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Parenting Styles

Late Adolescence and Working Parents

Parenting teens can be particularly challenging. While teens may have fewer physical needs and be capable of significant independent action, they often have much higher emotional needs than younger children, and may require additional support and effort from parents and family. The majority of American parents work, regardless of family structure. Working parents must rely upon childcare of various types while they are working outside the home. In addition, working parents may struggle with work-life balance and parenting while meeting career obligations, and must make the most of the time they have available to spend with their children. Topics to be covered include: Ways in which parents support cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development during the late adolescent and young adult years Problems that may arise when integrating work and family lives Types of childcare and how to select quality childcare Parenting strategies for working parents that promote children’s growth and parent’s wellbeing Puberty and Emotional and Social Development The effects and timing of physical development associated with puberty may emotionally affect a teenager, although the effect is different for each gender and often more significant for girls. The emotional impact of puberty can be both social and physical. Emotional changes are triggered by physical ones; however, socialization and personal relationships also become more important during puberty. Gender and socialization, particularly in the school environment is significant to the emotional development of older children and teens, but so too is parental response to the child or teen, and to the changes they are experiencing. Emotional changes that occur during puberty include: Showing strong emotions, and frequent changes in emotional state. Being more sensitive to and aware of the emotions of others. Becoming more self-conscious about physical appearance and changes. Believing they are invincible and not necessarily understanding the risks of their actions. 5/7/2019 CHFD331 LESSON 06 2/22 Many of the emotional changes that occur during puberty are physiological in nature. Hormones can cause a significant impact on mood and emotions for both boys and girls. In addition, the brain is not yet fully developed, making it difficult for teens to fully understand their own actions. While teens often have a bad reputation, it can help to remember that only five to 15 percent of teens go through a significant rebellion or experience substantial emotional or behavioral challenges. Along with emotional development, social development and changes also occur during puberty. These changes are normal, but can be difficult for both teens and parents. Understanding normal social and emotional development can help parents to cope, and can also make it easier to recognize the difference between normal developmental behavior, and behaviors that may be troubling or require additional care. Social changes include: ‹ 1/8 › Searching for identity Teens may “try on” a variety of different roles. These can involve activities, appearance, and changes in groups of friends. Seeking more independence Teens may want less contact with parents and more freedom, or may have a growing desire to drive, or eliminate rules around driving or technology. Looking for new responsibilities Teens may be interested in taking on new responsibilities at home and school. This might include a part-time job to save for a car, provide spending money, or save for college. Trying out new experiences, both safe and unsafe Safe experiences might include things like sports, rock climbing or travel; unsafe ones could include sexual activity, drug use, drinking, or risky driving behavior. Exploring sexual identity and romantic relationships Older children and teens may show an interest in dating. Parents should handle these early relationships carefully, and with respect. Communicating in different ways Texting and social media may become more important. Parents need to balance the child’s needs for privacy with the need for supervision. Paying attention to thoughts of friends, rather than family 5/7/2019 CHFD331 LESSON 06 3/22 Peer pressure, or the influence of same-age teens, and peer interactions can become more important than the thoughts and feelings of family. Expressing more interest in moral ideas and concepts of right and wrong They may condemn things strongly, or show an interest in social justice issues or politics. Emotional and Social Development Many teens become less communicative with parents, and spend more time and energy on relationships with friends. This is a normal part of development, but often challenging for parents. Parents may need to put forth extra effort to maintain a close relationship with teens. Some common and normal challenges in parent-teen relationships include a desire to spend more time with friends and less with parents and family, a desire for the teen to be seen as an individual, and questioning family values. Parents may find that relationships with teens are easier when parents work to encourage independence and the search for identity. Age The emotional and social development of teens is also impacted by the age at which children begin to develop. Early developing children will have a different experience during early adolescence than children who begin puberty significantly later. Emotional and social development, including relationships with parents, are also impacted by the age at which children begin developing. A girl who matures early will experience more conflicts with parents and both female and male peers because of her early development, mature body, and advanced interests. Early maturing girls tend to experience more instances of social anxiety, depression, and