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Parenting Styles in the Family Crucible

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The Family Crucible: The Intense Experience of Family Therapy In The Family Crucible, a unique way of looking at family therapy is used. This approach probably would not be something that would be done by therapist now. The more that we study systemic approaches the less I believe that there are any individual problems. With that being said there is a long reach that effects of parenting has on a child. * . Describe how Carolyn and David fit in terms of authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive forms of parenting. * Authoritative parents set clear and consistent limits for children.

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They are flexible but firm, whichs leads to children who are responsible, cooperative, and self reliant. * There are almost as many parenting “styles” in the world as there are parents. However, most experts have classified parenting styles into three main categories: authoritarian, permissive and authoritative. If you are aiming to raise a self-reliant, pleasant, well-behaved child, the authoritative parent will generally have the most success. * What is Authoritative Parenting? * Authoritative parents exercise control over their children, without being controlling.

They set rules and guidelines that they expect children to follow. But they also recognize that sometimes flexibility is called for. Authoritative parents often express love and affection to their children, without fear that such expressions of emotion may affect their ability to discipline. As their children get older, authoritative parents encourage more responsibility and freedom, within well-outlined rules. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other children’s health organizations state that children of authoritative parents usually grow up to be independent, socially successful, and respectful of authority. This style is sometimes also referred to as an indulgent or non-directive parenting style.

* The inconsistency of the permissive parenting style often leaves devoted parents grieving for their parenting mistakes. * Permissive parents have the belief that really showing their child love and feeling their love, in return, is their ultimate goal in parenting. * They do love their children and are highly bonded to them. But their relationship is one of equals rather than as parents to children. * To gain compliance from their children they will often resort to gift giving and even out right ribery, rather than setting boundaries and expecting obedience. * Permissive means to be lenient, liberal, lax and hands-off. During the 1960s, developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind described three different types of parenting styles based on her researcher with preschool-age children. One of the main parenting styles identified by Baumrind is known as the authoritarian parenting style. Authoritarian parents have high expectations of their children and have very strict rules that they expect to be followed unconditionally.

According to Baumrind, these parents “are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation. ” People with this parenting style often utilize punishment rather than discipline, but are not willing or able to explain the reasoning behind their rules. Characteristics of the Authoritarian Parenting Style Authoritarian parents: * Have strict rules and expectations. * Very demanding, but not responsive. * Don’t express much warmth or nurturing. * Utilize punishments with little or no explanation. Don’t give children choices or options. The Effects of Authoritarian Parenting Parenting styles have been associated with a variety of child outcomes including social skills and academic performance. The children of authoritarian parents: * Tend to associate obedience and success with love. * Some children display more aggressive behavior outside the home. * Others may act fearful or overly shy around others. * Often have lower self-esteem. * Have difficulty in social situations. Understanding Authoritarian Parenting

Because authoritarian parents expect absolute obedience, children raised in such settings are typically very good at following rules. However, they may lack self-discipline. Unlike children raised by authoritative parents, children raised by authoritarian parents are not encouraged to explore and act independently, so they never really learn how to set their own limits and personal standards. While developmental experts agree that rules and boundaries are important for children to have, most believe that authoritarian parenting is too punitive and lacks the warmth, unconditional love and nurturing that children need.

References Baumrind, D. (1967). Child-care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75, 43-88. Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11(1), 56-95. Maccoby, E. E. (1992). The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1006-1017. Santrock, J. W. (2007). A topical approach to life-span development, third Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. I believe the authors’ were instrumental in providing a clear example of what the family really needed and searched for. The family needed to realize that in order for the family to make a real change they need to utilize a structure that included the entire family. They also needed to know that the therapists were completely serious and in control. Their stance was something I could completely agree upon. However, I do not agree that the family was trying to question their authority or provide a strategy to defeat the new system in which they were beginning to enter.

Barring this, the authors’ posed a series of questions that they strongly believed the family was thinking. Did Don really wonder “will the family undertake changing the whole family without me? ” Therefore, I did not agree with the aspect of “we know what you’re thinking”. I felt that this was too deep of an approach. The basic underlining problem of the family was that they did not know how to communicate and could not establish their own structure to allow their family system to operate in harmony.

Another aspect of the text that I thought was fundamental and provided me with a different outlook on approaching a perceived problem was the way in which the two therapists began the therapy. The family entered into therapy by believing that Claudia was their entire problem and that her actions alone were the root of their dilemma. However, she was just the perceived problem. And in order for the parents to see that Claudia was only the perceived problem the therapists reversed the blame that the parents had projected on to their daughter.

