Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Teen Response to Parental Reactions

Parenting teenagers might be one of the most challenging jobs a parent experiences in their lifetime. Setting acceptable limits and then choosing appropriate discipline when they break the rules is often a difficult undertaking.

Parents and teens may find that their views are often at odds when it comes to disciplinary issues. A recent study published in the journal, Social Development, surveyed adolescents in high school to better understand how the teens view their parents’ reactions to their misbehavior.

Perhaps not surprising, the study found that parents and teens don’t see eye-to-eye on how parents should react when it comes to their social behavior. For example; punishing or even discussing what kind of clothes their teens can wear, how they wear their hair, and how late they can stay out has little impact on teens.

Teens see these as arbitrary sanctions and typically feel that their parents overreact when teens break these rules. They are not as likely to understand or accept their parent’s discipline on these issues.

However, parents may be relieved to know that there is more common ground with teens on moral issues, such as lying or stealing. Teens are more likely to accept and feel guilt for their moral misdeeds when there are clear societal guidelines, not just what they think is their parents’ personal choice.

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