What is a Child Rearing Focus [ wikipedia encyclopedia source ]

The following should give you a base line of what is meant by a child rearing focus:

 

Distinction with parenting practices

According to a literature review by Christopher Spera (2005) called “A Review of the Relationship Among Parenting Practices, Parenting Styles and Adolescent School Achievement”, Darling and Steinberg (1993) suggest that it is important to better understand the differences between parenting styles and parenting practices. “Parenting practices are defined as specific behaviors that parents use to socialize their children (Darling and Steinberg, 1993). For example, when parents want children to do well in school, they may model behavior as in sitting down and guiding their children in doing the homework, setting aside some time for homework and reading or making school a priority by going to school functions like parent-teacher conferences. In contrast, Darling and Steinberg (1993) define a parenting style as the emotional climate in which parents raise their children. Parenting styles have been characterized by dimensions of parental responsiveness and demandingness (Baumrind, 1991)”

Theories of child rearing

Beginning in the 17th century, two philosophers independently wrote works that have been widely influential in child rearing. John Locke‘s 1693 book Some Thoughts Concerning Education is a well known foundation for educational pedagogy from a Puritan standpoint. Locke highlights the importance of experiences to a child’s development, and recommends developing their physical habits first. In 1762, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau published a volume on education, Emile: or, On Education.[2] He proposed that early education should be derived less from books and more from a child’s interactions with the world. Of these, Rousseau is more consistent with slow parenting, and Locke is more forconcerted cultivation.

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget‘s theory of cognitive development describes how children represent and reason about the world.[3] This is a developmental stage theory that consists of a Sensorimotor stage, Preoperational stage, Concrete operational stage, and Formal operational stage. Piaget was a pioneer in the field of child development and continues to influence parents, educators and other theorists.

Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist, proposed eight life stages through which each person must develop. In each stage, they must understand and balance two conflicting forces, and so parents might choose a series of parenting styles that helps each child as appropriate at each stage. The first five of his eight stages occur in childhood: The virtue of hope requires balancing trust with mistrust, and typically occurs from birth to one year old. Will balances autonomy with shame and doubt around the ages of two to three. Purpose balances initiative with guilt around the ages of four to six years. Competence balances industry against inferiority around ages seven to 12. Fidelity contrasts identity with role confusion, in ages 13 to 19. The remaining adult virtues are love, care and wisdom.

Rudolf Dreikurs believed that pre-adolescent children’s misbehaviour was caused by their unfulfilled wish to be a member of a social group. He argued that they then act out a sequence of four mistaken goals: first they seek attention. If they do not get it, they aim for power, thenrevenge and finally feel inadequate. This theory is used in education as well as parenting, forming a valuable theory upon which to manage misbehaviour. Other parenting techniques should also be used to encourage learning and happiness.

Frank Furedi is a sociologist with a particular interest in parenting and families. He believes that the actions of parents are less decisive than others claim. He describes the term infant determinism,[4] as the determination of a person’s life prospects by what happens to them during infancy, arguing that there is little or no evidence for its truth. While other commercial, governmental and other interests constantly try to guide parents to do more and worry more for their children, he believes that children are capable of developing well in almost any circumstances. Furedi quotes Steve Petersen of Washington University in St. Louis: “development really wants to happen. It takes very impoverished environments to interfere with development … [just] don’t raise your child in a closet, starve them, or hit them on the head with a frying pan.”[5] Similarly, the journalist Tim Gill has expressed concern about excessive risk aversion by parents and those responsible for children in his book No Fear.[6] This aversion limits the opportunities for children to develop sufficient adult skills, particularly in dealing with risk, but also in performing adventurous and imaginative activities.

In 1998, independent scholar Judith Rich Harris published The Nurture Assumption, in which she argued that scientific evidence, especially behavioral genetics, showed that all different forms of parenting do not have significant effects on children’s development, short of cases of severe abuse or neglect. The purported effects of different forms of parenting are all illusions caused by heredity, the culture at large, and children’s own influence on how their parents treat them.

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