How strict is too strict

A couple of times I have seen a girl walks into a disco in really modest clothes (at one time in a traditional muslim burqha) and completely change their dress in the ladies room. I have seen so many people lying to the parents about their wareabouts (esp. when you are in a late night party) is so common that I have even lost the count. I also know a couple of Indian boys and girls who are in a relationship for several years while their parents have no idea whom they are living with. On one occasion a girl even married and the parents came to know about it 2 years later.

However the question remains how much freedom should the parents give their children and what amount of say they should have in determining their path in life?

Should we follow the western philosophy that the kids are emancipated once they hit the teens and severe all tied with their parents? They take their own decisions and are not afraid that their parents might disapprove of it.

On the other hand in several families the kids are expected to seek their parents’ approval and even permission for every action they take. Sometimes this umbilical cord stays even after the kid has a family of his own and is financially independent.

I guess there are merits in both schools of thought and the best way is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. The reason why I am beginning to ask this question is that often I see that the children do what they want to do irrespective of the freedom offered to them or the desires/wishes of their parents.

However by being too strict, a parent might stifle the kid and hence prompt it to hide their feelings, apprehensions and troubles. If the kid indulges in the risky behavior and hides it, is it a fault of the parent of the kid? I am not sure and hence this post.