What Style Of Parent Are You?
Parents rely on certain strategies for raising their middle school children. Do any of the parenting styles below seem familiar to you?
Research shows that kids who feel threatened by their parents may behave well when the threatening parent is nearby, but act out when the threatening parent is gone. These kids have difficulty behaving properly without external control. They are less likely to develop internalized values that equip them to make wise decisions. By focusing on obedience, authoritarian parents lose their ability to influence their son or daughter through reasoned discussion or to help them develop good thinking skills. If parents impose very strict rules, kids often defy them. Then parents give more punishments and kids rebel more. It can become a vicious cycle. Angry kids may finally say: “I don’t care how you punish me. You can’t control me. Take away whatever you want. Lock me up. Kick me out. It doesn’t matter because I will still do what I want.” At this point, authoritarian parents lose much of their influence. Research shows: Compared with all young people who drink illegally, children of authoritarian style parents tend to consume the most dangerously high levels of alcohol.
AUTHORITARIAN Authoritarian parents tend to use parental power for control: Children must do what they are told or else face serious consequences. Parents are unconcerned if kids understand the reasons behind rules. Parents don’t tolerate being asked for explanations. Parents use threats and punishment to keep their kids in line. Two Parents Two Styles? Sometimes parents have different styles. For example, one parent might be authoritarian while the other is overprotective. This can create even more confusion for the child as he or she attempts to meet the expectations of both parents.
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