Permission Parenting: Tips for Parents of Teens

Lets start with talking about permission parenting. Permission parenting to me is parents having to make a shift in the way the parent their older teens. In the beginning parents have to teach their kids everything from toilet training to how to do everything and then about in thirteen years old, anyone with a teenager can tell you about that time the hands go on the hips, they look up and say, why? That's the signal that about that point they are starting to transition towards being a person of their own. They question everything and they want a lot of independence. And I use the term permission parenting because that is a whole different way of parenting. At about thirteen kids start transitioning from accepting everything the parents say on blind faith to starting to be independent and questioning everything. And about that point parents also have to transition and have to go from being the controller of their kids to being parent by permission; hence the term permission parenting. And what that means is actually what the term says, from that point on parents have to ask in one form or another, have to ask to be parents. Sometimes when I am talking about permission parenting, people confuse this with permissive parenting. These are two very, very different things. Permission parenting is parenting prior permission asking for the permission to give advice. Permissive parenting is letting your kids get away with murder. That is not what this is at all.

Permission parenting is a whole new way of parenting older teenagers and young adults. What permission parenting is is as the name suggests, it is asking permission before actually giving advice or giving instructions. It is allowing teenagers to make mistakes because all of teenage years is about learning how to live on their own, making mistakes and then learning new ways. So, permission parenting is allowing your teenagers to start making some mistakes and when they are ready for some instruction, they ask. At that point we as parents start doing what we know best, which is giving them some further instruction. This shift happens where before we would give the instruction just off the top of our heads and they would accept it. Now if we try to pull that maneuver, kids start saying but I rather do it myself, or why are you saying this? And what we really need to do is wait for them to ask, if they don't ask, then we are intruding on their space and at this point in their life they need that space.


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