Useful Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers

Having a positive and healthy relationship with your teenaged kid may seem like an impossible task for many parents, but it is actually not. There are many ways you can influence the adolescent’s life by implementing positive parenting. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that they will have no effect on a teenager’s behavior no matter what they do. When in reality, it is essential that the parents play an active role during this time of their child’s life. It is during this time that the teenagers are experimenting by making various and sometimes careless decisions. If parents do not have a close relationship with their children, they are at a risk of losing an emotional bond with them forever.

1.     Understand

The first step to establish a positive relationship with your child is to understand why they act unpredictably. By studying researches and understanding the changes taking place in the body of your adolescent child, you will be able to better understand what they are going through.

2.     Establish your Role

It is not enough that you act as a parent at all time and it is not recommended to act like a friend always either. This is why you need to make sure you have established your role as both a parent and a friend. There should be no confusion about the role, and you should be able to shift between the two roles at just the right time.

3.     Schedule Time Together

It is extremely important that you spend a significant amount of time with your teenage child. As a parent, you cannot afford to create any distance since it can have damaging effects on your child’s personality. Thus, it is important that you schedule a time during the day where you can have a heart to heart with your kids.  Make sure you always have meals together and discuss their day with them.

4.     Communicate

Your child should never feel as if you are interrogating or investigating them or else they will stop all communication with you. Thus, at all times make sure that the lines of communication are open and the way you communicate with them reflects a lack of judgmental behavior. Ideally, your teenage child should be able to share everything about their life with you without having a second thought.

5.     Have Expectations

Being a parent of a teenager does not mean that you quit setting expectations from them. While you may feel that your child does not look favorably upon what you expect of them, they are actually in need of a direction from their parents and setting expectations helps them get it. Keep informing them of the damages that certain behaviors and actions have on their lifestyle. These expectations will make the teen feel that there is someone looking out for them. They will also feel good about meeting those expectations.

Bottom Line

Creating an environment that makes the teenage child feels welcomed and secure is an essential part of bringing up a positive teen. Thus, as parents, it is our role to make sure that we do everything that we can in order to create a better future for our adolescents.

For more articles about raising kids, parenting and family fun, check out GetThrive.com

The Teen Formula Book

 

 

 

 

A Complete Guide to Main Parenting Styles

Whether you are an expecting mama, a full-fledged parent, or an adult helping to raise children, learning about different parenting styles is important. No one can tell you what is best for you and your youngster, but knowing the effects of certain styles may sway how both you and your child act and interact. Take a look at our complete guide and see into which category your main parenting style is best described.

 

You’ve Got Style!

There are many different “titles” for the way people conduct their parenting. Many of us over the past couple of decades have heard the terms “helicopter mom” or “snow plow dad.” Other terms bandied about have been: attachment, free-range, and survivalist parenting.

Although all those types are recognized in society, psychology today focuses primarily on four main parenting styles. They are:

  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive
  • Uninvolved

 

Popular and Unpopular Perceptions of Parenting

Aside from the four main parenting styles, there are several others that come with a popular or unpopular perception. Some are:

 

  • Attachment Parenting has been touted for decades (even by pediatricians) as a way to create a safe, secure bond between parent and child. This approach begins even before the child is born. During pregnancy, the mother is encouraged to dispel all worries and fearful thoughts of parenthood. Breastfeeding is expected, along with sharing a “family” bed. All expressions of emotions by the baby are accepted; the parent should see behaviors as a means of communication. The benefit derived from such type of nurturing can hopefully create a child who grows into a secure adult who values and respects relationships. One disadvantage is that the parent never imposes his/her own will, and sometimes the child lacks discipline and the ability to conform when necessary later in life.

 

  • Helicopter Parenting is basically when the adult hovers over the child, fixes things, and makes decisions constantly. The parents feel they are protecting and assisting their youngster by keeping a close eye on all matters, especially educational issues. Conversely, according to the Medical Research Council, “Psychological control (by a parent) can limit a child’s independence and leave them less able to regulate their own behavior.” Because the parents do everything for them, helicopter-raised kids can also often exhibit behaviors of entitlement.

