Generally, there are two types of parents. One type of parent is what might be called a “helicopter” parent. These are the parents you see constantly buzzing around their children, constantly telling them what to do and how to behave. They keep tabs on their child’s every move, ready to pounce at the smallest of infractions. It’s a kind of parental tyranny and a battle of wills that the parent will eventually lose.
Then there’s another kind of parenting: one that seems like it shouldn’t work in the real world, but does. It’s called “submarine” parenting, and it’s where parents lurk in the background, observing their children and doing things surreptitiously to make sure that they stay on the right track. Because submarine parenting is so indirect, it generally avoids the conflict that you so often see between helicopter moms and their offspring. Teens are free to explore the world around them without the constant fear that somebody is going to interrupt them or tell them they’re doing it wrong.
Let Teens Make Their Own Decisions About Driving
The teenage years are full of new experiences and radical new ways to be independent which can be scary for parents. But when it comes to driving, submarine parents back off. They let their children get on with the process of driving and try to push them in the right direction through indirect means. This could mean booking lessons or tests following a casual conversation or pointing out that it’s now possible to get a free permit practice test for any state over the internet. By letting your teen feel like they are making the decisions, you give them control. They’ll feel as if they have ownership over their decision to drive and this will internalize their desire to succeed. It can be scary, but often when parents back off, they find that their teens will take the initiative and learn to drive themselves.
Talk To Your Teens With Respect About Their Love Lives
You wouldn’t want your children to go around demanding to know about your love life. And they don’t usually want you demanding to know about theirs either. Helicopter parents want to be involved in all parts of their children’s lives. But giving teens space to explore their own sexuality is important. The best thing that you can do as a parent is provide information and warn them about the risks. Teens who feel comfortable around their parents will approach them with any problems they’re having in their private lives.
Model Healthy Behaviours
With increasing age, comes increasing independence. But with so many people overweight or obese, there’s a risk that your child could grow up fat and with a wide range of health woes. Submarine parents work differently to helicopter parents. Instead of telling teenagers what they can and can’t eat, they simply model healthy behavior for them, leading by example. As with the other examples we’ve discussed, submarine parenting is all about trusting that your teens will follow your example in general, even if they do get the odd take out on the weekends.