In recent years it has been said that China is far surpassing the United States in terms of education. This raises the problem of Americans falling behind in global competitiveness which encompasses in all aspects of a society’s success. There is said to be a major correlation between parenting styles and the overall country’s competiveness considering education, values, and work ethic is implemented in the home through parenting styles before a child ever reaches institutionalized schooling.
Many persons believe American parenting lacks discipline and structure and believe Americans should adapt a more Chinese style parenting, while many other persons believe that Americans should stay with their parenting style to increase global competitiveness. The problem of Americans falling global competiveness can be addressed in several ways however looking specifically at parenting styles affects, it boils down to a solution either of keeping the same parenting style, or transferring to a more Chinese parenting style. However an understanding of what a competitive society is, is crucial to objectively find the solution to the problem.
A competitive society is based off of 12 pillars according to the 2012- 2013 Global Competitiveness Report conducted by the World Economic forum. The first nine pillars of the Global Competitiveness Report consist of institutions, infrastructure, the macro-economic environment, market size, business sophistication, good market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development and technological readiness. These first 9 pillars are all primarily focused on the government regulations and productivity of business.
The last three pillars, although still affecting productivity, stems from education. They include health and primary education, higher education and training, and Innovation. The health and primary education pillar is self-explanatory. Stressing the need for healthy and competent workers, it explains that even basic education increases each individual worker’s efficiency. Workers, who have received minimal primary education, are limited to simple manual tasks and find it more difficult to adapt to the advanced production processes. Higher education and training correlates with the previous pillar.
Also advocating for higher education in the work place, it dictates that a society cannot remain competitive without the ability of workers to perform more complex tasks determined by the evolving needs of the economy. The twelfth pillar, is innovation. Innovation is so important because unlike the other factors affecting the economy, technological innovations will continue to raise living standards and positively affect the global economy over time. Innovations open a wider range of possibilities and approach the frontier of knowledge which in turn greatly advances an economy.
American parenting can best be classified into the category of Authoritative Parenting. Finding a balance between support and control, parents of the authoritarian method believe the best way to parent is to support their children in their goals in a positive manner; while still maintaining boundaries and rules. Authoritative parents are said to have found the “happy median”. Authoritative Parents execute their method by being very responsive, affectionate, stern, and understanding. These parents express their love for their children unconditionally, and do not take away their love as a punishment.
Instead, punishments are implemented with mutual understanding of the wrong doing and the appropriate consequence. Authoritative Parents believe parenting is a two way street, and therefore attempt to consider their child’s perspective equally to their own. American parent’s objectives for their children generally do not lie solely within Academics. Wishing the best for their children overall, they stress the needs of other factors including, sociability, individuality, self-reliance, happiness, and self-motivation. This information on Authoritative Parenting is derived from an article by Gwen Dewar.
Despite a slight biased towards Authoritative noted, it is reliable. It considers other factors in parenting, and asses its own argument, and also presents the same information on parenting as other trustworthy sources. The first graph to the right shows the GDP per captia, compared to the scale of Global Innovation index determined by the organization itself. The sizes of the bubbles are based off of population. As you can see, China lags far behind the USA in terms of the innovation spectrum. The second graph to the left shows this again.
The United States are rated 57.7 in their innovation performance, while China isn’t even on the map. However it should be noted, that to the side of the diagram is a box where it shows who is innovating most effectively, and the gold of this category belongs to China. There is an overwhelming amount of scientific support for the American Parenting style in the United States; however, it should be considered that the majority of studies that support this method primarily focus on white American students, and not the effect of this method on other cultures.
Also, it should be noted that the majority of sources supporting this method are either American or European, which are areas that Authoritative Parenting styles dominate. Looking from an American perspective therefore it would be the overall consensus that American parenting style is superior and that American parents shouldn’t drastically change their methods in order to raise the overall competiveness of the nation. Chinese Parenting can be considered as authoritarian parenting. These parents believe by showing very low support, but also being highly demanding and restrictive, they will best rear their children.
