Written by Wendy L. Riddle – The Family Hope Line

Every parent has a ‘style’ of parenting. Some of these styles are healthy and some of them are not. The goal of being a parent is to prepare our children/teens for the real world that they will face. Let’s examine different parenting styles and see which ones are beneficial for raising children/teens to be successful in the real world:

Drill Sergeant/Controlling Parent – Makes demands, wants total control of all of the child’s choices, stays involved in every area of the child’s life, demands compliance and punishes when the child does not do, think, or say what the parent wants. This type of parent wants to make all the decisions, and demands that their child follow along and agree. Basically this type of parent is not parenting at all. They really only want a robot child that is compliant.

This type of parenting is VERY dangerous as it teaches the child/teen to listen to outside voices and to ignore their internal voice. As the teen enters more and more into the real world, they have zero experience on how to handle different situations as they are so used to the parent telling them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. They do not know how to analyze a situation and make a decision, so they do what anyone does when faced with a situation they are not familiar with. They look around and follow what other people are doing to blend in. They have been raised to be FOLLOWERS, to listen to the outside voice, to depend on someone else to make decisions for them, and the most dangerous of all is that they are waiting for someone to tell them what to do and how to do it.

Unfortunately, this almost always leads to horrible decisions, which angers the parents, and in most cases leads the parents to ask the teen, “What were you thinking?” When in reality, the parent never taught the child to think, they just taught them to follow along and be obedient.

So how do we prevent this from happening? How do we correct this parenting style and help the child/teen become an independent, strong, mature young adult? We back off, we listen to our children/teens, and we honor them as an independent human being. We ask them what they think in situations, we do not argue with them like a 4 year old, we allow them to make decisions that we do not agree with, we allow them to make mistakes and figure out how to correct their mistakes, we coach, we offer suggestions when they ask for help, and we allow them to grow.

If this is an area that you as a parent are struggling with and would like some more coaching, please visit www.thefamilyhopeline.com . We offer Parenting Coaching that will give you new tools in your parenting tool belt, help you gain a different perspective, and allow you to start communicating with your child/teen that is healthy and enjoyable! After all, parenting should be fun!

In the next article, we will discuss 3 more different parenting styles and how they impact this generation of children and teens. We hope that you will follow along and learn and grow with us! ~ In Hope, Wendy & Dawn