Parents play a pivotal role in supporting, encouraging and advocating for their sons and daughters as they navigate through their school experience. The parenting style and approaches used become particularly important when children experience problems, challenges or difficulties. Let’s look at a few parenting styles or approaches that might not be optimal or effective:
Just what is the best parenting practice that ensures a balance between control and child autonomy? In mid-November, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted author and New York University adolescent psychiatrist Jess Shatkin, MD, who advocates for an authoritative style of parenting. This “just right” approach to child-rearing (to be distinguished from permissive and authoritarian parenting) is high on both empathy and demanding, combining warmth with setting limits. It aims to inspire cooperation by teaching children the reasons for rules, avoiding threats or punishments and using positive reinforcement when expectations are met. Its goals are autonomy, self-discipline, independence and respect for others. Parents offering concrete advice and emotional support are key to young people achieving these goals.
Regardless of one’s parenting style, fostering self-agency provides an excellent opportunity for teens to grow and mature. When teens know themselves, know what they need and then take the action themselves, they will build self-advocacy skills.
As children approach adolescence, parents need to shift from the role of “manager” to that of “consultant.” This requires leaning on your wisdom and showing restraint. Offer advice when asked. As you position your child with more responsibility and control, they will become more mature, independent and resilient.
Superintendent David F. Larson, Ed.D.
596 Crescent Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137