Our individual parenting style generally comes as a result of the way that we were parented growing up. Whether it’s conscious or not, we decide whether or not we liked the way we were parented as a teenager, and act accordingly to modify our parenting styles. When you find that your child is acting out, it’s often because you’ve failed to set boundaries with them, and them acting out is because they’re confused. Most parents seem to fall into one of the following four parenting styles:

Controlling

Parenting in this style usually leaves very little room to receive feedback from your child. It’s all “Do it because I said so” and very little listening to how they’re feeling. This is usually a rigid form of parenting, with intense punishments that rarely let your child feel the effects of a natural consequence.

Permissive

This parenting style is the opposite of controlling. A permissive parent is very responsive to what a child wants, and often lets them do what they please. One of the biggest setbacks with this parenting style is that, in an attempt to protect your child, you try to avoid letting them face the natural consequences of their choices.

Uninvolved

An uninvolved parent is low in both responsiveness and demands. They don’t expect very much of their children, and they seem uninterested in what their child does. There are few logical consequences, and often feel like their child should do what they want, as it doesn’t really matter to them.

Authoritative

This parenting style is firm but fair. There are very clear boundaries and rules set in place, and the child is expected to adhere to them. They also provide warmth, affection, and most importantly, mutual respect with their children, which helps the child understand that the ultimate authority resides with the parent. A child under this parenting style would receive both natural and logical consequences for their actions.

Once you understand what parenting style you’ve adopted, you can make the necessary changes to create a healthier environment within the home for your child, which will make the process of setting boundaries for your teens much easier. The key to setting boundaries is to be clear and consistent with your child, to eliminate confusion. You also have to remember that your child’s safety and wellbeing is more important than them viewing you as a friend. It’s possible to be a friend and parent, but the role of parent should come first.