Are you feeling like you are constantly arguing with your child about everything, from household rules to why it is so blue? Are you feeling like someone is stealing your child’s precious little soul to make way for a rebellious teen? It’s not an alien invasion or demon possession, but it is a temporary change. It is only the beginning of adolescence.
Adolescence is the most difficult time in our lives to question our parenting skills and values. Your child is just like the terrible twos. She still needs your support, but she pushes you away. It’s worse than the horrible twos because your child no longer views her parents as the authorities on everything. She rejects your beliefs in her attempts to create ideas and opinions for herself. This means that she will not accept your opinions, at least not for now, until she has her children.
There is no single way to navigate teen years, just like any other stage in parenting. Every family and child are different. Every parent must find the right strategies to suit their family’s unique personalities and dynamics. Some parenting strategies have shown to be more effective in parenting teenagers than others. These parenting styles aren’t so different from those recommended for other developmental stages. These parenting styles may need to be modified to meet your child’s changing needs.
Below is a list of parenting styles that will best suit your teenager.
What Teens Want from Their Parents
“The child provides the power, but it is the parents who must steer the ship.” -Benjamin Spock.
Your child may suddenly seem like an alien species, but his needs are the same as they were always.
He needs your unconditional love, guidance, limitations, consequences, and support.
As he gets closer to adulthood, it can be more difficult for him to provide all the above, but they are still vital.
These are some tips to help you parent your teenager effectively.
- Positive feedback and praise are important. Although your child may not be able to tell you how much she wants it, genuine praise can still mean a lot. Your positive self-image is something she is trying to create at this time in her life. It helps her feel confident that she can succeed.
- Talk openly about your teen’s sexuality. The changing body of your teen can cause confusion and anxiety. Talk to your teen about these changes to ensure he understands the reasons and expectations.
- Listen well. While you may be tempted to lecture your teen about your experiences, it is better to listen to her. It would be best if you made her feel valued and respected. Keep the dialogue open between you to allow her to discuss any concerns.
- It is important to be clear and consistent when enforcing your limits. You may feel that it is time to relax and allow your child to be your friend, rather than your child. This is a mistake. Although your child may seem to enjoy the freedom of being free, deep down, he still needs parental boundaries and limits to protect him. Keep in mind that your child may have many friends, but only one father or mother.
- Teach your child the “adulting” skills. If your child can do the things she needs to be self-confident, such as washing dishes, changing tires, managing her finances and cooking, she will feel more confident. You can give your child plenty of support on the tasks that make her feel more independent.
Adolescence can be a challenging time for parents. You may find that the method you have used for years is no longer working. You may need to change your preferred parenting style. This can be difficult for anyone.
Let’s look at four parenting styles better to understand the situation, particularly adolescence.
The Four Parenting Styles
“There are only two lasting gifts we can leave our children. One is roots, and the other is wings. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If your child is a teenager, you’ve been a parent for enough time to have an idea of the type of parent you are. You might have many rules, or you may have few. You might be the parent who monitors your children all the time, or you may prefer to let them roam. Your personality, relationship with your child, and upbringing will play a large part in your parenting style.
It is possible to raise your children differently than your neighbour next door. But that doesn’t make one right or the other wrong.
But, almost all parenting styles can be classified as one of these four types. Research shows that certain types of parenting are more effective for children of all ages than others.
This type of parenting is called “my way or the highway”, and rules are made in a vacuum. These rules are set in place “because I said it so” without explanation or room for discussion.
Authoritarian parents don’t show much affection or warmth to their children. They use harsh punishments to ensure that their children comply with their wishes.
This parenting style is good for teens. It gives them security and sets clear boundaries.
There is no way to have an open conversation with your teen. He won’t feel comfortable speaking up about his concerns. It is possible to find yourself in a scary situation where you don’t know what is happening in your teen’s life. This is not a good place.
This parenting style has the downside of not allowing your teen to build self-esteem and confidence that she needs to be a successful adult. Children of authoritarian parents are more likely to feel insecure and afraid as they don’t get praise or positive feedback. This makes the transition from childhood to adulthood much harder.
Permissive or indulgent parenting is at the opposite end of this spectrum. These parents look great on the surface. They are loving, caring, supportive, and nurturing. These are the parents that every child dreams of.
Children need more than just nurturing. Children also require structure and discipline. Children love being free, but they also need structure and discipline to protect themselves.
Permissive parents desire to be friends with their children and avoid confrontation. Children of permissive parents cannot develop self-control and discipline without structure and discipline. As children, they are raised to expect their desires to be fulfilled immediately. This can cause them great pain in their teen years. They are more likely to have problems in school and social life. A study showed that children with permissive parents were three times more likely to consume underage alcohol than teens.
It is common knowledge that uninvolved or neglectful parenting is the most harmful parenting style for children of any age.
This type of parenting can have so many negative consequences that it is best to seek the guidance of a counsellor.
Neglectful parents don’t pay attention to their children’s emotional and physical needs. They don’t communicate with or listen to their children. They may feel unsafe in their home.
We tend to emphasise the needs and development of children younger than ourselves when addressing parental neglect. It is wrong to assume that teenagers are independent and do not need neglectful parenting.
This is, however, far from the truth.
One study showed that parental neglect was directly associated with poor outcomes for teens. This included truancy and bad physical health. It also led to risky behaviour like smoking or drinking.
Better help can assist you or someone you care about who suffers from neglectful parenting.
Although there are similarities between the styles, they should not be confused with “authoritarian parenting”, which we discussed earlier.
Authoritative parenting is a balanced approach that allows for both the authority and consequences of the authoritarian parent and the warmth and nurturing of a permissive parent.
This style allows for rules to be developed as a family. The children develop the family rules, who have input and understand the reasons. Consequences will be administered with love and consistency.
In authority, parents are open to showing affection and praising their children when they do well. This builds confidence and self-esteem for the child.
Research consistently shows that authoritative parenting has the best outcomes and is most effective.
This parenting style is most beneficial for adolescents. They feel empowered when they have a say in the decision-making process. This parenting style gives them the freedom to make their decisions and allows them to experience the consequences. This helps them to develop the problem-solving skills they will need as adults.
Teens also benefit from open communication with their parents. Teens can benefit from authoritative parenting, which allows them to have a trusted adult who listens and is there for them when they need it.
Which parenting style are you? You can be the parent your teenager needs, regardless of where you fall in the four parenting styles. The rewards are immense.