Parenting Styles Affect Teenage Experience


The child’s slow climb towards adulthood. The struggle lies in not the blows taken, but the ability resting on the babe to get up again. For a short time a child may be graced with a safety net. The support of legal guardians is critical in planting the seed of greatness in any youth. But the scale would collapse with too much weight on either side. Should one abandon the child into the woods, running with the wolves? Would it be safer then to surround them in bubble wrap? What is the perfect way to hatch a adult?

The statistics seem to be presenting righteously damning evidence to the American educational system. The American Psychological Association claims that their is a growing mental health problem in colleges. Anxiety is the greatest concern, with an average of 41.6 percent of students. One could conclude that the students suffering have not simply popped out of the ground like spring daisies. Such a dramatic number surely would have had to come from somewhere.

Perhaps that alarming statistic could be aligned with the child rearing style dubbed: helicopter parenting. From school assignments to sports, these guardians will be at the side of their offspring nonstop. Hence the title ‘helicopter’, they are committed to making their child a apex predator in their formative years. Could such hovering though, be unhealthy for the mind of a child?

Sophomore Gracie Kendrick thinks that her parents can be helicopters,“If I don’t get something done in school they start freaking out and they won’t let me go anywhere.” Cutting off privileges for measly grades, one could think that such treatment is unfair. A child might begin to resent such treatment. Gracie though, shows no anger or animosity towards her caregivers, given time to reflect she understands that their love is tough. Perhaps there is some aid that arises from their constant nagging and concern?

“I’d say it helps, or else I wouldn’t get anything done. It will help me out in the long run.” In the long road trip of life, there are sharp turns and flats, but in the end, the goal is ultimately an established family. She thinks her parents could be paralleled with the classic comedy “Family Vacation”.

Grateful for the hovering guidance offered, but what of the punishment dealt? Could a student at Basehor-Linwood appreciate that as well?

Freshman Ben Mowery has been to one high school party. He also enjoys video games and hanging out with his friends. His parents cherish his wit and charm, but their love could come at a price.

“Well I get grounded for about two weeks if I don’t do chores, or if I get a C in my semester grade, I’m grounded for the whole summer if that happens.”

Ben thinks that his parents are a little too concerned with his high school standings. He ultimately just wants to live a stress-free life where he can rap and play Mario-Kart. Ben thinks that one day he can come to an understanding with his parents, he wants them to know that he cares about his grades, but he thinks that a C isn’t the end of the world.

Ben claimed that his parents child rearing style could be compared to “Finding Nemo”. The little fish (Ben) ultimately wants to prove to his parents that he can handle the deep blue sea without swimming in a school.

Mature in tone and suave in his aura, sophomore Austin Crist is a newly minted man. Confident in the classroom, Crist can be spotted cracking wise and buying his athletic clothes online. He assures that his parents are free rangers, they allow him to enjoy life in its rewards and lessons.

Austin doesn’t even look up from the screen as he answers, ”I dropped my math class and went to a new one, because I wasn’t doing well. That was a self-realization. That wasn’t my parents”

Austin seems to be a well formed young man, he is by no means out of control or hectic. The type of highschooler Austin chooses to be is half the battle though, he is certain that not everyone is cut out for the life he lives. He sighs and leans back in his desk, “A movie for what my parents are like?”

Pauses a beat. “Spy Kids: 2 Island of Lost Dreams.” A spot on observation. A life on the edge plagued with real world consequences fueled by parents who trust their offspring to face life or death covert operations.

So far, it seems that none of the parents have made a dramatic impact on their child’s psyche. Beyond simple concern and tough love, there has been no parent that could be responsible for any issues their child faces later in life.

Is it possible that the complaints of helicopter parents are overreactions that are unfounded? Perhaps the current climate for youths expects them to become self sufficient far too early in life. Therefor making them resent the natural concern their parents offer them surrounding their school life.

Unlike the dramatic titles the students interviewed compared their parents to, they are living in the real world. Not a film that allows children to act unsupervised with high tech spy gear, a nonfictional world where parents are concerned for their child.

But, could there be a possible upside to overprotection and coddling? What of the children who are able to fly out of the nest without a struggle? A young mind could see the nurturing of a parent to be necessary and not a nuisance.

There is a strong line between cheering too loud a a little league game and going to a job interview with one’s child. A parent likely wants to ensure that their child has the same opportunities they did, or better ones.