Ideal parents, do they exist for teenagers?

The majority of adolescents complain to parents "more freedom". However, for most parents accepting the autonomy and independence of their children is a difficult process to manage, so being ideal parents for teenagers is really complicated.

Some parents give excessive freedom at times when the children are not yet ready. On the contrary, we find fearful parents who prevent children from taking responsibility or making their own decisions, denying them any possibility of maturing and growing as a person. Therefore, it is logical to ask if ideal parents, do they exist for teenagers?

In general, it is common to speak of three parental styles, the authoritarian, the democratic and the permissive. The democratic style It is related to high levels of self-esteem, social skills, academic achievement, independence and maturity. The permissive style It is related to high levels of self-esteem and social skills, but the lack of limits have been related to higher scores in immaturity and dependence. The authoritarian style it has been related to lower levels of self-esteem and confidence, greater fears and insecurities and high scores in obedience and academic performance.


Teens prefer democratic style parents

As a result, it seems that the democratic style is the one that most positively influences adolescents. According to this model, although all adolescents will try to question the norms, comparing them with those of other families, parents must exercise the authority so that the children understand that in life there are limits and they learn to tolerate frustration. You should also help understand the consequences of their behaviors. For example, if a child arrives two hours later than the scheduled time and his behavior has no consequences, the father is losing his credibility as an authority figure. However, the measures you take must be consistent. If you punish your child without leaving on Saturday for having failed an exam, you can not arrive on Saturday and take away the punishment.


But nevertheless, the limits must go hand in hand with communication, since communication and trust allow negotiation. For example, if your child asks you to come back an hour later than usual because it is the end of the year party and all your friends are going to come back later, you can renegotiate the time for specific situations like this one. Unfortunately, there are no recipes to improve communication with adolescents, since each child is a world. One way to get close is to get interested in the things you like.

Democratic parents and benefits for their children

Also, democratic parents They encourage children to make decisions and teach them to learn from their mistakes. If we protect them we will not be helping them to become stronger and more mature. Adolescents need opportunities to explore different roles, try new personalities and experiment. However, it is very important that these decisions are guided and supervised by an adult.


Instead of giving sermons about what you have to do and what you do not have to do, your children will listen to you if you take the time to listen carefully. It is not as important to talk as to listen. Many times parents want to help children who interrupt them by giving solutions before they finish telling the problem, when they are probably just looking to be listened to or guided.

Finally, as the child shows more maturity and responsibility, he can be given more freedom. You can start by giving small domestic responsibilities and gradually decrease the degree of control.

Parent education styles

1. Authoritarian style: characteristic of parents who demand obedience, restrict the autonomy of the child and try to control the behavior of children in a rigid way through physical punishment, verbal threats or continuous prohibitions.

2. Democratic style: used by parents who direct the child's activities rationally, establishing clear limits that must be respected and allowing reasoning and negotiation.

3. Permissive style: used by parents who try to encourage the son's autonomy. However, they avoid setting limits or supervising the child's behavior.

Cristina Noriega García. Institute of Family Studies. CEU San Pablo University

Video: How to raise successful kids -- without over-parenting | Julie Lythcott-Haims


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