules, but also the reason why the rules are set, which largely have to do with safety and what’s important, like education.

Barker’s boundaries are communicated clearly and plainly — none of the answers surprised Alabama because she already knew how her dad would answer each situation. The rules don’t seem to be set to demand or expect obedience, and any stepping past the boundaries is enforced through respect and kindness, which is why the two can laugh at past situations when Alabama pushed those boundaries.

Experts have long expressed how crucial consistent, well-expressed boundaries are in parenting. They help children feel safe while building family values and trust, all of which help reduce stress for everyone.

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