 

  • Snow Plow Parenting is similar to helicopter behavior in that the parent is always pushing away or clearing out obstacles from their child’s path. Again, the intent is to keep the youngster safe and out of physical and mental harm’s way—in hopes of creating an environment for their kid to achieve success. The result, however, can be that the child never learns to figure life’s challenges out on his/her own. This can lead to raising a person who will be ill prepared for the real adult world.

 

  • Free Range Parenting lets the child make decisions, trusting that they (the kids) know best—sometimes without even an adult monitoring them. Some believe this can be borderline or downright dangerous, while others insist that it’s a natural way for a child to learn how to navigate life exploring/using/practicing his/her own skills.

 

  • Survivalist Parenting is a straight-up style that basically says, “This is the best I can do right now.” Working moms and dads who love their kids and want to right by them often don’t have the time or means to provide the absolute best they’d like to. So, survivalist parents may let one of their youngsters play on an iPad for an hour while they cook dinner or help another child with homework. This type of parenting style has been around for centuries—every adult does his/her best to provide shelter, food, and love—and hopes the best for the kids while they allow the rest to fall by the wayside.

 

A Succinct Guide to the Main Four

As mentioned previously, there are four main parenting styles that are recognized as the “umbrella” of approaches. Response and demand are the two elements contingent in healthy parenting. According to modern psychology, there requires a balance between these two aspects in order to raise well-adjusted children and adults.

“Response,” as an element of parenting, entails such offerings to the child as: empathy, support, and warmth. “Demand” implies that the adult assists/teaches the child to learn and practice skills that control behaviors and impulses.

When there is an imbalance—or lack of either response or demand—the child can become at risk for developing low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and social displacement. Clearly, the most beneficial and effective form of parenting would attempt to balance “response” and “demand”. Unfortunately, these four most clinically-recognized parenting styles do not all entail the finest balance.

 

  • Authoritative Parenting. This may be one of the most well-regarded forms of parenting styles. These parents have high expectations for their youngsters, but also take into account their children’s feelings. Communication is key and this type of parenting is receptive to “listening” to the child’s perception of his/her world. There is support and an air of non-judgment, which can lend to the parents’ understanding of the child—and a mutual trust and respect. It’s with this openness the parent can assist, model, and guide. Yet, the parent still has an expectation of his/her child to follow rules. This mode of parenting lends to a proper balance of response and demand.

 

  • Authoritarian Parenting. This style connotes strict parenting. An authoritarian parent expects their youngsters to follow rules without question, and if they don’t, there will be a consequence/punishment. This style of parenting is pretty much all-demand and very-little response. As the child and future adult of authoritarian parenting, there tends to be a feeling of lack of self-worth (from not being heard) along with an unhealthy (or poorly projected) sense of rebellion.

 

  • Permissive Parenting. This style can, too, be construed as harmful for the exact opposite reason of authoritarian parenting. With permissiveness, there’s an indulgence in response and little-to-no demand. The parent often avoids conflict or rocking the boat, and allows the child to indulge him or herself to bend or break rules. There is often a lack of boundaries because the parent wants to “stay friends” with his/her offspring without showing authority. Loving is one thing, but allowing a youngster to run the show is another.

 

  • Uninvolved Parenting. It’s also sometimes referred to as “neglectful” parenting. This style lacks both response and demand. There is simply no adult (willing or able) to provide either necessary element of healthy parenting. This parent doesn’t show up for school meetings, sporting events, or even assist with basic life skills. He/she may believe that his/her child may eventually excel from “learning on his/her own.” Without nurture, guidance, or discipline, that type of mindset will most likely not produce a healthy adult equipped to face the world socially or literally. Additionally, poor trust in others will most often become a running theme throughout the child/person’s life.

