Being a parent of a teenager is no easy task. Things go awry as you end up screwed with wrong results in your hand. You are left perplexed because you always intended to do the right thing!
Well, parenting teens is not that compound a task. An obvious and commonsensical approach will solve your problem. It has been observed that the section of the society that is lesser privileged adopts the authoritarian style. They tend to demand rather than compromise. They seldom believe in open or extensive communication and their display of affection is consciously kept to the minimum. It is basically a clear reflection of the interpersonal realities that get ingrained in the attitude of the parents. When they deal with their children, they apprehend them first as subordinates and then the actual relationship. The resultant behavior reflects the style of a social worker, a shift supervisor or a land lord. This parenting style is difficult to change since a shift in the environment is improbable.
While parenting teens, this controlling environment directs the children towards seeking reliance from others. As the adolescent mind naturally begins to hate this intrusive authority, striking a comfortable note with their parents does not happen to be much of a choice. They are in constant search of direction and limits on one hand and on the other they harbour this uncontrollable desire to break the shackles of limitations.
This leads to rebellion and external controlling factors get imposed on the tender minds. These controlling factors are in natural alignment with the respective temperament of the teenager. They can be gang leaders, drug dealers or sexual partners. This association provides them a sense of power that counters their parents’ authority. In such a situation, they naturally fail to develop their skills or attain positive self-direction.
Now what happens if the style of parenting teens happens to change radically? Well, then it becomes a dangerous proposition. This is because the change is a deviation from the parenting norm of the environment. When the authoritarian parents evolve as inconsistent ones, they create confusion of expectations. The teens are not able to assess the change logically and this resultant set of confused expectations enhances the already prevalent misbehavior.
This sudden shift towards the democratic focus on learning from natural consequences comes as a hard hitting on the adolescent mind. They fail to make well-informed decisions. The natural consequences that follow are substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and a rise in the drop-out rates.
But if the parenting teen style happens to be where the parents help the children to operate within the limitations of the society providing them with structure and example, the teens would be a lot relieved from self-judgment and the resulting chaos.