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HOW MUCH PARENTING IS TOO MUCH?

Parenting adolescents, teens, and young adults in the 21st century has its challenges from academia, smoking, drinking, drugs, bullying, and peer pressure to distance learning, living conditions, environment, and social media.  Parents want to know, how much parenting is too much parenting, if they’re pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough, if it’s time for the talk or too late for the talk, if their child is suicidal, and if their teen needs drug testing. 

Yes, more and more parents are not only asking the question, but they are also purchasing in-home drug testing kits and, for children in in-person learning, considering covid testing kits. In addition, today’s parents are questioning what’s being taught in schools, screening books on reading lists, and trying to learn as much as they can about gender and gender selection so they’ll be ready when their son or daughter identifies a friend as a “they” instead of he or she.

Not navigating the year 2022 with your child can lead to embarrassing the child, destroying trust, and permanently damaging a long-term parent-child relationship. A parent’s inability to communicate with their child creates stress and leads to frustration for both the parent and the child. Years ago, when the world was a safer place, a child turning to others because their parents didn’t understand them was far less challenging than it is today. Today’s divisive social, political, medical, religious, and biological environment is full of controversial philosophies, contentious theories, and combative opinions you want your child to avoid.

Open, honest communication between a parent and a child (at any age) is essential to a child’s physical development and emotional well-being. Though older teens and young adults living in the home have their own views, philosophies, and beliefs, parents must be able to competently exchange ideas as they express opinions and give advice. The counselors and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services give parents the tools needed to initiate and supportively contribute to parent-child conversations.

PARENTS AREN’T ALL-KNOWING

A recent study of private, religious, wealthy suburban and inner-city schools showed that “80% of high school students and 44% of middle school students have personally witnessed drug use, drug deals, drug possessions, drunk students, and students high on drugs. Yet, other than counting the number of pills, measuring how much alcohol is in the bottle, or finding a stash under the bed or in the closet, there is no way for a parent to be certain of drug or alcohol abuse.

Withdrawal, loss of appetite, and mood and behavioral changes can be contributed to several diagnoses unrelated to alcohol or other drugs. Tattoos, all black clothing, pink hair, and nose rings could be your child finding themselves – breaking curfew, locking themselves in their room, and avoiding family could just be a teen testing the limits. Yet, as a parent, without threatening your child, you need to know for sure.

Despite love, guidance, quality time, and a close-knit family environment, any one of these scenarios can upend a parent-child relationship and totally derail a family unit. Scheduling an appointment with one of our therapists or counselors places your loved one in a safe environment, affords a platform on which they can be open and honest, and gives them the privacy and confidentiality they desire and deserve – parents can recognize behaviors and risk factors, counselors and therapists are trained to diagnosis them.

PARENTING AFFECTS PHYSICAL HEALTH

The brains of adolescents and teens aren’t fully developed. They often act on their feelings instead of dealing with them. Recent surveys found poor parent-child relationships often led to child obesity, poor performance in school, learning disorders, loss of confidence, and reduced social and cognitive development. They found extreme overprotectiveness often triggered anxiety, stress, aggressiveness, promiscuity, and substance abuse.

Other surveys found children raised in dysfunctional households draped in family discord, displayed poor physical health, poor eating habits, poor school attendance, an inability to concentrate, inflammation and pain – anxiety and stress experienced by the child “disrupted the functioning of the immune system and growth hormones”.

IMPROVING LIVES COUNSELING SERVICES CAN HELP

Improving Lives Counseling Services counselors and therapists evaluate, diagnose, and treat children, adolescents, adults of all ages, and seniors in a protected clinical setting. We offer individual, couples, family, and group sessions. Your children can live the life they were meant to live – as children and as adults. Contact us to learn more.