Helicopters can’t hover forever, and eventually drill sergeants go hoarse. Allow us to introduce an alternative, employed by love and Logic parents, which works well throughout Life. While especially effective with teenagers, it’s also the attitude parents should have from the time their children are toddlers. We call it the consultant parenting style. As children grow they move from being concrete thinkers to being abstract thinkers when they are teens. Children need thoughtful guidance and firm, enforceable limits. We set those limits based on the safety of the child and how the child’s behavior affects others. Then we must maintain those limits to help children understand that they are responsible for their actions and will suffer reasonable consequences for actions that are inappropriate. However, while the parents are drawing and holding these limits, it is important for them to continue encouraging their children to think about their behavior and help them feel in control of their actions by giving choices within those limits.
This is where the consultant parent comes in. As our children grow into Adolescents, this parenting style becomes even more important. Teens often resent guidelines and rebel at firm limits because they’ve grown to think differently than when they were younger. Because of this important change in cognition, parents must adjust the way they parent to meet the needs of the new thought process taking place in their adolescents. They step back from being the enforcer of limits and let reasonable, real-world consequences do the teaching. They become advisors and counselors more than police officers, allowing their adolescents to make decisions for themselves, and then guide them to successfully navigate the consequences of their decisions. Love and Logic parents avoid the Helicopter and Drill Sergeant mentalities by using consultant style of parenting as early as possible in the child’s life. They ask their children questions and offer choices. Instead of telling their children what to do, they put the burden of decisions making on their Kids shoulders. They establish options within limits. Thus, by the time the children become teens, they are used to making good decisions.
Excerpts -from Parenting with Love and Logic