One of the greatest challenges of a teenager's life is dealing with their parents. We often think that our parents are just trying to torture us by involving themselves in our lives. But it might surprise you to learn that they too can have trouble figuring out how to act. Instead of asking "How can I irritate my daughter?" they are really wondering "Am I doing enough to help her?" This article in the New York Times seeks to bring perspective to parents. For those of you who took Psych, you know there are three general parenting styles:
Permissive: Allows their child to act out without repercussions. They value their child's happiness above all else and so will often permit behavior they don't approve of in hopes of maintaining that happiness. Children of permissive parents tend to be self-centered and anti-social.
Authoritative: These parents set boundaries, but take the time to ensure they are understood and are willing to renegotiate them based upon behavior. They are supportive, but allow their children to explore past their comfort zones on their own. Children of authoritative parents tend to be self-motivated and independent.
Authoritarian: These parents rest down rules and expect them to be followed. Punishment comes for infractions, usually without discussion. While they reward obedience, they tend to keep their children on a short leash without room for creative expression. Children of authoritarian parents tend to be submissive and lack social skills.
Research suggests that the middle course, authoritative parenting, produces the most successful children. But then, that depends entirely on what we think the definition of successful really is.