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Guiding Teenagers Blogs

HA! HA! HA! - Parenting Series: PART V

This series is designed (but not necessary) to be read chronologically; if you need to catch up or skip ahead, the links below will take you to where you need to go!


We conclude the four parenting styles today with the most sought-after style. This parenting technique is proven highly effective and rewarding for both parent and child. Authoritative parenting is the final type and is also known as "democratic parenting" because of the elegant degree of reasoning from the parent encompassing the give-and-take style. blogs | Parenting Series | Mom Doing Homework with Daughter

Some of the primary characteristics of this give-and-take practical parenting, as discussed in the first part of the series, include:

  • Responsive, supportive, and nurturing parenting

  • Firm rules are set in the home; when rules are broken, parents will listen and reason with the child but don't always accept what the child has to say

  • Two-way communication and natural consequences for wrongdoings

  • Attempt to mold their child's growth and behavior by taking an interest and explaining, discussing, and reasoning with them as they do good and bad


Jump to a section:

>>> The HAck

>>> HAlfway



Sincerely, there's nothing funny about it! Although I promise you we can divide authoritative parenting into three subsections- or "HA"s to break it down nicely. Our play on laughter includes: "The HAck," "HAlfway," and "HAndprint to HAndshake" - read on!

The HAck

As described already, there is a give-and-take vibe in authoritative families. That HAck allows for smoother sailing and less stress in parent-child relationships. For instance, instead of having nonexistent standards found in neglectful parenting- or mom and dad paving the way in difficult times as seen in permissive parenting, authoritative parenting parallels closely with authoritarian parenting. Both types have solid principles and expect greatness; the mindset is "If you are going to do something, then do it right the first time." blogs | Parenting Series | Parents Reading With Child

The difference between the "my way or the highway" mentality, the backbone of authoritarian parenting, and the democratic style of authoritative parenting is the HAck. When a child stumbles and makes a mistake, which they inevitably will, just like all learning children do from time to time, mom or dad will pause, listen, and give their child a chance to explain themselves. It is important to stress that the parent will not just hear the child out; instead, the parent will sit with their full attention on them, focused, and genuinely listen to them. Furthermore, after listening and discussing the situation with the child, the consequence could be negated if they provide a valid reason or explanation.

That HAck of listening and allowing the child to explain permits them to feel comfortable knowing they can always talk to you. In their eyes, they see that you heard them out rather than ignored them, especially when a rule was broken (even if justified in the end). By invoking that HAck, many more items of positivity can come with it, including:

  • Self-esteem boost

  • Learning to argue and disagree appropriately, with respect

  • Showing that you care about their perspective, which offers a vulnerability that you are just as human as they are

  • Accepting winning and losing with dignity and maturely

Conversely, there are many more times when the child misbehaves or breaks a rule, and they explain themselves, but it still does not change the outcome (consequence). Of course, as an authoritative parent, you will listen to your child's explanation and reasoning; this could even allow less severe consequences since the child possibly provided valid points or their intent on the issue. But nevertheless, and more importantly, you will explain why the punishment will stand, which will inherently make it a natural punishment rather than something out of spite and rashness- and the child will respect that much more in the end.


As you can imagine, based on the HAck alone, authoritative parents try meeting their children HAlfway rather than having the mentality of "all or nothing" as found in the other three parenting styles. Based on past quarrels, the child will know you are trying to meet them HAlfway. Because of that, they will want to try and do the same in meeting you HAlfway. It can even mean accepting the punishment for their misdoings (their HAlfway point) once you hear them out, genuinely listen, and explain why the punishment stands (your HAlfway point). blogs | Parenting Series | Mom giving son lunch pail

The benefit to the HAlfway meeting point is that it will carry over in all aspects of your relationship, not just household rules and duties. As a result, it can present itself in various ways that extend their entire life:

  • Teaches the phrase, "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"

  • Helping Others: As they see someone in need of help, they will be more opted to want to help (seeing that someone can only go so far and they can pick up the slack and meet them HAlfway to accomplish a goal)

  • Personality Trait: Gives the child the personality to not lie down for someone but not be arrogant or condescending either. Instead, it allows for personality traits that are much more assertive, practical, responsible, consistent, sensitive, thoughtful, and trustworthy

HAndprint to HAndshake

Authoritative parents will always be highly involved with their child's life right from the start in the cradle. The baby's HAndprint melts the parent's hearts as the baby's hand reaches out, and the parents meet them HAlfway with their hands pressing back on theirs. That is the composition of their relationship throughout their lives from that point on. blogs | Parenting Series | Parents watching baby walk

As the child grows, their parents will always be close and involved, allowing them to make the bulk of decisions regarding what they want to do with their lives and have some self-control. With the child choosing the activities and hobbies (the child's half), the parents will ensure that they stick with it through thick and thin and endure (the parent's half). Doing this teaches discipline, responsibility, and drive, all while building character. blogs | Parenting Series | Mom & Son at computer

Into teenhood, the parents will continue to allow their teenager to grow and mature, allowing them to become their own person, but ensuring that there are solid morals and firm beliefs (from a religious standpoint, even if the religion is no religion, and from a family belief standpoint). By this time, as a teenager, it would have been ingrained into their core, allowing them to make decisions that closely parallel their family's ideology. Because of this, their parents gradually shift from highly involved to highly supportive, allowing their near-grown child to test the waters of the "real world" but ensuring the guardrails are still in.

As the parents let the now young adult flourish, always guiding them along the way since their HAndprints pressed each other nearly two decades before, the child is ready to move on, making their parents proud. The last thing the much older child does before moving out is giving the parents a hug and a HAndshake, thanking them for everything they have done over the years. From HAndprint to HAndshake, the parents have supported and guided the child through the best and worst times as authoritative parents.


In Conclusion

Regardless of which four parenting styles you prefer or practice, there is no proper right way or wrong way. However, each class may have sections you can pull from to make a style that best fits you and your family's personality. Authoritative parenting offers the best upside to raising children in today's society. Crucially though, it requires being firm and structured in your family belief system, and perhaps even more importantly, you must be involved and present in your child's life at all times to be effective. So, regardless of how you parent, as long as you and your family are comfortable with the style you choose, that is all that matters.


Continue Reading: blogs | Parenting Series | UNderstand PROblems THEy HAve

Catch up on the series: blogs | Parenting Series | What Kind R U? blogs | Parenting Series | The Big UNcubed blogs | Parenting Series | The Great PRO³ blogs | Parenting Series | What THE?

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