 

In the best of all worlds, we would hope that every parent has the intention of doing his/her best in raising his/her child. With that as a given, each style of parenting will differ. There is no exact formula since each parent and each child is different. And, that is a wonderful thing!

With that said, hopefully you will have garnered some insight into your style from reading this piece. For more of best parenting info and tips, check out our family section in GetThrive.com.

 

Sources:

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/developmentalpsychologyblog/2013/12/types-of-parenting-styles-and-how-to-identify-yours/

http://www.activebeat.co/your-health/children/6-styles-of-parenting-what-kind-of-parent-are-you/4/

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/what-is-attachment-parenting#1

https://www.psychologytoday.com/tests/personality/parenting-style-test

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/overly-controlling-parents-cause-their-children-lifelong-psychological-damage-says-study-10485172.html

 

 

 

 

Shared Parenting and Happiness

Raising children together, when the tasks of childrearing are shared equally amongst the parents, makes for a happier couple, a new study reports.

Raising Rug Rats

Almost 500 couples were polled in regards to their level of happiness in their relationship and also how much they felt they contributed to raising the children. Over 70% of men and women agreed that when the chores of being a parent were shared equally, they felt satisfied in their union as a couple.

The Old Days

It used to be that men only participated a fraction in raising the kids. (This does not necessarily include making meals and doing laundry.) But now that both partners tend to work, the participation in childcare is more equal—especially when it comes to encouraging, playing, and disciplining.

The amazing thing is that even though these positive couples don’t necessarily report spending more time together, they are happier because they each feel an equal responsibility in caring for their joint offspring.

 

 

Foster Parenting: Is It Right For Me?

Did you know May is National Foster Care Month? No? Don’t feel bad, plenty of Americans fall into this category. But everyone wins when we at least take the time to learn more about how foster care works.

Many children in the foster care system have been thrown away. Some were born to parents unable to care for them due to addictions or poor life choices, while others have parents who may be incarcerated. In some cases children were subjected to abuse or neglect.

These represent just a few of the reasons children are placed into foster care, but none of them requested their circumstances. They are simply playing the hand they’ve been dealt.

Over 400,000 children were part of the American foster care system in the fall of 2014. This represented a 4% increase in just two years time. Of that number nearly 40% were five years of age or younger.

What’s more, the number of children entering the system exceeds the number of children exiting the system. The two primary reasons children exit the system are due to adoption, or reunification with their natural parent(s) or primary caretaker(s). With numbers like these, it’s easy to see why foster parents are in high demand.

In a recent post to Disney’s babble.com website, Mike Berry shares his heartwarming personal account of parenting over 30 children in the foster care system. If you’ve every considered fostering or are just curious about the process, I highly recommend taking a few short minutes to read Berry’s post.

For more information on how to get started in the foster care system, visit www.adoptuskids.org. The website offers a variety of resources on the laws which govern the system, and how to get personally involved.

There are many ways to get involved in the lives of America’s youth. Foster care is just one important example. If you feel pulled to learn more about foster care, take that next step. If foster care isn’t right for your family, perhaps a program like Big Brothers, Big Sisters could be.

Take the time to find a way to invest in a child’s life. You’ll be glad you did!

6 Parenting Tips to Manage Discipline Successfully

The word discipline may have a negative connotation, but it’s actually something useful and necessary. Great outcomes can emerge from effective discipline. Parents often become overwhelmed by the prospect of disciplining their children. Fret no more! Below are 6 simple tips to help manage your child’s behavior successfully.

When parenting, it makes sense that our goal is to increase our children’s positive behavior. At the same time, we want to deter or decrease negative behavior.

