Am I a strict mom? I have no idea where to draw the line between being a cool mom and a strict one. My son is only 17 months but I have established a good sleeping and eating routine for him. Those two are very important to save you the headache someday. But aside from those two things, I am as cool as can be. I'm cool yet careful. I let him be.
Never stop your child so he'll learn to be independent. Just make sure you are there for him, ALWAYS.
Let him explore things, as long as it is safe for him.
Let him roll on the floor, as long as you clean him up after.
Let him feed himself, just make sure he's not playing with his food.
Let him touch things, eat what he wants and play where he desires.
I know it is a bit messy but what is a little mess compared to your child's giggles? My heart melts whenever I see those sparkles in my son's eyes every time I let him do something he really, really wants.
He does this cute little shake-dance thing when he sees me putting a little scoop of ice cream in his own cup.
Aside from play, I make sure we read or draw at least 30 minutes a day and before going to bed. I see some kids nowadays burdened with too much school work that they don't get to appreciate being young. A smart kid is good but a smart and a happy kid is better.
There is no perfect parent, we can only do our best for our kids. Never compare your child to other children because he/she is unique in their own ways. Guide them, protect them, love them but for now let them be little.