Flexible, Warm Parenting Style Could Reduce Substance Abuse in Kids

a mother hugs her daughter as she uses a warm parenting styleMany parents wonder how their parenting style might influence their child’s decision to use or not use drugs and alcohol. Studies have shown that parents significantly affect whether a child or teen will experiment with drugs and alcohol. A warm parenting style characterized by parental warmth, responsiveness to their child’s needs, and consistent expectations can create a positive relationship with their child and increase the likelihood of them staying away from drugs and alcohol.

At Promises Right Step, we believe that Warm Parenting Style is essential for developing safe boundaries in any relationship. If you or someone you love needs help with addiction or substance use, contact us at 17135283709 today.

The Beginnings of Warm Parenting Style

A study published in the May 2014 issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence adds to that body of knowledge in parenting styles.

Parents can begin pointing a child in the right direction with their parenting style. The study examined four specific parenting styles and attempted to determine whether any of the styles were associated with an increased likelihood of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use among the children. The types of parenting styles were as follows:

  • The authoritative model — The parents communicate clear rules and demonstrate flexibility paired with affection toward their children.
  • The authoritarian model — The parents retain a high level of control over the children’s behavior but exhibit low affection toward them.
  • The neglectful model — Parents exhibit low control over their children and demonstrate lower affection levels toward them.
  • The indulgent model — The parents do not prioritize control but are affectionate toward their children.

The researchers found that parents who were authoritarian (strict but not warm) and those who were neglectful (neither strict nor warm) were the most likely to have children who use alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. In contrast, children with authoritative parents (strict but warm) or indulgent (not strict but warm) were at a lower risk for substance use. The researchers believe that good communication and a positive relationship are vital in reducing the risk of substance abuse. The study was an international effort led by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention.

Benefits of Warm Parenting Style

These researchers focused on parenting styles and their impact on teenagers in Sweden, the U.K., Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic. The results, based on interviews with 7,718 adolescents between ages 11 and 19, indicate that extremes in parenting are likely, not ideal. The best parenting combinations emphasize attention on the children and time spent together. Even if a parent is overly indulgent and allows the child excessive freedom, that parenting style is more likely to keep kids from substance use when compared to styles that are characterized by a more distant relationship.

This shows that the overwhelming research points towards a warm parenting style as the best way to raise children and keep them away from drugs and alcohol. A warm parenting style can be challenging, but it is worth it. A warm parenting style will help your child understand limits and let them know that you care about their well-being above all else.

Some other Benefits of a warm parenting style include the following:

  • Stronger connections between parent and child
  • More trust in the parent-child relationship
  • Improved communication between family members
  • Higher self-esteem in children
  • Increased responsibility and independence in young people

At Promises Right Step, we believe a warm parenting style is critical for developing safe boundaries in any relationship. If you or someone you love needs help with addiction or substance use, contact us at 17135283709 today.

Family Therapy with Promises Right Step

At Promises Right Step, we offer family therapy as part of our treatment programs. Our experienced therapists will work with you and your family to help build better communication skills and strengthen relationships.

We understand the importance of a close family bond in protecting children from drugs and alcohol and will work with you to create an environment where healthy boundaries can be established. Contact us at 17135283709 for help in a loved one’s recovery journey.

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