Parenting forms an integral part of caring and loving the teen. Good parenting according to Darling (12) is about providing secure home life, warm, developing positive self-esteem, and helping the teens learn the rules of life, such as respect and sharing with others. “A young child’s behavior is an indicator to what inborn tendencies need to be addressed or changed before the child reaches adolescence”, writes Darling (12). Good parenting requires the parent to stop the teens from getting involved in the wrong doings and continually encouraging the children to do the correct things based on the societal norms and the laws of the land. By definition, parenting constitutes elements such as attention, love, support, discipline and guidance to the children. However, love of the teens is the most powerful and important emotion that constitute to both the mind and the heart. Emotion has been described as the state of well-being characterized by physical reaction. Devotion and affection to the child is love given to the teen without question. Essentially, one of the most impressing things that can happen to an individual is being a parent. However, the raising part is the most hectic part of being a parent. The teen years is often conveyed as stressful for both the parent and the teens. As parents guide their teens from infantile dependence into the stages of autonomy, the adopted styles of parenting provides both lasting and immediate effects of the social functioning of the child, especially in areas of moral development, to peer pay and educational achievements.
Thesis Statement: Good parenting requires a combination of authoritative and flexible parenting to offer positive outcomes and childhood-adulthood transit.
Good parenting has been defined as the act of realizing that every child is different and not comparing the child to others that allow for the adoption of an effective and beneficial style of parenting (Wargo 89). Further, Wargo writes, “Parenting is reciprocal process where the parent influences the development of the child, and in turn, the child influences the parent,” (p. 89). The initial stages of life have been thought by numerous scholars as the period of human development that parents are obligated to assume a special role in the lives of the teens. Ensuring the best possible outcome for the children requires the parents’ readiness to face the challenge of balancing the disciplinary and maturity demands (Wargo 89). This is important for integrating the teens into the social and family system and at the same time maintaining the atmosphere of warmth, support, and responsiveness. Reasonably, when the attitude and the conduct of the parent during the pre-school period do not factor absolute balance on these spectra, the teens may be faced by multitude issues of adjustment. Providing the young ones with the needed attention for development of their body and mind is significant for good parenting. A study by Wargo (122) concludes that the role of nursing a child to develop and grow up healthy by nurturing their daily requirements provides them with safety and trust. Therefore, the young one would grow knowing that they will not get hurt, and good parenting requires observing the best interest of the child as well as constant care.
Darling (22) provides that parenting requires providing proper guidance in the right direction that assist the child in choosing the correct action and absolute manner to conduct themselves. Parents should support their children mentally that together strengthens the body and the mid of the child. Likewise, discipline is a fundamental tool of child development, and good parenting requires the parent to set the rules that the young one should obey without objection. The practice of enforcing rules to children and punishing them when they break rules is sufficient for good parenting. Accordingly, punishment assists in discouraging of unwanted behavior that might be spotted in the child. Darling (24) further expresses that reinforcing discipline helps in building the correct character needed for the development of the child throughout their life. Probably, there are numerous diverse opinions on what constitutes good parenting. New parents often receive guidance and advice on the procedures and policies on how to parent their young ones from their experts and parents.
According to research evidence, flexible and authoritative parenting styles are recommended fro parenting, especially for a child growing in a nuclear family. However, Darling (24) argues that these parenting styles may not apply for all families, especially, for the children growing up in other situations and circumstances. Providing a child with freedom and flexibility produces positive outcomes, reading from Darling (24) research validations. Arguably, children that stay in safe neighborhoods are less likely to get involved in dangerous behavior; however, high-risk areas may result into bad behaviors, and a high degree of parental control might be necessary. Darling (28) argues that being too hard on the children may at times be unproductive in the life of the child. While punishment is encouraged to assist in the deterring of the child’s unwanted behavior, parents that become too hard of their teens and use physical punishment often finds it wrong. The children that are hit, spanked or slapped are more likely to develop violent behavior as well as become prone to fighting with peers (Darling 28). Furthermore, these children are likely to become bullies and use aggregation to solve disputes with the peers.
