Child Welfare and Development

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Child Welfare and Development

Parenting in the dictionary is defined as the process of rearing children and a parenting style is the strategy that parents use in raising their children. There is much debate over the best way to rear children and this debate has been going on for hundreds of years. Most people have their own ideas about the right way to educate, socialise and discipline their own children. Many parents create their own style from a combination of factors and these may evolve over time. These factors may include the child’s own personality and the changes that occur as they move through life. Many parents learn parenting from their own parents and the main purpose of parenting is to ensure that the child has the best start in life and is fully prepared to “fly the nest” and experience the world for themselves. In this essay I intend to observe the many different child rearing styles and critically evaluate each one.

There are five main styles of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, non-conformist and harmonious. These styles were formed from the research carried out by an American psychologist named Diana Baurmrind. Authoritative parents tend to know what they want from their children, but also loving towards their children and also respect them. This means that the children of authoritative parent know exactly what is expected of them but also do not feel that they are not a respected member of the family. The authoritarian parenting style consists of strict guidelines about right and wrong for their children. The children have strict rules to adhere to which may mean rebelliousness in the future. Authoritarian parents also commonly have communication problems with their children and are often seen as being cold and rejecting towards their children. These children may grow up with problems talking or gaining confidence in their parents in order for them to confide their issues with them. Permissive parents have little or poor control over their children. Although the children feel accepted and loved, they usually do they please. These children may get into trouble with authorities and seem to be less socially competent and often have a poor academic performance. A non-conformist parenting style involves letting the children develop their own abilities and points of view. Non-conformist parents have high expectations of their children yet the difference in outcomes of their children sometimes depends on the gender of their children. Their sons show a high independence level but their daughters show signs of dependence. The last style of parenting is the harmonious parenting style. This style becomes apparent when the children live up to their parents expectations and therefore there is little family friction.

The practice of child rearing consists of many different programmes designed by professionals who are usually doctors and psychologists. One of these creators is Dr Bill Sears. Dr Sears is a paediatrician who has written over thirty books on the subject of parenting. He began his research into this field at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. He was also the associate professor of paediatrics where he furthered his research. The type of parenting style that Sears developed was named attachment parenting. At the centre of the attachment parenting involves creating a strong emotional bond with children. In this theory there are seven points to follow in which Dr. Sears believes is the best way to raise children, called the “Seven Baby B’s”. These involve birth bonding, which describes that the best way to have an immediate bond with your baby is to come into contact as soon as possible after birth. This could occur by the baby being placed on the mother chest as soon as the baby is born. If the child for some reason, incubator needed, cannot be connected with the mother straight after birth then contact should be made as soon as...
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