Parenting Styles

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When my first child was born I there was considerable interest in Mozart CDs. These Cd's were marketed with the promise that playing them would enrich the intellectual and creative development of my child. Behind the popularity of selling products on such an idea is an unfortunate theme: Parenting can be done quickly and with little inconvenience. The reality is that good parenting does not require classical music, but instead time and effort. As children grow from infancy into adolescence the role of parenting broadens. How parents react to their child's actions communicates a standard of appropriate and inappropriate behavior that are fulfilled with varying degrees of conscious awareness. There are two major dimensions that underline parenting behavior. The first, and most important, is parental acceptance. Although most parents are at least moderately accepting of their children, some are indifferent, rejecting, or even hostile. Parental acceptance and warmth appear to influence the degree to which children internalize the standards and expectations of their parents (Eccles et al, 1997). Children whose parents hold them in high regard are more likely to develop high self-esteem and self-control. They behave appropriately even in situations where there parents are not present. In contrast, children whose parents are less accepting are inclined to develop lower self-esteem and less self-control. Thus, they may behave when the parents are around (out of fear of punishment) but misbehave when on their own. The second dimension of parenting behavior is parental control, or strictness of parental standards. A parent who is moderately controlling sets high performance standards and expects increasingly mature behavior. A parent wh... ... middle of paper ... ... Harrison-Hale, A. O., McLoyd, V.C., & Smedley, B. (2004). Racial and ethnic status: Risk and protective processes among African-American families. Investing in children, families, and communities. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J.A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In P.H. Mussen (Series Ed.) & E.M. Hetherington (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development. New York: Wiley. Mattanah, J.F. (2005). Authoritative parenting and the encouragement of children's autonomy. In P.A. Cowan et al. (Eds.), The family context of parenting in elementary school. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Patterson, G.R., Debaryshe, B.D., & Ramsey, E. (1989). A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. American Psychologist, 44(2), 329-335.
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