Research done by Grusec (17) on parenting styles stated that the developmental psychologists overwhelmingly endorses authoritative parenting as the optimal style of raising the young ones in the transit periods. Based on the research, authoritative parenting has been linked with healthy development of the young ones and assists in the provision of balance between support and affection. Besides, it provides an appropriate degree of parenting control that is influential in managing the child behavior. The atmosphere created by authoritative style of parenting for the teens to developing healthy sense of autonomy and self-reliant is intertwined within the parental guidelines, limits and rules. While authoritative parenting has been widely associated with beneficial outcomes of development, critics have proposed the use of mixed parenting styles. Grusec states, “Children of authoritarian parents are more likely to be fearful and anxious,” (Grusec 17). In particular, a study by Grusec (19) on the effectiveness of good parenting provided that some parents may be more permissive in consenting their teens an extended weekend curfew. On the other hand, an authoritarian parent often disallows their teens to be out of the home after 8 p. m. Thus, according to Grusec (19), parents may modify their styles of parenting to fit the presented circumstances. Therefore, it is significant to ensure that the children feel safe, valued, free, and loved. Likewise, the adults looking after the children must notice their moral behaviors.
Parallel study conducted on the effectiveness of parenting features similar results. Referencing from the exploration by Steinberg (21), good parenting is linked with authoritative parenting that is characterized by balance of responsiveness and demandingness with elevated children social competence. Accordingly, the children of authoritative parents often get characterized with high competence levels in their early peer relationships. Thus, these teens will hardly engage in limited levels of alcohol and drug use and develop a more emotional well-being. Although permissive and authoritative parenting styles appear to represent the opposite ends in the spectrum of good parenting, opponents highlights that neither style has been linked to positive outcomes. Steinberg writes, “Children of the permissive parents may lack control, since none is expected from them,” (Steinberg 21). It is established that both parenting styles limit the opportunities for children to learn the procedures of coping with stressful situations.
Darling states that,
“Children with difficult temperatures are more vulnerable or prone to the effects of family discord, stress, and negative child-parent relationships that children with easy temperaments, who are more resilient to such effects” (p. 21)
Steinberg, (22) argues that too much demandingness and control minimizes the opportunity of the child to make decisions for themselves and their need known to their parents. Similarly, Steinberg, (27) criticizes permissive parenting and points that this style of parenting may lack control for guidance and direction significant for the development of appropriate goals and morals. Likewise, the research uncovered important relationships between styles of parenting across the generations; good parenting and bad parenting appears to be passed on.
Based on the robust literature, education and information on the optimal styles of parenting is essential for good parenting. Likewise, the establishment of effective practices is significant for the success and social adjustment of the child. In most circumstances, the application of warm, authoritative and flexible style of parenting provides the most effective and beneficial style of good parenting for the intellectual, emotional, social, and moral development of a child. Yet, the research validations in the area of child-parent interaction should be expanded to enhance the evaluation the outcomes of the broader variety of racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural groups. Furthermore, research is necessary for the investigation of the children of different ages to provide the families various situational factors to employee in good parenting to reap the full benefits of research on good parenting. However, based on the developmental arguments based on current research validations, good parenting can be achieved through a combination of authoritative, permissive, and flexible parenting. The development of morals, personality, problem-solving skills and goals requires effective parenting to foster safe transit from childhood all through to adulthood.
Darling N, Steinberg L. Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin 1993;113 (3):487-496.
Grusec JE, Hastings PD. Handbook of socialization: Theory and research. New York, NY: Guilford Press; 2006.
Steinberg, L. We know some things: Adolescent-parent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 2001, 11, 1-19.
Wargo, E. Adolescents and risk: Helping young people make better choices. ACT for Youth Center of Excellence (2001): Research Facts and Findings. Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://www.actforyouth.net/documents/AdolescentRisk_Sept07.pdf