Parenting style has a profound impact on the way children develop into adults. Not only does parenting style affect a child’s weight, social competence and self-esteem, but it also plays a role in academic success.
The Four Parenting Styles
1. Authoritarian – These parents establish strict rules and inflict punishment when the rules are broken. Rather than explaining the rationale behind the rules, authoritarian parents say, “Because I said so.” Their demands are high and they are neither responsive nor nurturing toward their children. Instead, they express love and acceptance only when their child behaves in accordance with the parents’ wishes.
On a positive note, children of authoritarian parents tend to be obedient, learn limits and boundaries, and generally do well in school. But because they’re used to being told what to do, they may struggle to understand how to be independent, form their own opinions, take risks and find activities they truly enjoy.
2. Authoritative – Like authoritarian parents, authoritative parents set rules that their children are expected to follow, but they are also responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. Emphasizing positive reinforcement rather than punishment, these parents involve their children in the process of creating rules and consequences and explain the rationale behind the rules. Authoritative parents blend a nurturing, accepting and supportive approach with clear standards and expectations.
3. Permissive – Permissive parents are loving and responsive, but they don’t set rules or make many demands of their children. As a result of their leniency, their children tend to be undisciplined, immature and demanding. These parents tend to be seen more as a friend to their children than a parent.
4. Uninvolved – This parenting style is considered the most damaging to children. Uninvolved parents make few demands of their children, do not provide structure or rules, and are unresponsive, tending to be detached from their child’s life. Most commonly, uninvolved parents are preoccupied with work or are struggling financially to meet their children’s needs. As a result, children of uninvolved parents are at high risk for emotional and behavioral problems, academic difficulties, low self-esteem, and alcohol or substance abuse.
Every year you look forward to waking up on a brisk winter morning to gather around the Christmas tree with your family and frantically unwrap gifts. You anticipate the excitement of your teens getting the iPod they were coveting or their favorite TV show on DVD.
What you didn’t anticipate was your teens dragging themselves down the stairs in a marijuana-induced haze, sullenly unwrapping the gifts you put so much thought into. You weren’t looking forward to the inevitable bickering that would continue throughout the day, and had been going on during your teens’ entire holiday break.
You thought these behaviors would magically disappear on a day that’s supposed to be filled with so much cheer.
If you have been struggling with your teens’ behaviors all year, the best gift you can give them is a chance to get away from the stress of the holidays and families and work on themselves. That gift can be found in the form of a 28-day wilderness therapy program that can enhance their coping skills, communication skills and self-esteem.
“It’s a great time to take advantage of the opportunity that students are already out of school and help them return from Christmas break successful,” said Dan Kemp, director of admissions at SUWS Programs, a premier wilderness therapy program in Shoshone, Idaho.
Wilderness programs can help your teens identify and work through their conflicts and emotions, making them better able to deal with family and school. The programs provide a safe and nurturing environment in which teens can recognize and build upon their self-worth while they learn the value of helping others.
The thought of not having your teens around for the holidays may be difficult for you, but so is spending yet another holiday season walking on eggshells and wondering what kind of trouble your kids are going to get in or what they will start fighting about next.
There are many reasons why enrolling your teens in a wilderness therapy program during the holidays makes sense.