Should Parents Monitor Their Adolescents Closely?

Authoritative parenting has been shown to be a more effective parenting style than others such as authoritarian, permissive or uninvolved. Children raised in authoritative homes achieve more in school, have fewer signs of anxiety and depression, have higher self-esteem and are less likely to participate in antisocial behavior.

For example, an authoritative parent reacts in a caring, but also firm manner to their child who takes a toy away from another child. The parent understands their child’s desire to play with the toy, but also knows their child needs to learn to share and wait their turn.

By explaining and teaching the child right from wrong allows the child to process, understand, and correct their behavior. This parent is being more effective than one who disciplines their child’s behavior, or if the child’s actions are simply ignored.

On the other hand, parents that are constantly monitoring their children are displaying an authoritarian parenting style of being restrictive and controlling.This does not allow the adolescent to be self confident, self reliant, or socially competent.

According to researchers Stattin and Kerr (2000), open communication is more important than supervising the adolescent.

Research conducted by Baumrind (1967), talks about the authoritative, “optimal” parenting style. This parenting style includes parents being demanding but responsive. The positive outcome of this style allows the adolescent to have high social competencies, independence and confidence.