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The Positive Effects of Strict Rules on Teens

by Darlena Cunha

When parenting teenagers, you have to be wary of being too lenient. So many times parents want to come across as a friendly presence, afraid of pushing their young ones away. But without the framework of specific rules and guidelines, teenagers can push the boundaries out of control and end up in trouble with you, with the community or even with the law. According to the Mayo Clinic, enforcing well-understood rules will strengthen your relationship with your teen.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting means parents enforce strict guidelines, but also praise their children and give them affection freely. This type of parenting encourages creativity and independence. Research by Kingsley Nyarko published in the "American Journal of Social and Management Sciences" concludes that this is the healthiest model for raising happy, successful adolescents. While authoritarian parenting is also considered strict rule enforcement, it lacks the caring follow-through.

Education

Because authoritative parenting establishes both strict guidelines and a nurturing attitude, students are shown to be more receptive to education and more likely to perform at or above the level of their peers, says Nyarko in her academic paper titled "The Influence of Authoritative Parenting Style on Adolescents' Academic Achievement." Kids who are validated in the home are more active in career exploration, according to this study.

Sexual Activity

By setting firm limits and clear guidelines, authoritative parents encourage a high level of maturity and responsibility in their teens. Typical adolescents might lean on parents who have explained the rules for more moral decisions because they trust them. However, teens who have parents that are too strict will more likely go to their peers for moral and informational decisions. Higher parental monitoring is correlated with less initiation of sex in preadolescence, lower rates of sexual initiation as they aged, and increased adolescent contraception, according to Planned Parenthood.

Psychosocial Development

Adolescence is a time where the psychosocial development of a person is peaking. This is the time during which your teenager forms the platform for the adult he will become. Children of authoritative parents are more academically driven and usually have fewer destructive behaviors. Psychiatrist Diana Baumrind noted that such children are apt to demonstrate leadership qualities, and says authoritative parenting has been associated with positive self-esteem, especially in women, as noted in a study for Cornell University.

About the Author

Darlena Cunha has been a writer and editor since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Connecticut. Cunha is also completing her master's degree in mass communication.

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