In the modern times, many researchers and psychologists often portray the teenage years as stressful for both teenagers and their parents. During adolescence or any other developmental period, parenting demands a thorough and comprehensive understanding of all the normative developmental changes. A parent can benefit from the insight that the way he/she parents, or the parenting style he/she chooses, provides a basis for many positive and healthy developmental outcomes during adolescence. Comprehension of various parenting styles and their influence on the relationship between parents and teenagers may help each parent and their children navigate and manage adolescence more rationally, smoothly, and efficiently.
Parents, who support authoritarian parenting style, are highly controlling, and they show a little warmth towards children. Authoritarian parents are strict disciplinarians, who use a punitive and restrictive parenting style and insist that their children follow parental directions all the time. Authoritarian parents often use authoritarian phrases while parenting adolescents. Authoritarian parents prefer not to engage in discussions or controversies with their child or debate on family standards and rules. They think that a teenager should accept the practices and rules that parents establish with no question and hesitation. Some researches reveal that children of authoritarian parents recognize that the adherence to strict discipline and following the rules set by parents bring more values than independent behavior. As a result, teenagers may become dependent and rebellious. Adolescents, who become rebellious, might demonstrate aggressive behavior towards peers or even parents. The child, who is more submissive and obedient, often remains dependent on his/her parents.
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Permissive parents are undemanding; they are quite warm and soft in parenting. Being passive and indulgent, they think that the way to show children their love is to give in to their wishes. Parents, who prefer permissive parenting, do not disappoint their children, and they dislike saying “no.” Consequently, parents allow their adolescents to make important decisions with no involvement and interference. Permissive parents consider themselves as not active participants, who influence actions of their children. They regard themselves as an appropriate resource that adolescents should choose when seeking proper advice. Survey findings demonstrate that children of permissive parents recognize that they have a few limits, boundaries, and rules; however, the results will not be very serious. Consequently, these adolescents may face difficulties with self-control and show egocentric tendency that interferes with proper development of relationships between peers.
Parents, who support authoritative parenting, are warm and, simultaneously, firm. Authoritative parents encourage their children to be independent, but still maintain control and limits on their actions. They prefer not to establish strict rules. Instead, authoritative parents entertain, listen, and often take into account the views of teenagers. Although the ultimate responsibility resides within parents, authoritative mother and father usually engage in discussions or disputes with their adolescents. Children of authoritative parents recognize how to engage in conversation and negotiate. Adolescents understand that parents value their viewpoint and opinions. Consequently, children of authoritative parents are more likely to be autonomous, responsible, and socially competent.
Developmental psychologists and researchers overwhelmingly approve authoritative parenting style as optimal for raising children (Steinberg, 2001). Psychologists usually associate authoritative parenting with healthy teenage development that provides a balance between parental control and support in navigating adolescent behavior. The proper atmosphere provides adolescents with an opportunity to become self-reliant and develop a sense of autonomy within established parental rules and guidelines. Although researchers relate authoritative parenting style to positive and developmental effects in the life of adolescents, most of the parents mix different styles while parenting their children. Moreover, parents usually modify own parenting style to correspond to the particular circumstances. An authoritative style involves supervision and parental monitoring. It stimulates adolescents to positive actions and reduces the opportunity for engaging in risky behaviors (Wargo, 2007). A warm and, simultaneously, firm approach to parenting allows adolescents to get independence even within developmental boundaries and parental limits. While an authoritative style of parenting is widespread among white families, an authoritarian style is common among ethnic minorities, including Hispanic American, African American, and Asian American families. Psychologists Steinberg and Silk (2002) believe that differences in parenting styles can be linked to the parental belief systems and cultural varieties.
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In addition, styles of parenting may differ between parents. One parent can be an authoritarian individual while the other one can be permissive. In this case, parents have to discuss unacceptable and acceptable adolescent behavior and reach consensus while parenting teenagers. If parents choose different parenting styles, they still have to work on consistency while establishing and enforcing principles on particular teenage behavior. Moreover, adolescent behavior affects parenting styles. Whereas a responsible and motivated adolescent may have parents who prefer an authoritative style of parenting, an irresponsible and immature teenager will more likely have authoritarian parents.
The psychologists Collins, Maccoby, Steinberg, Hetherington, and Bornstein (2000), who investigate relations between parents and adolescents, pay their increasing attention to the impact of parenting, family experiences, and genetic factors on the adolescent development and behavioral outcomes. Positive parenting includes skills like parenting with logical consequences, love, and humor. Effective parenting uses skills developed from knowledge and in-depth insight. However, primarily, parents have to realize what they know about their children, and they still need to learn many other crucial things.
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As a parenting style, positive parenting includes raising children without being unnecessarily harsh and forceful. Instead of cruel discipline, parents use positive reinforcement in order to correct child’s behavior. Owing to the positive interaction with children, parents can foster more robust and stronger relationship with them. As offspring grow, and time goes on, a strong relationship with parents will make control easier. When children become older, punishments and control will not be necessary. In fact, positive parenting does not mean to live without restrictions. Obviously, a parent has to set boundaries so that children can live safely and grow up to be happy and productive. Positive parenting implies the parents’ response when children cross the line and active struggle with poor behavior even when children behave properly.