A guide to realizing if
your child is at-risk, displaying
self-destructive behaviors, and
needs your help and intervention.
Call Now! 1-866-620-1418
Learn more how Total Transformation, an at-home program for parents, can help your troubled or struggling teen and heal your family.
Will being ADOPTED make adolescence harder for my child?
How can I deal with the ANGER
in our family?
Is my teen's BEHAVIOR just normal teenage rebellion?
What do parents and teachers need to know about BULLYING?
How do I find a THERAPIST for my teen?
What is EMOTIONAL ABUSE?
How can I help my OVERWEIGHT
How do I find a good OUTDOOR PROGRAM for my teen?
My teen is cutting. What do I need to know about SELF-INJURY?
What is 'normal' teen SEXUAL BEHAVIOR and what is cause for concern?
How can I help my teen adjust to our STEPFAMILY?
Parents generally tend toward giving teens what they ask for -- within limits. Knowing what the limits should be is the real trick of parenting these days.
For example, do you feel comfortable saying 'NO'
to going to an unsupervised party?
Here is a list of permissive parenting styles that describes the approaches many adults take toward dealing with their teens. See if you find yourself here.
General Confused Permissiveness
This is the most common type of permissive parenting. These are parents who feel out of touch with the contemporary adolescent world but have a vague feeling that the best thing they can do is be a friend to their teen. Parents generally try to give the teen whatever he or she asks for.
This is the style often adopted by parents who grew up in poverty or who feel that their own parents were too strict. They want to give their teen the material goods and behavioral freedom they themselves were denied. Parents want to see themselves as an ally of their teen.
This style is when parents will give the adolescent what he or she wants on condition that the teen satisfy certain parental demands, which are usually not explicit. Freedom and material benefits are often given in return for behavior that reflects well on the family, such as making good grades or buttering up Aunt Sophie. Parents tend to see the teens as mini-adults.
This describes parents who are too involved with other things to take an active part in their teen's life. They tend to give material goods and freedom in return for the teen's not making too many demands on their time. Parents may be overwhelmed by real problems in their lives, such as illness or poverty; they may be substance-dependent; or they may just be too self-absorbed to take a real interest in their teen.
All of these attitudes are likely to backfire
One problem is that the teen is likely to see his privileges and material goods as inherent rights rather than as benefits contingent on parental approval. The teen is likely to keep raising the ante, asking for more and more, until parents hit a limit. This can result in a cyclical overreaction. The parents say "No," and the teen gets into trouble, making it clear that the teen thinks the parents are unfairly trying to control his or her life. The parents get scared, feeling their authority is at risk.
Parents will typically then try to regain control by limiting some resource that the teen values -- the car, clothes, money. The teen correctly perceives that this is a power struggle, and feels that his or her self-esteem is on the line.
Teens will often fight back by escalating behavior over which the parents have little or no control -- friends, sexual behavior, substance abuse. The power struggle is now getting played for dangerous stakes. Parents are suddenly confronted with the fact that their power over their teen rests with the teen's acceptance of their authority.
Talk with your teen about expectations and intentions
Fortunately, most parents and teens have enough residue of caring about each other to talk these issues through in calmer moments so that both can survive adolescence.
One way to do this is to establish a negotiation process. Parents and teens can acknowledge openly that there are areas where parents have a legitimate right to exercise control over the decisions and behavior of the adolescent. Then there are areas where parents and adolescents must negotiate the extent of authority that that each has. Growing up is seen as this gradual extension of authority to the adolescent.
In this way, the adolescent develops decision-making skills while still under the protection of the parent. Parents are expected to state the reasons for their decisions, rather than arbitrarily withdrawing privileges out of anger and hurt.
There's nothing like living with a teenager to make you examine yourself and your value system.
Dr. Richard O'Connor is the author of Undoing Perpetual Stress: The Missing Connection Between Depression, Anxiety and 21st Century Illness. Read Dr. O'Connor's article, Red Flags.
Family & Parenting Coach
Ask for the FOCUS Discount!
If your child is showing signs of rebellion and many of the traditional solutions you have tried are not working, you can get help from coaching. Through weekly phone sessions and Irene's availability throughout the week by phone or email, you will find solutions and reach the desired outcome for you and your family.
by John Townsend
To help teenagers grow into healthy adults, parents and youth workers need to teach them how to take responsibility for their behavior, their values, and their lives. Dr. Townsend gives important keys for establishing healthy boundaries --- the bedrock of good relationships, maturity, safety, and growth for teens and the adults in their lives. Boundaries with Teens offers help in raising teens to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions.
by Henry Cloud, & John Townsend
Boundaries with Kids will help you bring control to an out-of-control family life, setting limits while still being a loving parent.
by Mary Pipher
Drawing on the fascinating stories of families rich and poor, angry and despairing, religious and skeptical, and probing deep into her own family memories and experiences, Mary Pipher clears a path to the strength and energy at the core of family life. She offers ideas for simple actions we can all take to heal, restore, and rebuild our families, and to strengthen our communities. Wise, compassionate, and impassioned, The Shelter of Each Other challenges each of us to face the truth about ourselves and to find the courage to protect, nurture, and revivify the families we cherish.
How Parents Influence Children's Spirituality (pdf) ~ This article looks at the effect of perceived parental communication quality, the frequency of communication about spiritual issues with parents, and the effect of various parenting styles on attitudes toward religion.
Is Your Child Spoiled? ~ Moms and dads who want to do something about spoiled children need to do the basic things that need to be done to prevent spoiled kids in the first place, including setting firm limits, being consistent, and providing choices.
Parenting Styles and Adolescents (pdf) ~ Research findings show that adolescents of permissive parents learn that there are very few boundaries and rules and that consequences are not likely to be very serious. As a result, teens may have difficulty with self-control and demonstrate egocentric tendencies that can interfere with proper development of peer relationships.
Spoiling, not chemistry, root of teen tantrums ~ Extend a child's dependency indefinitely and pamper, indulge, and otherwise "spoil" the child throughout his/her extended dependency, and you're likely to wind up with a toddler in a teenager's body.
What is the goal of your parenting? ~ Good kids are a product of the real goal of parenting: mature character. When children grow up with mature character, they are able to take their place as adults in the world and function properly in all areas of life. Character growth is the main goal of child rearing.
Christian therapeutic boarding school
for teen boys and girls,
with year-round enrollment
© 2008 Focusas.com