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The word “home” isn’t what it used to be.
Setting the Context: A Tapestry of Families
The traditional two-parent home still exists but other situations are common too....
one-parent families
two parents of the same sex families
grandparents raising grandchildren as adopted children and foster children
blended families
Remarriage involves stepparents and stepsiblings

Children thrive in every type of family when the parents are loving, caring, and nurturing.

Some stresses are more demanding, like poverty:
More than two-thirds of all single mother families live in poverty.
Parenting Styles (Baumrind)
Parenting Qualities
Parenting styles - Diana Baumrind’s view

Authoritative parents
Loving and nurturing
Reasonable freedom
Clear expectations and consistent rules, but exceptions can be made
Communication is encouraged, interaction about rules
Parent ranks high in both nurturing AND discipline
Parenting Qualities
Parenting styles - Diana Baumrind’s view

Authoritarian parents
More inflexible; a rule is a rule
Value unquestioning obedience, negotiation is not tolerated
Style can appear inflexible, rigid, sometimes cold (even though they may love their children deeply)
Rank LOW on nurturance and HIGH on discipline
Parenting Qualities
Parenting styles - Diana Baumrind’s view

Permissive parents
Opposite of authoritarian; total freedom and unconditional love
Children’s needs rule
Few limits or responsibilities
Rank HIGH on nurturance and LOW on discipline
Parenting Qualities
Parenting styles - Diana Baumrind’s view

Rejecting-neglecting parents
Minimal involvement with the child in any way
Children are neglected, ignored, and emotionally abandoned
Children are left to raise themselves
Rank low on nurturance AND discipline
Parenting Styles
How do mothers and fathers rate themselves and each other?
When they are very strict or very lax (authoritative or permissive), they tend to rate themselves and each other in the same way.
But most mothers rate themselves authoritative, and often say that their husband is different – either authoritarian or permissive.
Many fathers also agree that they are stricter, rating themselves as authoritarian.

