Adolescence is a time of rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth. During this period of development, children may need their parents more than ever.
For many children, adolescence is a crucial stage. If they are given appropriate attention, support, and care, teens become healthy and successful adults, but if not, they may develop bad habits that will continue later in life.
Research suggests that positive parenting behaviors during adolescence favorably impact young adults’ career outcomes, including career satisfaction, career autonomy, career commitment, and income. Career success is central to young adults’ identity, life satisfaction, marital relations, and mental health.
The Best Strategy for Raising Adolescents
Many experts believe that the best strategy for raising adolescents is the authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parents are highly demanding and have very high expectations for their children, but at the same time, they are highly responsiveness to their children’s needs and provide ample support.
The most important aspect of authoritative parenting is open communication between the parents and their children. Open communication provides children with a reliable source of trust. With open communication, parents can protect their children and provide guidance when needed, particularly when their children make important life decisions.
In fact, research shows that authoritative parents are more successful at protecting adolescents from problems like drug use and at raising competent individuals.
Here are a few parenting tips for raising adolescents to become successful adults:
- Be a consultant, not a dictator. When a child is young, the parents are essentially the child’s managers, but as the child grows, parents should adopt a more passive role and value their child’s need for independence. Parents shouldn’t try to micromanage every aspect of their child’s life. Rather, they should let their child make his or her own decisions but always be there for the child when needed.
- Be more friendly and lenient. Be more like a friend to your adolescent. Avoid harsh forms of punishment. Discipline should be fair, consistent, and used only when absolutely necessary. Adolescents will open up to their parents only if they trust them and do not fear being punished or misunderstood.
- Don’t be afraid to talk. Talk to children about touchy topics at the appropriate time. It’s far better if adolescents discuss sensitive topics with their parents rather than someone else.
- Choose your battles. Adolescents might want to dye their hair, get a fancy haircut, or wear funky clothes. Think twice before objecting to these temporary things. Save your energy for more serious issues like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, or when children want to make permanent changes to their appearance.
As time goes on, the highs and lows of adolescence will slow down. With time and effort, eventually adolescents will become independent, responsible, and communicative young adults.
- Gordon, Mellissa S., and Ming Cui. “Positive Parenting during Adolescence and Career success in Young Adulthood.” Journal of Child and Family Studies 24, no. 3 (2015): 762–771. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10826-013-9887-y
- Baumrind, Diana. “The Influence of Parenting Style on Adolescent Competence and Substance Use.” The Journal of Early Adolescence 11, no. 1 (1991): 56–95. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0272431691111004
- Dowshen, Steven. “A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Teen Years.” Kids Health. January 2015. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/adolescence.html