Being The ‘Cool’ Parent: A Not So ‘Cool’ Parenting Style
June 22, 2016

Developing Responsible Parenting Styles Could Benefit Your Teen’s Well Being

Some parents base their parenting styles from their personal experiences or the way they were raised. Parenting styles vary drastically from parent to parent. Some parents are open minded and relaxed, while others choose to have stricter guidelines and expectations. Whatever parenting styles you choose, they should always be in the best interest for your teen, whether they make you the ‘cool’ parent of not. Psych Central discusses in a recent article, the necessity for responsible parenting styles and the risks teens face when parents try to be ‘cool’ rather than a guardian.

Responsible is Better Than ‘Cool’

Being an active part of teens lives is an important part in developing responsible parenting styles. Being aware of what’s going on in their life, who they are friends with, and what interests they have can help parents determine appropriate guidelines or rules. Being an active part of their life also keeps you aware of what they or their friends are involved in or if they are experimenting with alcohol or drugs. If you know your teen is experimenting with these things, don’t turn a blind eye because you want them to see you as a ‘cool’ parent. Peers can have a lot of influence over teens, but parents have more. Studies have shown that teens whose parents permitted alcohol consumption, consumed more alcohol and experienced more negative consequences for it by the time they entered college.

The Risks of Being The ‘Cool’ Parent

Teenagers may seem like adults, especially if they’re older and about to go off to college. But research shows that teens and adults who are under the age of 25 brains are still developing. They do not contain as dense of a section of the brain that controls reasoning and impulse control. Due to this, they are more likely to make risky decisions without considering the consequences, which could ultimately create long term mental and physical issues. They are also often moodier and lack good judgment. Being a responsible parent and setting good boundaries and guidelines throughout adolescence is key for helping your teen develop skills to make good decisions in college and later on in life.

What’s More Important?

Set rules for things you aren’t comfortable with, and be open to things you are. The values you bestow on your teens will, more likely than not, be internalized and offer guidance and protection throughout the rest of their life. At the end of the day if you parent with love and accountability and have developed trust and respect from your teens, you’ve achieved something much more important than being the ‘cool’ parent.

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