Hello future teen expert,
Today we are going to talk about parenting styles. This is a major key to having a better relationship with your teenager. Let's jump right in.
Parenting style is defined as a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. Got that? It basically means how you raise your children. There are 3 parenting styles that psychologists have deemed over the years and there's one they say is the best style.
I wanted this to be a fun post, so I created a quiz for you. Take this quiz without peeking below for the answers. (Don't cheat, lol) Be sure to save your answers.
Okay, how was the quiz for you? Did you answer some questions different than you thought you would? Were you conflicted about any of the questions and answers? Message me if you want to talk further about it.
If you answered mostly A, then you are a permissive/neglectful parent
If you answered mostly B, then you are an authoritative parent
If you answered mostly C, then you are an authoritarian parent.
Keep reading to learn about each parenting style. More importantly, find out how you can change yours to fit the needs of your teenager.
Styles of parenting
The authoritative parent attempts to direct the child's activities but in a rational, issue-oriented manner. She [the parent] encourages verbal give and take, shares with the child the reasoning behind her policy, and solicits his objections when he refuses to conform. Both autonomous self-will and disciplined conformity are valued. [She values both expressive and instrumental attributes, both autonomous self-will and disciplined conformity] ... Therefore she exerts firm control at points of parent-child divergence, but does not hem the child in with restrictions. She enforces her own perspective as an adult, but recognizes the child's individual interests and special ways. The authoritative parent affirms the child's present qualities, but also sets standards for future conduct. She uses reason, power, and shaping by regime and reinforcement to achieve her objectives, and does not base her decisions on group consensus or the individual child's desires.
The authoritarian parent attempts to shape, control, and evaluate the behavior and attitudes of the child in accordance with a set standard of conduct, usually an absolute standard, theologically motivated and formulated by a higher authority. She [the parent] values obedience as a virtue and favors punitive, forceful measures to curb self-will at points where the child's actions or beliefs conflict with what she thinks is right conduct. She believes in keeping the child in his place, in restricting his autonomy, and in assigning household responsibilities in order to inculcate respect for work. She regards the preservation of order and traditional structure as a highly valued end in itself. She does not encourage verbal give and take, believing that the child should accept her word for what is right
Parent attempts to behave in a nonpunitive, acceptant and affirmative manner towards the child's impulses, desires, and actions. She [the parent] consults with him [the child] about policy decisions and gives explanations for family rules. She makes few demands for household responsibility and orderly behavior. She presents herself to the child as a resource for him to use as he wishes, not as an ideal for him to emulate, nor as an active agent responsible for shaping or altering his ongoing or future behavior. She allows the child to regulate his own activities as much as possible, avoids the exercise of control, and does not encourage him to obey externally defined standards. She attempts to use reason and manipulation, but not overt power to accomplish her ends.
Verywell.com suggests that there is a 4th style which is the uninvolved parent. Keep reading to see how they described an uninvolved parent.
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
You don't ask your child about school or homework.
You rarely know where your child is or who she is with.
You don't spend much time with your child.
If so, you might be an uninvolved parent. Uninvolved parents basically expect children to raise themselves. They usually don't devote much time or energy into meeting children's basic needs.
Uninvolved parents are often neglectful. But sometimes, it's not intentional. A parent with mental health issues or substance abuse problems, for example, may not be able to care for a child's physical or emotional needs on a consistent basis.
At other times, uninvolved parents lack knowledge about child development. And sometimes, they're simply overwhelmed with other problems, like work, paying bills, and managing a household.
Uninvolved parents tend to have little knowledge of what their children are doing. There tends to be few rules. Children may not receive much guidance, nurturing, and parental attention.
When parents are uninvolved, children struggle with self-esteem issues. They tend to perform poorly in school. They also exhibit frequent behavior problems and rank low in happiness.
Parenting Styles are not a one size fits all and most times parents can fall into all three or four categories. The key is to recognize when you are in one of the unhealthy styles and return to authoritative style as soon as possible. I believe there is a myth that teenagers do not like their parents or never listen to them. I have often said that teenagers don't listen to their parents. I realize that statement is not accurate. What I am noticing is that teenagers aren't listening to their parents based on how their parents are presenting the information. Many parents present information in a permissive, authoritarian manner or they aren't presenting information at all. This is where I have found the disconnect. Teens would listen if the information was presented in a way that they could understand. It is also important to identify how the lesson can be specific to them and not just provide a generic instruction.
Be gentle with yourself parents. There is no manual and chances are a manual may not apply to your teenager anyway. The good news is there is always a new day to try something new to improve your bond with your teenager. Changing your parenting style starts with honesty and acknowledging where you are currently. Next, you need to identify what is stopping you or causing you to parent in that manner. Is it the parenting style you experiened? Is it the exact opposite of the way your parent raised you? Is it due to your partner forcing that style on you? I could go on and on with these questions, however, I know you get my drift.
Learning your parenting style will assist you with improving the bond you have with your teen. I will always make sure parents understand that they have to reflect on themselves when working to improve the relationship with their teen. Parenting style is truly about nurturing your teen. Remember this is for them, not you.
If you didn't score within the "best" parenting style and you want to change, you can. All it takes is action and I can help with the type of action that’s needed for your family. We can get through this together. Click here to schedule your free heart to heart session. Do not hesitate to address your teens needs.
Oh yea, join the facebook group to have access to me and other parents as we are all in this together.
With Love from your favorite therapist,