Children Are Seen But Not Heard
When I was a little girl I didn’t have dreams of being a mother someday. In our household, my grandmother wore many hats and parenting looked like a lot of work!
There were many children in the home, requiring attention, direction, and discipline. I understand now that my grandmothers’ parenting style was apart of her DNA and a way of controlling what otherwise she felt may have become an unmanageable and chaotic environment.
…I believe her parenting style was…her way of controlling…”
My grandmother was a strong-willed, independent, caring and selfless woman. However, she did have another side to her that everyone including myself wanted to avoid.
To be in her good graces I tried to do everything that was expected of me. Nevertheless, my attempts often fell short, and my grandmother expressed her disapproval almost daily with yelling and the occasional spanking.
…I tried to do everything that was expected of me…”
I also understood during this period that children were to be seen but not heard. As a child you were simply to do what you were told, talking back or having an opinion was considered being disrespectful.
Although I didn’t think much about being a parent back then, I do recall vowing that when I grew up that I was never going to cook beans, that I was going to have cable TV, I would stay up for as long as I wanted, and that I would never yell!
My grandmother was born in 1926 and forty years later Diana Baumrind a clinical and developmental psychologist known for her research on parenting styles. would classify my grandmother’s parenting style as authoritarian.
- attempts to shape, control, and evaluate the behavior and attitudes of the child in accordance with a set standard of conduct set by the parent
- Obedience is an absolute and favors punishment to curb self-will at points where the child’s actions or beliefs conflict with what they think is right conduct.
- believes in keeping the child in his place, in restricting his autonomy, and in assigning household responsibilities in order to inculcate respect for work.
- regards the preservation of order and traditional structure as a highly valued end in itself.
- does not encourage two-way communication, believing that the child should accept the parents’ word as final say or what is right
Authoritarian parenting tends to produce children who are:
- frequently rebel
- low achievers
- attempts to direct the child’s activities but in a rational, issue-oriented manner.
- encourages verbal give and take, shares with the child the reasoning behind their policy, and solicits his objections when he refuses to conform.
- enforces own perspective as an adult, but recognizes the child’s individual interests and special ways.
- affection is openly given received
- affirms the child’s present qualities but also sets standards for future conduct.
- children are not simply expected to follow orders blindly but are given clear explanations so that they may understand the reason behind the request.
A child from a authoritative home often are found to be:
- high achievers
- accepted by peers
- good social skills
- high self-esteem
- attempts to behave in a nonpunitive, acceptant and affirmative manner towards the child’s impulses, desires, and actions.
- consults with the child about policy decisions and gives explanations for family rules.
- makes few demands for household responsibility and orderly behavior.
- presents to the child as a resource for them to use as they wish, not as an ideal for him to emulate, nor as an active agent responsible for shaping or altering his ongoing or future behavior.
- allows the child to regulate his own activities as much as possible
- avoids the exercise of control, and does not encourage him to obey externally defined standards.
Permissive parenting often cause children to be:
- highly aggressive
- poor decision making
- prone to substance abuse
- low achievement
- lack of responsiveness to the child’s needs
- do not provide their child with any structure or control
- little emotional involvement with kids
- make few to no demands of their children
- fail to monitor or supervise their child’s behavior
Uninvolved parents often have children who tend to be:
- social and behavioral issues
- lack discipline and proper boundaries
- increased risk of substance abuse
- tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence
- poor academic and social skills
What’s Your Style
Which parenting style are you and why have you adopted the style you have?
Do you believe that your parenting is providing a nurturing, positive emotional atmosphere for your child?
Yes, I had an authoritarian parent, and unfortunately, I was a textbook case in the sense that there were periods of my life that I suffered all of the associated outcomes.
I know I said I never aspired to be a parent when I was a young girl but I wouldn’t trade it for any other treasure in the world.
I absolutely adore my three children and love being a parent. So much in fact that I wrote an article about what it’s like for me being a mother found here https://sweetfamilylife.com/what-is-motherhood-really-like/.
In conclusion, we often parent how we were parented. However, our job is to do the best we possibly can with the knowledge we have.
If you have found areas that you can improve, then, by all means, do so.
I like what actor Peter Krause said:
“Parenthood…it’s about guiding the next generation and forgiving the last”
Resources: Baumrind, D. (1966). Effects of Authoritative Parental Control on Child Behavior, Child Development, 889 -991: Authoritative Parenting - A Style for Long Term Success,www.foundationscounselingllc.com/authoritative-parenting.php