PART 1: Interview
How old is your child/children?
Olivia is 15.
How is adolescence different from the elementary school years for your child? What changes have you seen in them?
Most of the times, talking with Olivia can be like walking on thin ice. Either depending on her mood, she can be delightful or an emotional wreck. In elementary school, she was so much easier to talk to.
How has your relationship changed since your child has entered adolescence? Give examples of how this has changed.
Olivia hugs me in the morning and hugs me at night before she goes to sleep. Other than that, she does her homework and constantly chats with friends about meaningless teenage stuff. When Olivia was a little girl, she loved playing music with daddy (I am a musician.) Now, she thinks it is creepy to play with her dad.
What are some boundaries and rules you have set up for your teen? What do you do if they break or a rule or disrespect a boundary?
One thing that bothers me about Olivia is that she is terrified when it comes to doing the wrong thing. So much so that I actually would not mind, if for once she got in to some trouble. She wakes up at 5:30, catches the bus at 6:30, runs track, plays piano and guitar brilliantly, and is a straight and honor student. I always say that Olivia was born at the age of 30. Meaning, the rules and boundaries are quite simple: do the right thing, make good choices, it’s ok if you screw up, hang out with good kids, let me know where you are always, and most of all, get straight A’s.
Is your teen involved in a romantic relationship? Do they go on dates? What do the dates consist of?
Interesting question, but the answer is no. Olivia has a couple friends that “go with” boys. The advent of Twitter and Facebook, I believe, has changed the teenage dating scene dramatically. “Going with someone,” in my teenager’s mind, means tweeting boys or chatting with them on Facebook. In addition, I have access to all her social media. I try to be respectful with her privacy but I also do not want her to do something stupid.
What is the greatest challenge you face in regards to your relationship with your adolescent?
Communication: Olivia used to think I was “cool”, and now I am just “annoying.” I have come to the realization that there is no way that a dad can be “cool.” Olivia and I had a fight the other night and she got unreasonably emotional. She said, “Dad, I got things going on.” Turns out she was having her period, which is something I clearly cannot communicate with her about.
What is your child’s feeling toward his friendships? Do you think these friendships have a major influence on him/her? If so, give some examples.
Her friends dramatically influence Olivia. The fact that they all have “Smart Phones,” means that they are always together, even when they are apart. Her friends are a huge part of her life. Knowing all her friends and their parents, as a father, makes a big difference.
How has the world changed from the time you were a teen? What then are some new challenges your teen will face that you did not?
When I was a teenager, I had one way to communicate with friends and was a landline phone that I had to share with an older brother and two older sisters. Teenagers today communicate 24/7. They also have access to enormous amounts of information, some of which is disturbing. I love the internet but am not sure that I love it for my daughter.
Does your child have what you would consider good or poor self-esteem? Describe how you think they perceive themselves.
I received an email two days ago from Olivia’s high school that said they would be conducting tests for kids that might be depressed. Olivia laughed about it and said that even if she was depressed she would never be labeled as “one of those kids” that was tested. Olivia is exceedingly confident. However, her entire groups of friends are all beautiful and athletic. While Olivia is attractive, she is no great athlete. She is small and not particularly gifted athletically. Most of her friends, however, are super athletes. I think this probably bothers her.
How do you cope with the anxiety and pressures that come with parenting an adolescent?
Honestly, I use humor. Yesterday Olivia said to me something like this: “Katie texted me that Julie was having a sleepover and then Kelsey said to Alden that she can’t so we just decided to meet at Starbucks.” I have no anxiety or pressure, just sadness that my little girl has moved on. Nevertheless, that is life.
PART 2: Interview report
Consistency of the style used by the interviewed parent
The parenting style this parent has adopted is the authoritative parenting. In authoritative parenting, parents encourage their adolescent children to be independent but impose some controls and restrictions to that independence. There is an allowance for in depth verbal exchanges between parents and their adolescent children. Adolescents in authoritative parenting have strong social links, are self-reliant and are socially responsible. The parent in the interview is an example of an authoritative parent from the way he answers my questions. The parent has imposed some restrictive measures for Olivia such that she is always terrified when it comes to doing wrong things. The authoritative nature has enabled Olivia to have more control of her life and to make her more responsible at her age. She knows what is expected f her and she tries hard to avoid instances of conflict occurrence. To control her life, the parent has access to her private life that ensures she does not do anything weird to her life (Santrock, 2012).
