What’s Your ’Rent Style?

GF gets all sneaky-like to suss what’s the dealio with your parentals.

There’s an old saying; ‘Know thy enemy’. While your rents definitely shouldn’t be your baddies, there’s no harm in working out how they tick…


Otherwise known as Old-School Parenting. If the saying ‘children should be seen and not heard’ resonates with you, your parents are Authoritarian… Sucks for you!

Characterized by: Way strict curfews, rewards only in exchange for hard work, the phrase “because I said so”.

Generally You Feel: Protected but overly restricted.

Cool When You: Need your ’rents to come through for you (they’re never late!).

Sucks When You: Wanna start a punk rock band in your bedroom.

Work It: Operation: Later Curfew. Say your current curfew is 9.30pm, and you’re 15. Instead of just trying to get it moved to 10pm overnight, talk with your rents about when they think it should get moved later – obviously it will at some stage! Set a date (like your 16th birthday) and some conditions (like you’ll keep your current curfew til then) and hold them to it. If you still feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, try calling in a sympathetic aunt or uncle to help win them over.


Allowed to stay up til 1am pumping Kings of Leon and chewing up phone credit to your bestie, who, BTW, is always allowed to stay over? Lucky you – your rents are Permissive (and probably ex-hippies, right?)

Characterized by: Enthusiastic approval of your new pink hair and nose piercing, lots of hugs.

Generally You Feel: Like you’re totally free to do what you want, but often that means landing yourself in sticky situations.

Cool When You: Head off on an impromptu road trip to Byron Bay and only remember to tell your rents about it when you’re, um, there.

Sucks When You: Want to know exactly what is and isn’t allowed – your rents are so flakey they keep changing their minds!

Work It: Operation: Serious Love Life Advice. Curfews, allowances – you’re all over that! But where your parents aren’t as reliable is in the serious talk category. If Mum’s too busy cleansing her chakras to talk with you, you have to make it clear you really need her attention and time – simply letting you do whatever you want isn’t enough when it comes to actually getting a handle on The Big Stuff, and that’s what will turn you from a cool teen to a cool person.


The most common and modern style of parenting, Democratic mixes the affection of Permissive with Authoritarian’s importance of rules. Sandy Cohen, come on down!

Characterized by: Lots of choice-making with positive outcomes.

Generally You Feel: Like you’re being treated like an adult, but they’re kinda watching your every move.

Cool When You: Need to negotiate something with them – they’re open to discussing that sorta stuff (hello future lawyer!)

Sucks When You: Make a mistake and have to experience, in painstaking detail, ‘consequences’ for your behavior.

Work It: Operation: Bigger Allowance. While your ‘rents aren’t gonna let you do whatever you like, Democratic parents are open to dialogue about what you are and aren’t allowed to do. The best way to approach needing a bigger allowance is just that: proving you need it. Draw up a budget of how your current allowance forbids you from doing or buying things you really want, and what you’d spend the extra on. Then think of a few extra chores you can do the earn the extra dosh. Wow, you are like, so mature!

Copyright Georgia Clark 2010


About Georgia

I'm a young adult novelist with a weakness for hot nerds and cheese platters, not necessarily in that order. I am currently working on my third novel. I'm pretty excited about having just turned 30 because it means I can justify spending a lot of time thinking about homewares.
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