A mom told me she has a recurring dream that her child is falling off a cliff, just out of her reach. The dream isn't necessarily unhealthy, but it may indicate how much average parents worry about saving their kids from the world's problems. Parenting styles differ, but far too many parents of teens are emotionally and even spiritually unhealthy.
"Helicopter parenting" is popular these days, and the term is used to describe parents who are risking their own marriage, physical health, and self-image by hovering over their children and over-parenting them. However, the truth is that no teen will be come a responsible adult if their parents carry the load for them. It's not healthy for either party.
So what do healthy parents of teens look like? These parents take their God-given role of parenting seriously and act like leaders. Leaders lead the way, but they don't carry another's baggage. Parents-as-leaders teach their children self-management skills. They consult but don't control, because control freaks are really never in control. They help children learn to discern right values and teach them about sexual purity. Parents who act like leaders also create inviting home environments with plenty of connection, fun, and creativity.
One important aspect of parent-leadership is making sure you have margin in your life so that you'll have enough energy to lead. If that sounds selfish or self-centered, the reality is that parents need to take care of themselves. We parents must allow our children to deal with the consequences of their own decisions. Someone once told me, "Untended fires soon become nothing but a pile of ashes." I know if I am not tending my own soul care, I am a poor excuse of a father, and a lousy husband.
A child-focused lifestyle simply isn't healthy, and frankly, it's not fair to the kids if you expect to be a healthy role model. Parents have to stay calm, get on the same page to work their plan, and then stay as emotionally and spiritually healthy as they possibly can.