Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Kind of Parent Are You? The Answer Could Keep Your Children Off Drugs

By Hilda Fearon (1878-1917) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I admit, I started to panic when I read the headline of the June 12th 2014 article by Melissa Hellmann. Having been called “over protective” by my son’s friends I figure I might qualify as a strict parent. And so it tripped me up a bit when I read the title, “If You’re a Strict Parent, Your Kid Is More Likely to Smoke Pot.” Is it time for me to change my parenting style?

In her post Ms. Hellmann describes a study conducted in Europe. The study team looked at over 7,000 teens, asking about their relationships with their parents. Indeed they found that authoritarian (strict) parenting is not the most effective way of steering children away from the use of drugs. The team also found being neglectful was not the way to go. So if laying down the law parenting is no better than “I do not care” parenting, what type of parenting styles show success when it comes to keeping kids away from pot?

In an article posted at covering the same study (referenced by Ms. Hellmann), the study team found that indulgent but very emotional parents were effective in keeping kids off pot. So were the parents who gave “…clear rules…” as long as those parents showed their children love and were not rigid. It turns out that the best parents are the ones who show affection for their children, parents who build strong family relationships. So for those of you, who like me believe in setting boundaries, there is no need for change. Just make sure you let your children know you love them.

What type of parent are you?

The study team identified four parenting styles:
Authoritative - Parents “give clear rules and affectionately and flexibly reason with the children when asking for their compliance.”
Authoritarian – Same as authoritative but with less affection.
Neglectful – Low level of control with little affection shown.
Indulgent – Low level of control but “very emotional.”

I believe my parenting style is closets to Authoritative. How about you?

Referenced in this post:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Having authoritarian parents increases risk of drug use in adolescents,European study finds." ScienceDaily.
  (accessed June 25, 2014).

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