Parenting Qualities
Questioning and Criticizing the Styles
Parenting involves a wide variety of behaviors
Parenting goals are not the same between families.
Parenting style changes on a minute-to-minute basis.
Parenting requires cultural agendas
Baumrind studied white, middle-class Americans, while other cultures have different agendas.
Lots of physical punishment in white families is associated with social & academic problems, but this is not true for African-American families.
For children growing up in dangerous environments, authoritarian parenting is related to high achievement.
Do Parents Matter?
Resilient children
The child that can succeed in the face of adversity is known as a resilient child. These children have certain qualities:
Superior emotional regulation
Outgoing personalities
Some special talent to rely on
Tend to have one warm loving relationship
Is it possible there is a resilience gene?
Research shows it may be the serotonin gene (the long form)
When combined with significant stress, much higher rates of depression
Do Parents Matter?
Does our adult fate depend mainly on genes?
It is possible that warm loving parents pass on warm loving genes to their children.
Children that act out may have parents that acted out as children, following their genetic tendencies.
So, maybe the child’s genes are driving the parenting style.
Reciprocal determinism
Making a case for “reciprocal determinism” - loving children may create the loving authoritative parent, while the hateful child may create the authoritarian care giver.
Another Mitigating Factor
The peer group
Our peer group provides a nurturing example
for behavior.
This idea assumes that the wider world has more influence over us than our home life because we will learn to act one way in the world and act another at home.
Learning to throw a temper tantrum from a schoolmate
Immigrant children learn how to “make it” in American society from examples outside of the home.
Good Parenting
In many situations, parenting only needs to be “good enough,” but in high risk situations, superior parenting can make a difference.
Studies of mothers and their attitudes toward their extremely-low-birthweight children suggest that sensitive, caring parenting can lessen the child’s likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD by age 5.
Superior Parenting
Suggestions for good parenting:
Be loving.
Set high standards.
Provide consistent rules.
Be flexible.
What works for other kids may not for yours.
Adapt to your environment and priorities.
Remember that some of the responsibility for becoming an adult lies with your child.
Spanking: To hit or not to hit?
Most people in the U.S. say that spanking is acceptable. Is it?
Some psychologists equate spanking to shame induction and relate it to future violent acts.
Some researchers believe when parents have never learned other means of control and spanking is taken away as a means of control...
conditions deteriorate until much more violent reactions occur.
Parents use shame as a method of control. Shame should be followed with love and warmth and proper direction, but how many do that?
Corporal Punishment
Corporal Punishment
Spanking Guidelines:
Never hit an infant.
Don’t know what they did wrong, & higher cortisol levels
At 2 through 6, a swat on the bottom can be effective:
Especially in dangerous situations
Follow it with acceptable behavior direction.
Spanking is a backup when other techniques fail:
Not knowing other techniques is not an excuse to spank.
Excessive force is never acceptable:
Never use anything other than your hand. Spanking is an attention getter, nothing more. Use of an object to spank goes beyond that purpose.
Reliance on forceful spanking (corporal punishment) is correlated to delinquency, domestic violence & criminal acts.
Use of corporal punishment could be considered child abuse.
Child Abuse
Child Maltreatment: any act that can severely damage a child’s physical and emotional well-being.
Child abuse can be divided into 4 categories:
Physical Abuse
Bodily injuries that can leave bruises
Failure to provide adequate nutrition and care
Emotional Abuse
Examples include terrorizing or exploiting a child
Sexual Abuse
Range from rape to fondling or exhibitionistic acts
Abuse is four times more common in poverty settings.
Child Abuse
Abuse can lead to:
serious academic and social problems
increased domestic violence
increased risk of mistreating their own children
But most go on to be loving parents
Interesting research shows that genetics again
plays a part in how children cope with abuse:
An enzyme that regulates aggression appears to be more active in children who are abused but refrain from behaviors that put them at odds with the law.
Predicting Child Abuse
Parent characteristics that may predict abuse:
Substance abuse and mental disorders
Severe poverty
Domestic abuse already exists in the home
Impulsive individuals that are hyper-sensitive to infant distress
Those with unrealistic expectations of development
Those with serious life stress
Child characteristics that may predict abuse:
Premature babies
Children with “difficult” temperaments
Children that lack attachment behaviors
Child Abuse Interventions
What should you do if you suspect abuse?
Teachers, social workers and health care professionals are required to report suspected abuse to child protective services. Any citizen can do the same, and in some states are required to.
Then the government will decide what to do.
They can remove the child for its own safety.
They can put the child in foster homes.
They can require counseling to improve parental knowledge of proper behaviors.
The ultimate goal is a united, fully functioning family.
Effects of divorce on children:
Children in divorced families have academic, social, physical and mental disadvantages statistically, but many of these issues manifest prior to the divorce.
Three out of four children of divorced parents do not have major problems.
Some problems may be due more to the economic shift in the family than the trauma of the divorce. The custodial parent has less income, time, or both.
A divorce can cause a major shake up of the foundation of the family. The closer the family ties, the worse the effect can be.
During and after the divorce, the entire family pattern will become disorganized.
Many families will develop a new routine within 2 years of the separation.
What helps in coping with divorce?
Ongoing quality parenting
Recovering emotionally from the separation
The post-divorce relationship between the spouses
Should divorce be put on hold for the sake of the children?
No, unless the spouses cannot get along.
High conflict in families causes more damage than divorce.
One study showed an anti-social father helped train the children in aggression techniques.
Unequal at home in knowledge
Children in poverty-level homes have few books.
Low-income parents seldom read to their children.
Unequal at school in quality
The lower the school is on the economic scale, the lower the school is on the educational map.
These factors result in severe disadvantages for these children in academic achievement.

Examining Successful Schools
When researchers studied schools where disadvantaged children outperformed their expected level, they found that each school had a passionate commitment to teach reading skills.
The schools required a team effort, personalized instruction and after-school hours.
Successful schools:
Set clear priorities and are willing to put the work
into meeting those priorities
Believe every child can succeed
Offer an excess of nurturing
Are authoritative in structure
Making for Eager Learners
Many researchers have shown that giving an external reward (presents, cash, grades, competition, bonuses) for a job that was intrinsically motivated reduces the intrinsic desire to perform.
Everything about the way we are taught and how school is designed is centered around external rewards, which kills intrinsic desires to achieve learning.
Making for Eager Learners
Making learning intrinsically rewarding
Connect internal desires to the extrinsic goals.
Keep the students interested:
Focus on relevance, enhance relatedness
Provide autonomy; don’t take it away
Do not be a micro manager of learning
Don’t punish bad behavior, reward the good behavior
Don’t be excessively controlling