Politicians talk a lot about “the family”, but what do they really mean when they use this term? Is a modern family and how does it compare with the of ten, 20 or even 30 years ago?
In this ten-part series, we examine some important changes in the family and personal relationships, as well as the way in which influence the laws, politics and our idea of ourselves.
What is the best way to raise a child?
Many books on this subject have been published, and there are several authors who insist on coining new terms to describe forms of raising children. It turns out that there are many styles, but some of the most famous are:
- The Tiger parents: looking first and foremost for their children to succeed, but it’s what they understand by success.
- Helicopter parents: take charge of all aspects of the child’s life.
- Snow thrower parents: eliminate obstacles to make life easier for your child.
- The parents of poultry: allow children a lot of freedom.
- The parents of attachment or soft: give it much importance but put limits according to the needs and the character of the child.
Psychologists often talk of paternity according to various types based on the work of Diana Baumrind, a clinical and evolutionary psychologist famous for his research on the different styles of raising a child.
In general, means that there are four types:
- Authoritarian parents as a figure of authority in the lives of their children. They set the rules and if they say “jump” your child responds: “to which height?”. (They are the most similar to the Tiger parents.)
- Permissive parents are little strict in terms of expectations, not rules, and do not ask for much of their children.
- Negligent parents are not interested in their children and do not want to take part in their children’s lives.
- Authoritative parents are very demanding and at the same time very responsive.
One major criticism of these types is that they depend on each culture. What does science say about the pros and cons of each of these styles of parenting?
The Tiger parents
Parent type: expected to be obey him first, want excellence in every effort and the child never reply.
Who coined the term? Amy Chua popularized this name in his book’s 2011 Battle Hymn of the Tiger mother. Chua described the Tiger parents, often of Chinese families, as superior to Western parents. Chinese parents make use of force, and don’t cut it when it comes to insult their children. They are parents who assume that children owe them much, and hope that they appreciate being obedient and making them feel proud.
Why parents choose this style? As Chua says, Tiger mothers are thus by their cultural background and when they demand maximum effort in an hour’s piano class child is fulfilling part of their cultural background. Western parents would find it difficult to change their cultural perspectives so that they can adapt a similar model.
Parents who follow these guidelines want your child to be successful first and foremost and may ultimately have deep insecurities about the future. It is likely that this type of parent are rather authoritarian.
The advantage of raising a child in this way is that you can do to be more productive, be more motivated and more accountable.
The drawback is that the children may have problems in normal tasks or in adapting to new experiences, something that can cause depression, anxiety, and a poor social aptitude. However, it is something that also depends on the culture.
Parent type: intervenes whenever your child has a problem, is too involved in their education and often called their teachers. The behaviour does not cease during adolescence.
Who coined the term? The psychologist Foster Cline and Jim Fay educator coined the phrase in his book in 1990: parenting with love and logic. In this book they described parents helicopter as those who confuse the love for their children with not letting them do anything by themselves. Another way to describe the behavior of these parents is “excessive overprotection”.
Why are parents of this type? These parents are prone to fear for the future of their children as well as parents Tiger. In this case parents can not trust their child’s ability to navigate the world and always being available think they will avoid pass something bad to their children.
These parents are probably a mix between authoritarian and permissive, but there is little research on the subject.
The advantages are that these parents can be overprotective: can save your children or adolescents in certain contingencies.
The cons are that children may lack the capacity for emotional recovery and independence, something that can stop adult sequelae. A child of a helicopter parent may have an inability to control his behavior.
There is even a forum on Reddit devoted to the worst aspects of growing up with helicopter parents. The stories include a 21 year old whose father accompanied him at the time of exercise in a popular jury because not trusting that I could do it well. Ended up expelling the father room a security guard and was caught off a tantrum.
Parents snow plow or tiller
Parent type: strives to remove all the obstacles that arise to your child on the road. They are the typical who complain to the head of the school to get a different teacher or coach who bribe so that your child has a place in the team.
Who coined the term? Apparently, the term was coined by the former Professor of secondary David McCullough. By 2015, he published the book No Eres special where asked to parents that they put aside and let their children to fail. It is based in a graduation speech 2012 given their high school students.
Why are some parents of this style? Perhaps they think that their children are exceptional or are too good to lose and that’s making it apply this type of education for their children. In terms of typology, has aspects of authoritarianism, since they require the success (after all, removed all the obstacles of the way of your children for something). However, they also have a high degree of permissiveness.
What says the research: there is no empirical evidence as to parents with personality snow thrower type. However, there are a lot of blogs and articles devoted to the subject.
Having said that, the pros and cons are probably similar to the helicopter parents. These parents can help children feel safe and protected, but can also encourage children to become ones believed or some narcissistic.
The parents of poultry
Parent type: believes that its role is based on trust in his son. First it gives the basics so that you can keep safe and then does to one side and lets a lot of freedom.
Who coined the term? This name became famous after a case of “negligence” against Lenore Skenazy, a former columnist who wrote about how he left his nine-year-old son to travel only in the New York subway. The experience led her to be labeled as the “worst mother of United States” and made them to enter you want to write a book about the fight against the perception that the world is a more dangerous place.
Why are parents who choose this style? Psychologists and experts suggest that this style is a reaction against the types of paternity based on anxiety or fear to take risks. It may Skenazy is right and we are too concerned about the dangers of germs or other persons. While Skenazy is dedicated to publish responses from parents (and legislators) who think that their approach is negligent, likely to be more in line with the type of authoritative where parents believe in the idea of teaching children to take care of themselves.
The blog of Skenazy tries to connect this type of parents who think that children need safety helmets and vests so they can be independent safely. The approach is to provide children a childhood similar to which their parents experienced in the years 1970 / 1980.
The advantage is that children learn to use their freedom, to be autonomous and to fend for themselves. They may also respond better to their mistakes, be more resistant and take responsibility for their actions. It is also said that grow in this way makes adults happier.
The drawback is that this kind of fatherhood may have some problems regarding the legal aspects. In the State of Queensland, it is illegal to leave a child for a “reasonable” time period, while in other States, parents must ensure that their child is well taken care. The law of Queensland does not establish to what extent the time is “reasonable”, but the father or mother may get a penalty for misdemeanor (up to three years in prison) if they violate the code.
The parents of attachment or soft
Parent type: believes that the first link between a child and caregivers affects all subsequent links that experience in his life. This argument argues that a strong physical and emotional attachment to their caregivers is essential to the personal development of the child.
Who coined the term? This philosophy is based on the work of the psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth in the attachment theory. His research began with Bowlby in the 50s when he worked with Ainsworth and Ainsworth in turn made some famous experiments with young children.
The attachment theory suggests that children who develop strong ties with their parents or their caregivers during their early years will have more happy and healthy relationships as they grow. The term was later popularized in a book known as the “Bible of babies” written by Sears family in 1993.
Why parents choose this style? Parents tend to opt for this style because they want their children to have a positive attitude about themselves and their relationships with each other when older. The idea of raising children with attachment is associated with the authoritative typology because they are parents trying to balance high expectations with empathy, which is associated with the best results.
The advantage is that it provides a solid foundation of love and respect on which the relationships of the child can be and through which the child may experience the world safely.
The drawback is that it can be confused with a permissive parenting and is also associated with an excess of parental protection as when fathers or mothers can not accept the idea that your child starts to become independent. Some have accused this style of being anti-mujer or anti-feminist because it merges women’s role with motherhood, something that goes against the ideas of feminism. However, there are who think not the same.
Author: Rebecca English, lecturer in education, University of Queensland
This article has been published originally in The Conversation. You can read the original article here.