Authoritarian parents execute their method by setting high expectations for their children. These expectations lie solely with academics and the parent’s wishes for the child. Expectations in this style of parenting, that are set, are undisputable. Communication between the parent and the child are one way, with the parent in control. Authoritative Parents of this method have been heard to degrade their children, threaten them, and lie to them, in order to motivate them. Parents also might withdrawal of their love and affection as a punishment to their children not living up to these set expectations.
And while this might seem harsh to an American mother, it is to other cultures, devotion. By pushing their children to the best they can be, they are thought to be doing what is best for the child. Chinese parent’s objectives for their children revolve around complete perfection. They wish for their children to excel at academics, be extremely obedient, and possibly even master the violin. These expectations are extremely high, but their intense method makes it possible. An example of a stereo typical Chinese household would be Amy Chua’s.
In “The Hymn of the Tiger Mother” she explained her method of restrictions, and her expectations of raising her two daughters. Amy Chua’s children were forbidden from attending a sleepover; having a play date, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities or get any grade less than an A. These standards were high and some could say harsh, but Amy Chua produced success American parents all over the country were appalled by the intensity of Mrs. Chua’s parenting style; however not many parents can produce Yale students such as Amy Chua’s has.
In Amy Chua’s household success was produced, and looking overall at Chinese parents, many other parents have produced success also. The following graph shows the number of PhDs the U. S. earned compared to the number of PhDs China has earned in the 2002 to 2010 span. As you can see China has had a drastic increasing in the amount of PhDs earned, while the US has had a much more modest growth. This can be attributed to the stress of education in Chinese households. In 2010, China surpassed the US in terms of PhDs. Also it has been proven that China is ahead of the United States when it comes to the OECD reading school score.
Standardized testing is important when it comes to a competitive society because these tests measure education, and education is crucial to any work force. When considering whether or not the Chinese method is superior, it must be noted that the lack of warmth and affection can harm a child’s social functions, and lead to a dependence on one’s family. It also should be recognized that sources used were primarily written by American authors and researches in a negative light, therefore it was my responsibility to arrange the information in a way that supported the Chinese method of parenting.
American parenting raises stable, academically well rounded, and creative students who contribute effectively to the nation, and as seen, in terms of global competitiveness, the U. S. and China are neck and neck. The U. S. is superior in creativity, while China is superior in standardized testing. Both these factors are crucial to a global economy considering they translate into the innovation pillar and the educated work force pillar. Therefore the US might lag behind in terms of standardized tests but they nation makes up for it in the Innovation index.
Chinese and American styles of parenting promote different values and therefore produce children who excel at different aspects. I also believe that the more successful parenting style depends on the culture. Culture determines which method is more effective because parenting styles are embedded and formed by each individual culture. Implanting a foreign parenting style that doesn’t correlate with local beliefs would be detrimental for a child due to social pressures, the conflicts of beliefs, and the collision of school and the home.
For example, an American child would not respond well to authoritarian parenting because of America’s “modern, expressive” culture, as a Chinese child would not respond well to authoritative parenting because of China’s “traditional, conformed” culture. The conflict between society and parenting styles would lead the child astray, and away from success. Therefore the United States Authoritative parenting style is most effective because another parenting style wouldn’t flow with parent’s beliefs or objectives and would actually decrease America’s global competiveness.
The problem of America falling behind in global competiveness can not be solved by adapting to a more Chinese style parenting. As previously mentioned, the U. S. parenting style creates children that excel at other aspects than simply just standardized testing. Also another parenting style would clash with belief systems and cause detrimental harm to a child’s development, and eventual success. Therefore the solution is to stay with the original parenting styles. This might appear as a rudimentary solution to a very complex issue however when specifically looking at parenting styles, it is the best way to achieve high global competiveness,