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Parenting Styles Essay Sample

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Parenting Styles Essay Sample

Option 1: Think of how Baumrind’s model for parenting styles might apply to teaching style. Discuss how each of the four styles (authoritarian, permissive, negligent, and authoritative) might `look` in the classroom. Give examples from your own experience or create scenarios to illustrate. Be sure to include examples of behaviors and interactions to support your connections.

            When parents have kids, the last thing they have on their mind is a scenario of them and their future children struggling with discipline.  More mature adults may talk about something on rearing and bringing up children and in passing, express how each of their parents treated them especially when they were growing up. But formal discussions on this issue rarely occur. Whenever people start to talk about spanking, it is predictably true that at most times a heated argument will ensue.

            Baumrind’s model studied the three main approaches that parents demonstrate at home as he observed primarily among schoolchildren which later were corroborated among their families: authoritarian, permissive and authoritative. The fourth though he was able to observe – the negligent type – was later developed by another behavioral scientist. Authoritarian parents are very strict and demanding while the nurturing aspect is lacking also; the issue of control plays a large part. Permissive parents are very loose and nurturing is very nil as well. The authoritative parents have both control and nurturing at a balance. The effects of these in children and in their performance in school are clearly manifested as well (Horton-Parker, 1999).

            Discipline is perceived today as a harsh word. In first world countries like the United States, laws are in place to minimize the incidence of child maltreatment and abuse. There are stories of filicide, neonaticide and infanticide hitting the headlines, and although rare, this sends a strong signal to behavioral scientists that the prevalence cannot be underestimated. To discipline or not is perhaps one of the difficulties any parent or guardian maybe facing in the context of US laws. The intricacy of the matter is not because parents do not like to do it. In most cases, it is just plain hard work.

            Discipline is defined as the training to act in accordance with rules (Webster’s Dictionary) or the “practice or methods of ensuring that people obey rules by teaching them to do so and pursuing them if not (Microsoft Encarta Premium Suite 2005 Dictionary).” In the context of the home, parenting responsibilities denote child-rearing, which includes the “experiences, skills, qualities and responsibilities involved in being a parent and in teaching and caring for a child.”

            A comprehensive study on Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect (1993)
by the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education reveals that cases reported to social services agencies in 1990 alone had reached two million children. Between 1979 and 1988, there reported around two thousand (2,000) child deaths every year from neglect and abuse (www7.nationalacademies.org in McCain et al 1993 study). In 1990, Daro and McCurdy (1991) presented in their study the reported cases of 160,000 of those who had serious injuries; that in one year alone (www7.nationalacademies.org). For this reason, this country took pains to prevent abuse and deaths by mandating how children should be taken cared of. The State has “encroached” to a point on how parents ought to discipline and bring up children.

            Literature is rich in the way discipline is to be applied. General rules apply for all children. These rules include proper and sound communication. This means that parents know what they want their children should abide to and the limits that are inherent. These rules and all rules should be communicated clearly. This also implies certain amount of time spent in discovering and looking into matters that concern the child and his/her world. In child communication, repetition is a must, and for parents who do not like to verbalize a lot, this is sure to require some changes in them. On the other hand, parents who are go overboard and nag, this is quite a challenge for them as well. Discipline is not just the application of corporal punishment or whatever form of punishment a parent may take. Communication, like holding a family meeting, praising the child or listening to them, and resolving their conflicts are all part of discipline.

As veteran parents would say, no amount of punishment or reinforcement for that matter would be effective if the parents had not invested time, quality time with their offspring. Another general rule applying to all stages is the giving of praise when appropriate and withholding of privileges whenever children disobey. The critical thing here is timing. In cases such as disobedience, parents should have had clearly defined consequences. This is what is meant by hard work. Parents think in advance of what the dynamics within the family should be and not merely passively wait what will unfold in their family system. This implies maturity in the pure sense of the word. Parents should study their children at their various stages. If a parent has known his/her child at the early stages, he/she should continue to do so in the next developmental stages. If possible, the parents should be able to undergo a parenting course to understand children and adolescents in all the areas of their lives as they grow up. Psychologists have devoted time for researches to look into the critical times that parents should be aware of in every stage of the life span.

            For example, during the adolescence stage, parents must know many things that occur physiologically in their teens. Teenagers will make rash decisions that may harm him/herself. According to an explanation on Piaget’s formal operations stage, an individual may consider many possibilities in life, may be able to successfully handle crisis at most times, as well as analyze existing assumptions (Papalia et al., 2002). Additionally, a research done by Flavell, mentions the accumulation of experiences which may accordingly influence the decision making processes (Papalia et al., 2002, p. 427, in Flavell et al., 1999). However, for adolescents, decision-making capacity is more critical due to some important considerations. This is accentuated based on recent brain researches. Adolescents make rash decisions due to the interference of emotions in their reasoning process. Neurobiological experts suggest that the adolescents’ immature brain development may actually let emotions obstruct or “override reason” (Papalia et al., 2002, p. 428, in Baird. 1999). This explains a lot why teens become very emotional inspite of the facts presented before them. If parents only become conscientious during the early formation or fundamental stages (birth to seven years old), they should continue to be there with their teens in the puberty years and help with the transition.

