Children need two things: love and structure. As long as they get these two things in some significant measure, they tend to develop into well-adjusted adults.
Please bear in mind that PDT never accuses a person of "bad parenting". There is no text book for parenting, and parents often are presented with two bad options: either become too permissive or be too punitive.
The truth is that good parenting involves an ambiguous level of gray areas with which no one is really comfortable - not the parents, and not their kids. This is one of the key areas where PDT seeks to instruct parents' decision-making and boundary-setting skills.
The problem for the parents is that if they lack firm boundaries, the child doesn't feel safe. When the parents have boundaries that are too rigid, the child can often feel disrespected. Part of more effective parenting adolescent healing is encouraging parents to establish (or re-establish) firm, fair, and flexible boundaries.
Here's an example: the child's curfew is 10:00PM. He comes home at 10:15. Is that really worth having a showdown? Or, is it not a new opportunity for the parents to engage with the kid? It is a gray area that is uncomfortable for the adolescent to navigate, but it is crucial that the parents pick their battles.
The parents must navigate the tricky path between encouraging autonomy and ensuring safety. I teach parents that what worked for your child at age 11 probably no longer works at age 15. As the child grows and matures, the parenting methods must also grow and mature.
The parenting techniques need to be congruent with the natural personalities of the child and of the parents. A very passive, timid child is going to need more drawing-out and increased levels of autonomy. A rambunctious child with anti-social features is going to need many more boundaries with more clearly defined consequences.
PDT allows me to work with the parents to determine the natural personality of child. Together, we map out the most effective parenting strategies for your family.