A Balanced Parenting Style Works

A balanced parenting style is where love, discipline, and respect intersect

Studies show that parents who have a strong, positive connection with their kids and use a balanced parenting style have teenagers that are better off overall.

  • Balanced parents are warm and involved, but firm and consistent in setting and enforcing limits.
  • Balanced parents have relationships with their teens that include trust, mutual respect, and strong and open communication.
  • Balanced parents also encourage and give their teenagers the freedom to express their own ideas, beliefs and individuality.

A balanced parenting style works because it does three things:

  • Your warmth, love and involvement make your teen more open to your influence.
  • By providing structure through limits and consequences, you help your teen develop the ability to regulate their behaviour and make good decisions.
  • Open, two-way communication in your relationship helps your teen develop the thinking and social skills needed to succeed outside the family.


Children with parents who are overly harsh, or permissive and inconsistent, or lacking in warmth are more likely to engage in risky behaviours, including drug, alcohol, or tobacco use.

Adolescents raised by parents in a balanced style do better in school, report less depression and anxiety, have higher self-esteem and self-reliance and are less likely to engage in all types of risky problem behaviour, including drug and alcohol use, sex, or violence.

Parents with a balanced style have high, but reasonable expectations for their teens. Parents can play a role by putting too much pressure on teens to perform in school or sports. Overly demanding parents can put their teens at risk of using drugs or alcohol. Too much stress can lead kids to seek an unhealthy escape from their high-pressure lives.

Each child is unique.

Keep in mind that one-size parenting doesn’t fit all.

Every child is unique and some may need more rules and discipline than others. Circumstances change with adolescents all the time. There may be new risks, signs of trouble, or other reasons to have more rules to help guide your child as they navigate through their adolescent years.