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In life, we learn and grow from the people in our environment. Whether it is a best friend, sister, or teacher we have learned something new from them. We have seen how people can have a major effect on our behavior, attitude, and social development. From this, we can gather that parents are one of the key components in fostering a child’s development. A lot of quality aspects are needed in order to be a respectable parent. Decent parents must possess the qualities of building a good and lasting parent-child relationship.
A relationship that consist of “affection and cooperation, by serving as models and reinforces of mature behavior, by using reasoning and inductive discipline, and by guiding and encouraging children’s mastery of new skills” (Berk 215).
Even with all those qualities being known, parenting styles still differ. Figuring out which is the most effective method is what we all look for. When dealing with parenting styles the most important thing to keep in mind is the way the parents actions may affect the child.
From this course, I have learned that parenting styles are “combinations of parenting behaviors that occur over a wide range of situations, creating an enduring child-rearing climate” (Berk 215). Parenting styles may be different but understanding which has the most advantages in the long run is the key.
Addressing the scenario that has been given, we have two different parenting styles being seen here. One style, Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart, would be considered Authoritarian parenting. The other style, Mr.
and Mrs. Easy- Going, would be considered Authoritative parenting. Authoritarian parenting style may generally be seen as strict parenting. They believe in obedience, are harsh to their children, and exert harmful control. When dealing with authoritarian parents they create strict rules, which if they are not followed, results in hurtful consequences such as spanking. Authoritarian parents are mean and degrade the child causing them to feel unloved. Their love of control and strict enforcement of rules causes the child to rethink making their own decisions. Losing that girth of independence can downgrade the child’s maturity level. Just like authoritarian parents, authoritative parents create rules in which they want their children to follow.
The difference is authoritative parents do not result in using spanking when their children break the rules. They try to teach their children by letting them learn through life mistakes and then talking to them about why what they did is considered wrong. This approach to parenting gives the child independence and control in their life. It is beneficial that a child learns early how to react, go forth with, and decipher problems on their own. Building early independence creates adults with individuality, significant reasoning skills, and the self-esteem needed to get through life. Clearly, both parenting styles reproduce different results. Both parenting styles have their advantages and disadvantages. The three things that differentiate effective parenting styles from less effective parenting styles are acceptance and involvement, control, and autonomy granting” (Berk 216). According to most psychologists, authoritative parenting is the most successful. The reason being most children who are raised with an authoritative style lead a life of proficiency.
These children grow up with self-control, confidence, and social and moral maturity (Cherry, Parenting Styles: The Four Styles of Parenting). This is most likely because their parents gave them the affection, control, and independence needed. Unlike their counterparts, children with authoritarian parenting are closed away from the world. Instead of growing up and living a life of proficiency, they are usually incompetent. Without growing up with the control and affection that they needed their attitudes turned to anger or loneliness. Usually children of authoritarian style parenting lack confidence, they may develop depression, tend to react with anger and violence, or withdraw themselves from social interaction (Berk 216). When realizing that the bases of these two different lives are caused from the consequential results of their parents you have to take a step back and wonder why. One of the most bolded reasons has to do with the use of discipline. The fact that Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart spank their kids and Mr. and Mrs. Easy- Going do not, can be one thoughtful reason why one set of children turned into noteworthy human beings and the others failed to accomplish this task. Spanking, although viewed as a normal form of discipline to some, is the worst form of child discipline.
According to American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children who are spanked, when compared to their non-spanked peers, are, among many others more likely to use aggression against their peers, less likely to internalize rules, more likely to engage in criminal activity during adolescence, more likely to engage in domestic abuse as adults, and more likely to suffer from depression” (Lopez-Duran, Spanking in the USA: A Sad State of Affairs and Why Spanking is Never Ok). Spanking is an unethical form of punishment, not only is it detrimental to the child in the long run; it can be replaced with any other form of non-physical discipline that has been proven to work just as fine. I see no ethics being involved in the use of physical violence when disciplining. No matter how the parent explains spanking their child, it comes across as violent. Saying “I just pop him”, “It’s just an open hand smack”, or “It is nothing but a little tap on the behind” are all wrong. If just a “little smack” daily can cause a child to become aggressive or withdrawal from life, I do not understand why anyone would consider it okay to use this method as teaching or disciplining a child.
Teaching the child to behave by just simply talking or implementing certain punishable actions, such as time out, work fine and lead to better accomplished adults in the future. Being that discipline is needed in the growth of life, careful consideration of how you discipline children should always be looked over. When observing the ethical and unethical behaviors of Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart versus Mr. and Mrs. Easy-Going I can’t help but to use my life as an example. Not only have I witnessed it first-hand but I have been told my parents are doing a pretty well job of raising my siblings and I. If I had to label the parenting style I am being raised with my parents would have to be Mr. and Mrs. Easy-Going, the authoritative style parents. Speaking from what I can remember, I have never been spanked, had a beating, or any other form of physical discipline. When I was younger if I did misbehave my parents used disciplinary forms such as time outs, grounding, or taking away something I liked a lot until I learned my lesson. I must say I am grateful for this.
They never did things without telling me why, they made it their best to explain why everything they did was in thought of my best interest. Many adults may think the idea of explaining their selves to a toddler or older child is preposterous and that what an adult says should just be viewed as right. Those people, are however, wrong. Letting a child know what that did is wrong gives that child a feeling of decision to think over why what they could have done was so dangerous or ill-behaved. Not only does something so small as that help develops moral reasoning it also helps the child to feel mature and in control of their surroundings. The only reason physical discipline is ever viewed as a more effective method is because it is faster and easier for parents to carry out. Other methods take time, but with hitting a child it catches their attention right away, however, just redirecting a child’s attention from one brief hazardous situation want save them from several others.
People will always try to debate that by “spearing the rod, you’re spoiling the child” but in actuality you are just thinking of more helpful methods to help redirect a child (Lopez-Duran, Spanking in the USA: A Sad State of Affairs and Why Spanking is Never Ok). For the purpose of nurturing a respectable child that can grow into a respectable adult, watching the way you discipline them could go a long way. All things considered, parenting styles are known to affect a child’s life in every way possible. In the cases, of Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart and Mr. and Mrs. Easy-Going, the most acceptable and effective parenting style is used by the Easy-Going’s.
Their authoritative parenting style has shown positive effects in the development of children. Also, their form of discipline is well defined. Not using physical discipline shows remarkable results when handling children. The idea of being a child care provider, parent, guardian, or whatever the title should involve someone trying to bring the most out of a young life. With their being so many different parenting styles out there and other situations that affect social development, knowing completely how to raise the perfect child is utter foolishness. Therefore, as adults, especially those who are caregivers should try their best to use the most effective ways known to raise a child.
Berk, Laura E. Exploring Lifespan Development. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. Cherry, Kendra. Parenting Styles: The Four Styles of Parenting. 28 Nov. 2012 <http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/parenting-style.htm>. Lopez-Duran, Nestor. Spanking in the USA: A Sad State of Affairs and Why Spanking is Never Ok. 27 Sep. 2010. 28 Nov. 2012 <http://www.child-psych.org/2010/09/spanking-in-the-usa-a-sad-state-of-aff
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