            Parental neglect is definitely a form of parental abuse. It is defined as a disregard of the fundamental responsibilities on the part of parent, or parents, to provide for the child’s emotional, psychological, and physical development. When parents fail to provide an atmosphere where a child can feel loved, wanted, and sheltered within home environment, parental neglect is taking place. If the parents are constantly physically unavailable, or physically present but inattentive to the child’s legitimate needs, they are essentially abandoning their primary duty as guardians. Although not easily identified as physical assault, parental neglect is equally serious and as damaging to a child (Hay, Tom. 1997 in Rodgers, 1994, p. 14).

            Parental discipline has been redefined today as anyone would have wanted it defined to serve their purposes. It should be clearly demonstrated though that children actually will know what is fair or not if and when, rules were laid out very well to them. It also helps if they know that their family has its own culture and that culture should be respected by every member in the system. When parents take time to make their children feel appreciated, loved and nurtured, their needs met, the return will be bountiful. The society will reap the benefits as well. Children from parents who invest time, effort and resources to these most important people in their lives will not be liabilities but assets to their own generation.

            From Pediatricians Christophersen and VanScoyoc (www.dbpeds.org/articles/detail.cfm?TextID=47), they recommend the following brief, easily comprehensible and very helpful guide in instilling discipline on children. Appropriately called as Behavior management information for parents, these two doctors clarified that the best way to get into most of children’s behavior problems is in the attitude of parents; they should not just be defensive in nature. According to them, the average parent approach parenting in “how do I stop” approach like thinking for solutions when a misdeed or misconduct has been done. Rather, parent must start establishing habits and training their children to acquire the ability to minimize the parents’ use of punishments of any kind.

Option 2: A consultant on gang behavior once told me, `We all belong to gangs.` What does this statement mean to you? Please tie your thoughts to the material presented in Chapter 17 by comparing examples of ways that ordinary group affiliations differ from gang affiliations.

            A large portion of all juvenile violations (between two-thirds and three-quarters) are perpetrated by youths who are members of certain gangs (Venkatesh, 1997). Unlike in school and their family, these have no strict rules to be followed except loyalty to the group. It gives young people esteem when they somehow feel they are the “rule” in themselves. This is the lure of gangs. It gives the promise of fulfillment to would be delinquents. Popularity, access to the powerful figures on the streets, freedom to express one’s self, as well as easy flow of money (if the gang is also involved in some illegal activities such as drug dealings, which is common in most gangs) are seemingly within grasp of anybody who just have the guts to dare (OJJDP, Mar. 2003).

            Children who are well taken care of by their parents and are thus adequately supervised are at less odds to be involved in criminal activities. Studies have proven that. A dysfunctional family, on the other hand, which is commonly characterized by regular conflicts, parental negligence, poor communication because of absorption to outside activities by parents, are always assumed to be the breeding ground for delinquents (Venkatesh, 1997). Because family is the true breeding ground for achievement and true success, great importance is now being given for the well-being of this important unit of the community. Children’s achievements and/or performance in school are directly influenced by their parents more than the school itself.  The parents’ moral, emotional, and financial capacity are basic for children’s early training: e.g. the acquisition of educational resources depends so much on the parents’ determination to obtain them for the enhancement of their children’s education (Wiig, 2001).


Parenting Styles:

  1. Hay, Tom. 1997. 87 child abuse and neglect overview paper:         in K. Rodgers, “Wife assault: The findings of a     national survey,” Juristat Service Bulletin,    Canadian. Accessed July 7, 2007             <http://www.wma.net/e/policy/a2.htm>
  2. Horton-Parker, Radha J. 1999. Teaching children to care rather than kill. Love Publishing Company: ProQuest Information and Learning Company.
  1. Papalia, Diane E., S.W. Olds., RD Feldman. 2002. Human Development. 8th Ed.,           International Edition. McGraw-Hill.
  2. Random house Webster’s Dictionary. 4th Ed. 2001. Ballantine Books, New York.
  3. Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect (1993)
    by the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education       accessed inwww7.nationalacademies.org in McCain et al 1993 study.

Nature of Gang:

  1. _______OJJDP, Mar. 2003. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency         Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also           includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the   National Institute of    Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.             http://:www.cato.org/testimony/ct-    wc67.html. Accessed Dec.2006.
  2. ______U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. March 2003. Office of     Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

                  http://:www.cato.org/testimony/ct-    wc67.html. Accessed Dec.2006.

  1. Venkatesh, S. ‘The social organization of street gang activity in an urban ghetto,’           American Journal of Sociology, vol. 103, No. 1, July 1997, pp. 82-111.
  2. Wiig, J.K. 2001. Legal issues. In Child Delinquents: Development, Intervention, and

                        Service Needs, edited by R. Loeber and D.P. Farrington. Thousand Oaks, CA:                Sage Publications, Inc., pp. 323–338.

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