Two recent studies have reinforced earlier research and conclusions about different parenting styles:
1) Parents who utilize a so-called "strength-based parenting style" identify their children's strengths, affirm these strengths in their kids and assist in helping their kids build them. Kids whose parents employ this style of parenting were found to be better able to cope with stress and adapt to new life situations.
2) On the other hand, helicopter parents, those who are overinvolved in their kids' lives and prone to control, solve problems, make decisions and intervene in their children's conflicts were found to produce negative effects. Researchers discovered that children of helicopter parents were more likely to have low self-esteem and engage in at-risk behaviors.
What Can Parents Do?
- Understand that parents who are controlling don't help their kids to become healthy adults. In fact, controlling parents become obstacles to their teens' development into healthy adulthood.
- Kids flourish and become healthy with parents who are involved, but not controlling. Involved parents provide a lot of support and affirm strengths they see in their kids, but provide them with the space to learn how to solve their own problems, experience consequences for both good and bad decisions, and to learn from their mistakes.
- Take some time to evaluate your own parenting style. How does your parenting style serve to help your teenager become a healthy adult? How does it serve to stunt your teenager's development? What changes to your parenting style should you make in order to become a more effective parent?