The Social Compression Theory: The Dangers Of Parenting Children

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Parenting is very ambiguous and it can be difficult for parents to be certain they are performing their skills correctly. While raising children, it seems parents are forced to handle situations as they come without any way to prepare. The idea that makes parenting so ambiguous is whether or not there is actually a correct way of parenting children. If one cannot predict what will happen next how can there be a correct way of dealing with the situation. In order to verify ones parenting skills, parents can seek out information from an outside source in order to allow for a conclusion to be drawn. By observing another’s parenting style, one can compare it to themselves and conclude which one they view as the better way to take care of their…show more content…
This theory states that people will engage in social comparison when the situation is ambiguous and they will compare themselves to others who are similar to them (Akert, 139). So if a situation is unfamiliar to you, you may look to other people in the same situation to find out how to behave. At the University of Toronto, a group of students tested this theory by having participants and confederates eat together. They measured the participant’s thoughts on the appropriateness of the amount of food they ate in comparison to the confederate. The participant felt they had eaten an appropriate amount when the confederate ate more than them and felt they had not eaten an appropriate amount when the confederate ate less (Akert, 139). The social comparison theory can also explain why I compare myself to other parents when I am feeling insecure about my abilities as a…show more content…
During simple daily activities, such as going to the store, I am given the opportunity to observe other parents interacting with their children. This allows me to formulate opinions about my own interactions with my daughter. For instance, during the winter months I find myself noticing whether children are properly dressed for the cold weather; if my daughter is dressed warmly and I see a child who is not, I come to the inference that I am a good mother. Also, I look around at people walking by while my daughter throws a temper tantrum because she has to sit in the cart with her seat belt on. If I see a parent with a toddler who appears to be well behaved I start to question my abilities to raise a well-tempered toddler. I choose not to spank my daughter, but during incidents where she throws a temper tantrum I start to question if my methods of discipline, which involve positive encouragement and talking, are effective. Therefore, the more often I am able to observe other parents with their children the wider the variety of skills I will be able to witness. This means I will question my methods less because everyone raises their children in a unique way that fits their life. For instance, the feelings of doubt in regards to my discipline methods may be put to rest when I am able to see the wide variety of ways

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