The greatest concern of the parent, and its manifestation in child-parent relationship
The main concern with this parent is the feeling that he is no longer close to his daughter. He feels that her peers take her away as most of her time she spends with her peers both physically and through social media. Peer relationships have both positives and negatives to the development of a child. Fostering a positive peer relationship will grow the adolescent youngster into a responsible person. Social isolation leads to many different forms of problems and disorders like substance abuse and depression. Peer relationships are therefore necessary for in development of a child. On the other hand, there is need for control into the types of relationship a peer is having, since lack of control may lead to negative peer pressure, which is not right. There is therefore a constant fight between parents and their youngsters in regard of peer and parent control. The bible teaches that, in Proverbs 13 and 19, parents should discipline their children if they want to make them responsible adults. The discipline however needs to balance with love to avoid rebellion and resentment. To avoid conflicts with peers, parents should positively monitor their behaviors in becoming responsible adults (Relevant Bible Teaching, 2012).
The peer-parent control conflict is common especially at the early adolescence age and important ids for parents to engage in constant conversations with their adolescents concerning consultations, guidance and peer conflicts to have a clear understanding in both of them (Santrock, 2012).
PART 3: Personal parenting philosophy
The parenting style I believe in
I believe in the authoritative parenting style as the best in molding children into responsible adults. A parent should allow their parents to exercise some autonomy in their personal lives, to make particular personal decisions as well as controlling their social lives. The autonomy should have limits where parents have the final say in some instances. This will grow an all rounded child who knows what is right and wrong and understands how to control themselves in their private and social lives. Lack of socialization may lead to negative behaviors like substance abuse and depressions while at the same time absolute autonomy may lead to negative peer behaviors like drugs abuse, and commercial sex among others (Khaki, 2012).
Balancing the relationship with adolescence and enforcing the rules of the house.
The Bible in Hebrews 12:11, says that discipline is painful in its occurrence but if followed by loving instructions, it is remarkably beneficial to the child. Further teachings from the holy book say that (Proverbs 22:6), the parent should train their child in the way they want them to go such that in adulthood, they will not turn from it. These biblical teachings answer my question, as I will impart discipline to my adolescent peer through the most loving way so that they embrace the guidelines in the best way and in that our relationship will be strong and with rules basis. I will teach them the right ways so that in future, they will not regret and blame their parents for their failure (Relevant Bible Teaching, 2012).
Effect of Christian world view in parenting adolescents
The Christian Worldview bases its teachings in the Holy bible and they will act a guide in how I will parent my adolescence. The Holy Bible gives the guidelines on how parents should treat their children in making them responsible adults. Through the various scriptures teaching on parenting, I will build my family and guide my peers in the right way (Got Questions Org, 2012).
How to approach a child with a drug issue
The moment I suspect that my child is using drugs I will stay calm to avoid unnecessary confrontations that can have negative effects on him. I will wait until I am in the right state of min, and then set a plan of confronting them by selecting a particular place and time most conducive for both of us. At the same time, I will ensure he is not under the influence of the drug to have a comfortable environment for both of us. I will also have a game plan on how to handle the conversation clearly stating my concerns. During the conversation, I will ensure that I understand the condition, and remain firm and supportive. I will also ensure no feelings of sarcasm, accusations, hostility, self-blaming and pitying emerge from me. In the end, I will have assisted the child in the most positive manner (English, 2005).
How to cope with anxieties and pressures that come with adolescence parenting
Relationship between parent and an adolescent peer can be humiliating to the parent especially when the peer goes against the parent’s will in most instances. To avoid stressful life, I would remain simple and authoritative as possible. I would explain to my peer the limits of their authority and the expectations at home and with their friends. It is a very hard task but with constant love and concern, they will understand the rules of the house and live a happy life. To achieve this I will consult the biblical teachings on good parenting to be my guide (Santrock, 2012).
English. (2005). Family Matters: How to Approach Drug Issues with Your Family. Retrieved on 3rd December, 2012 from http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au/publication_pdfs/7860/OTH-7860-ENG.pdf
Got Questions Organization. (2012). What does the Bible say about being a good parent? Retrieved on 3rd December, 2012 from http://www.gotquestions.org/good-parent.html
Khaki, H. (2012). The Four Parenting Styles. Article Garden. Retrieved on 3rd December, 2012 from http://www.articlegarden.com/Article/The-Four-Parenting-Styles/3815
Relevant Bible Teaching. (2012). Bedrocks of Biblical Parenting. Retrieved on 3rd December, 2012 from http://www.relevantbibleteaching.com/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=140032273&sec_id=140001239
Santrock, J. W. (2012). Adolescence. 14th Edition. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.