If your teen is laying it on thick about how everybody under the sun has a later curfew and more daytime minutes, put this in your back pocket.
Canadian parents are lenient compared to those in Italy and France, according to a new study published in the Journal of Adolescence. Italian parents were rated by their adolescent children as most demanding and authoritative. Parents in France came somewhere in the middle.
The relationships between teens and their parents were compared by researchers from the Universite de Montreal, who chose the three countries because they share Latin language, Catholic history and are all advanced industrial societies.
"Our study found Canadian parents to be the most tolerant," says Michel Claes, the psychology professor who was lead author of the report. "They had less rules and less disciplinary actions. Canadian mothers and fathers were seen as less punitive, less coercive and more tolerant than French and Italian mothers."
Research was conducted by asking adolescents in all three countries to answer questionnaires about both their emotional bonds with their parents and the amount of behavioural control imposed upon them.
The Italian parents were deemed more likely to take punitive actions when rules were broken, and had less tolerance of teens socializing with peers. "They uphold family regulation and require their adolescents to ask for authorization until a much later age," says Claes.
Claes reasoned that Canadians have a democratic view of education that promotes independence and negotiation, while those in European counties may emphasize respect for authority and obligation to the family.
So back to your negotiation with Junior about whether his friend's older brother is a suitable chaperone for a co-ed sleepover. Maybe tell him he's welcome to move to Italy, where he'll surely be too busy helping mom can the tomatoes?
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