This will be the first in a two part series on parenting your teen. It’s a great first step to figure out the type of parent you are so you know how your teen may or may not mesh well with your type of parenting.  There are three basic types: passive, authoritative and authoritarian, see which one you might be.

The Passive Parent

Passive parents are very permissive. They allow their teens to dictate the relationship between them because they’re more concerned with being liked than they are with structuring their teen’s life. They want to be their teen’s friend and so hold no or low expectations for their teen to live up to.

The Authoritative Parent

The authoritative parent holds high expectations for their teen, but is reasonable about how these expectations are met. They are willing to teach that their teen’s behavior has cause and effect and they are willing to listen to their teen’s assessment on how that expectation should be reached. There is a much more cooperative structure to the relationship even though the parent is still in charge and determining structure.

The Authoritarian Parent

The authoritarian parent holds high expectations that may even be unrealistic, but even more complicated for the teen may be that theychange expectations suddenly. This can confuse and frustrate their teen giving the teen no clear direction on how they can meet any expectation. This can cause a lot of conflict in the parent-child relationship. The conflict is not because of the expectation, but because of the anxiety and fear associated with not meeting unrealistic and changing expectations.

A great way to figure out which type of parent you are is to take any of the many quizzes you can find online or on paper. See which type of parent you are and use this to help you understand how your parenting may play a role in the type of teen behavior you see at home. It may also help you see why you became the adult you did as a result of the parenting you received as a teen and give you more insight into who you are, which can also help you parent your teen better.

Tomorrow the post will discuss the type of teen and how that type prefers to be parented. This is a milestone in changing a difficult relationship with your teen or improving an OK one.