When observing and defining behavior, take care to be specific. Saying your kid is “acting like a brat” is general, subjective, and won’t help you to best invoke your disciplining skills. Defining the action, such as your son is “teasing his sister” or “breaking his toys”—those are specifics behaviors that can be targeted for improvement or extinction

1. Explain What’s Expected

You’re not a mind reader and neither is your child. It’s very important that you communicate expectations. If you want your kids to take off their shoes at the front door, let them know. You can write it down and let them read it. You can tell them. Just make sure when you are giving direction that you do it face-to-face. Children get distracted easily—make sure your child actually heard you. If you’d like, you can always ask him to repeat back to you what he heard you say.

2. Practice Do-Overs

When your kid comes running into the house with muddy boots (and she’s been told to take them off at the door), help her practice the rule. Instead of screaming, calmly bring the child back to the front door. Remind her of the rule. Now give her another chance to be successful. Thank her when she takes off the boots. Reiterate that next time, this is the behavior you’d prefer.

3. Be Clear What’s Happening Next

As adults, we make schedules and are the managers of our own time. But we’re also in charge of when our children will be doing something. Give your kids fair warning. If you’re leaving the house in 10 minutes, let them know they need to start wrapping up what’s they’re in the middle of. Giving youngsters notice of upcoming expectations eases their anxiety.

The majority of negative-behavior displays often originate from a child’s anxiety level. (Other sources are lack of sleep and hunger.)

4. Ignore Bad Behavior

Although this sounds absurd (and impossible), it’s not. When your kid is doing something she’s knows she’s not suppose to, it’s mostly to get your attention. If you give her attention by yelling at her, you’ve now reinforced that bad behavior gets noticed. That’s not something you want.

If you look away, don’t respond, don’t freak out, more often than not, the child will cease the behavior. Once she stops, immediately give positive reinforcement by offering attention. She will learn that when she behaves nicely and properly, you are happy to spend time together.

Do NOT actively ignore if your child is hurting herself or another. Use this tip only for annoying behaviors (like incessant talking, tapping you on the arm 800 times, not cleaning up, etc.). Also, do not ignore destructive behavior.

5. Keep Consequences Realistic, Deliverable, and Proportionate

After you’ve told your child he would be receiving consequences for continuing negative behavior, make sure he knows what it’s going to be, beforehand. This gives him the opportunity to stop the bad behavior or accept the consequences.

If he makes the choice to continue with his behavior, don’t overact. Keep your emotions in tact. Clearly, deliver the punishment and briefly remind him why he’s receiving it. There’s no need to yell. That’s won’t help the child learn. He will, however, learn that continuing to throw food around, however, means he doesn’t get to play with the iPad after lunch.

Removing access from a desired item is torture for a kid. If that’s what you choose as a consequence, make the time frame realistic. A short time away from a favorite toy will send a loud message. Also, make sure you follow through with the understood consequences, even if he begs and swears the behavior won’t happen again. It just did. Be strong and do the calm, right thing and that will bring about more desirable results next time he thinks of flinging spaghetti onto the wall.

6. Create Structure

All of these tips for successful disciplining point back to “following rules.” As mentioned, setting up and expressing expectations will define the rules of your home. So, creating structure will help your children follow along with your plan.

If everyone wakes up at the same time every morning, your child will learn “this is when we get ready for our day”, or “this is when we eat breakfast.” If you want your kid to eat breakfast, then be consistent with wake-up time and when food is available.

Bedtime structure is also very important. Proper sleep for everyone is essential. When a child knows a routine and experiences structure, she is more secure. She understands what to expect throughout the day. Rigidity is not particularly healthy, but organizing and experiencing events in a consistent manner will help the disciplinary process.

Of course no ”method” for parenting will be perfect fit for everyone. Being individuals, all with different life circumstances, our challenges will vary. The above tips are offered as helpful tools. Hopefully, some of them will strike a chord for you and your parenting style. For other articles on families and health, check out GetThrive.com

Sources:

https://www.verywell.com/classroom-discipline-tricks-that-will-work-at-home-4110244

https://childmind.org/article/managing-problem-behavior-at-home/