substance abuse than girls who menstruate later in their teenage years. For girls who begin puberty late, there are also struggles. They may feel behind, underdeveloped, or experience teasing about their body, from both other girls and boys. Parents may need to be sensitive to these issues as well. A boy who matures early will experience a sense of satisfaction. They have the physical advantage of being taller and stronger. A late maturing boy will experience less satisfaction in his physical appearance but this experience will not be as emotional or impactful as that of an early maturing girl. In most cases, puberty is less emotional for boys than for girls. Social Support Social and emotional development in the teenage years is dependent upon strong social support from parents, teachers, coaches, and other positive adults in the child’s life. When a teen is involved in a variety of activities within school and community, they develop skills that contribute to success in school and developing social relationships. When a teen is engaged in these types of activities, there are lower levels of substance abuse. Busy teens are often happy teens, and many of these activities provide teens with a supportive peer environment and incentive to reduce risk-taking behaviors. Peer and Sibling Relationships Peer and sibling relationships can provide positive support and be a source of companionship and problem solving for teens. Peer relationships become increasingly important and influential in the teenage years. Teens seek out peers with similar interests and benefit from sharing experiences and feelings. Social acceptance 5/7/2019 CHFD331 LESSON 06 4/22 contributes to the teenager’s sense of emotional well-being and may develop from friendships or involvement in extracurricular activities and support from adults. Teens develop social acceptance through face-to- face contact, participation in activities, or through social media interaction. Parental Techniques Parents can use the following techniques to support the social and emotional development of teenagers: Encourage teenagers to participate in extracurricular activities that involve sports, hobbies, community volunteering, or part-time employment (less than 15 hours a week). Maintain positive parenting approaches that use warm and emotionally supportive communication styles with teenagers. Maintain warm, loving relationships will all the children in the family and encourage warm sibling relationships. Be involved in teenage activities, recognize effort, and achievement. Listen to teenagers, be nonjudgmental, use “I messages” to express parental feelings to the teen rather than “You make me feel…” statements. Consider alternative answers to “No”. Provide another option or give more information. For example, “I can do that after _____.” or “The budget won’t allow that this month”. Talk to teens about bullying and harassment and report any incidents to the school and phone and internet providers. Keep records of incidents to confront the bully and stop the behavior. Knowledge Check Which of the following is likely to produce the most distress for teens? Early puberty for girls Early puberty for boys Late puberty for boys Late puberty for girls Correct. This is the most difficult timing for puberty. Incorrect. Boys often view this in a positive way. Incorrect. Boys manage this with less stress than girls. Incorrect. This may cause distress, but less than early puberty. When Should Parents Worry? There are some red flags that should alert parents to the need for additional support. These can indicate issues with mental health or substance abuse. Excessive sleeping Teens love their sleep, but avoiding other activities to sleep is a sign of potential depression or substance abuse. A desire to stay up late and sleep in in the mornings is, however, normal at this age. Parents should also be aware that insomnia or other sleep issues are a warning sign of problems. Loss of Self-Esteem 5/7/2019 CHFD331 LESSON 06 5/22 While many teens will occasionally experience upset as a result of self-esteem, consistent feelings of low selfesteem are a sign of depression. Loss of Interest in Activities If your teen suddenly stops doing things they enjoy (without choosing other activities), it is a potential sign of depression or other issues. Changing interests during the teen years are quite normal. Decline in Academic Performance An “A” student should not suddenly begin failing his or her classes; however, a teen struggling in a single course is likely to be experiencing a normal struggle. Weight Loss Use common sense, and consider growth patterns. A teen that is done growing will likely begin eating much less, but will still eat a reasonable amount and will not experience weight loss. You should also watch for binge eating behavior, or any use of purging by vomiting or laxatives. Personality Shifts and Changes Gradual changes in personality and mood swings are common, but intense aggression or out of character behavior should be assessed and may require medical evaluation. 5/7/2019 CHFD331 LESSON 06 6/22 Knowledge Check Which of the following is NOT a sign of an eating disorder? Increased or reduced appetite without weight gain or loss Refusal to eat or extreme concerns about food intake. Purging or vomiting after meals Significant weight loss or gain Correct. Changes in appetite that do not impact weight are typically normal. Incorrect. These changes are a possible sign of an eating disorder. Incorrect. This is a clear sign of an eating disorder. Incorrect. This can be a sign of an eating disorder.

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 Reflect upon your ideal parenting style even if you are not yet a parent.

Why do you think this is a better style for you, and, provide research or academic support for your thoughts?

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