Parenting is the process of raising and supporting a child, thereby promoting the physical, mental, social, intellectual and emotional development of a child. Parenting comes with many challenges, stemming from different behaviors of the parents or the child, as well as the different influences in one’s life, thereby affecting the relationship of the parent with the child. While each age group presents its own unique challenges for parenting, the adolescence period is particularly more so.
Conflict over need for autonomy and independence, experimenting with sexuality and intimacy, alcohol, tobacco ordrug use due to peer pressure or as an act of defiance of parental values, have all been major causes of conflicts between parents and their children. With this, academic pressures and problems, discipline issues and anti-social behaviors might lead to adoption of harsh punishments by parents that can affect thequality of relationship between parent and a child.
Pre-teens and teenagers are more vulnerable to developing emotional and mental health problems such as anxiety, fears, and reaction to stress, depression, suicidal thoughts, obsessive ruminations, and eating disorders. This would need understanding, care and support at the parents’ end, so that the problem can be managed effectively with professional help where necessary. Lastly, peer influences, family influence and the increased influence of media, internet and digital devices can potentially give rise to conflicts between parents and the child, thus complicating the parenting process.
No parent is a perfect parent. But to be able to effectively manage the challenges that parenting might pose for many, one needs to imbibe certain principles of Positive Parenting. Positive parenting, as a concept, includes sharing one’s thoughts, having an open communication, honest expression of feelings, warmth, understanding and active participation in each other’s interests.There are certain strategies that can be adopted to enable parents to have a positive approach for effective parenting as well as avoid certain others that don’t seem to work.
Strategies to be adopted:
Strategies to be avoided:
Parenting, at the end of the day, is all about forming a strong bond with your child and providing them with the best of what you can. One needs to provide love, respect, support, appreciation and care to the child and at the same time, make them understand their responsibilities, their values and the consequences that certain negative behaviors may have on their and their loved ones’ lives. The key lies in balance – balance between being loving and not over indulging; balance between restrictions and freedom; balance between highlighting both good and bad behavior; balance between being a friend and a parent.