I believe this technique was most attractive. Through the art of helping the family to view their situation differently, the therapists initiated a second-order change allowing the family to step outside their norm and see that their failure in marriage was affecting their parenting. Thus, the therapists gave Claudia meaning while reducing her feeling of failure and at the same time proposed the more serious problem that the parents had slowly began drifting away from each other and suffered the impasse of a deadening marriage.

In my view, once the fundamental problem of the marriage was introduced and the family began to realize that each had a role in a family system that was failing, many changes began to take place. Most importantly, I saw the problems associated with scapegoating the children fall by the wayside that allowed the parents to confront the hard issues they had so skillfully avoided through the dynamics they developed among themselves. It was good to see that confronting the parents with their underlining problem helped to reduce the polarization effect they were projecting on the family members around them.

Now, this is not to say that all the issues disappeared instantly. There was still the fact that the parents triangulated the children in order to get reacquainted with their true feeling about one another. Likewise, a considerable amount of blame lingered throughout the entire therapy. And when the therapists tried to work the issues of blame, I had to disagree with there methods. It seemed as if they were constantly trying to evoke a confrontation between the two blaming individuals in order to get the family to surface their real feelings and issues.

Consequently, when the confrontations turned into physical fights the therapists seemed surprised that such emotional distress took place. What more did they expect. I completely understood what they were trying to accomplish, however, I had a hard time understanding their methodology. As I look back through my notes, I noticed many of the same underlining factors that seemed to keep surfacing. First, both parents were consumed in the self. The father was constantly consumed with his work and the mother seemed completely bored with her life and wanted a change.

Here is where I had difficulty in understanding the authors’ point of view. They thought that the parents were not consumed in the self, but just had difficulty showing affection toward the other. Now, I believe the there was a lack of affection, however, if they were any more consumed in doing what the self wanted this may lead to more difficulty when confronting the Other’s’ wishes and the Self’s wants. I really got lost with this aspect. Another difficulty I have with the authors’ view on family therapy is the fact that they seemed to think that every issue was rooted in past family issues.

This is a great aspect to try and tackle. However, trying to find out which issues in the past are the cause of the present problems can be very time consuming and expensive. I agree that this type of therapy can be revolutionary, but I do not believe that family therapy would be for everyone. Subsequently, I would also agree that this book did a great job illustrating why sometimes family therapy and not individual therapy can be the right solution. Maybe, this mixed message is why I still have opposing emotions about this very intriguing approach.

Developmental psychologists have long been interested in how parents impact child development. However, finding actual cause-and-effect links between specific actions of parents and later behavior of children is very difficult. Some children raised in dramatically different environments can later grow up to have remarkably similar personalities. Conversely, children who share a home and are raised in the same environment can grow up to have astonishingly different personalities than one another. Despite these challenges, researchers have uncovered convincing links between parenting styles and the effects these styles have on children.

During the early 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children (Baumrind, 1967). Using naturalistic observation, parental interviews and other research methods, she identified four important dimensions of parenting: * Disciplinary strategies * Warmth and nurturance * Communication styles * Expectations of maturity and control Based on these dimensions, Baumrind suggested that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles. Further research by also suggested the addition of a fourth parenting style (Maccoby & Martin, 1983).

The Four Parenting Styles 1. Authoritarian Parenting In this style of parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasoning behind these rules. If asked to explain, the parent might simply reply, “Because I said so. ” These parents have high demands, but are not responsive to their children. According to Baumrind, these parents “are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation” (1991). 2. Authoritative Parenting

Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting style establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. Baumrind suggests that these parents “monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive.

They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative” (1991). 3. Permissive Parenting Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control. According to Baumrind, permissive parents “are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation” (1991).

Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent. 4. Uninvolved Parenting An uninvolved parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child’s basic needs, they are generally detached from their child’s life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children. The Impact of Parenting Styles What effect do these parenting styles have on child development outcomes?

In addition to Baumrind’s initial study of 100 preschool children, researchers have conducted numerous other studies than have led to a number of conclusions about the impact of parenting styles on children. * Authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem. * Authoritive parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful (Maccoby, 1992). * Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation.

These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. * Uninvolved parenting styles rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers. Why Do Parenting Styles Differ? After learning about the impact of parenting styles on child development, you may wonder why all parents simply don’t utilize an authoritative parenting style. After all, this parenting style is the most likely to produce happy, confident and capable children.

What are some reasons why parenting styles might vary? Some potential causes of these differences include culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level and religion. Of course, the parenting styles of individual parents also combine to create a unique blend in each and every family. For example, the mother may display an authoritative style while the father favors a more permissive approach. In order to create a cohesive approach to parenting, it is essential that parents learn to cooperate as they combine various elements of their unique parenting styles.

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