Martian Child

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The movie “Martian Child” shows how a man struggles to raise a boy that he has adopted. Throughout this movie David uses two different parenting techniques to try and get Dennis to conform to some of the cultural norms of society. Dennis is not like the average child, he is in great need of developing a lasting relationship. He is in constant fear of people leaving him or not wanting him around. The viewer is able to see how both David and Dennis struggle to build bonds and become a family.

At the beginning of the movie “Martian Child” David, the father of the strange boy, used permissive parenting. Permissive parenting is when a parent submits to a child’s desires, uses little punishment. For instance, in the beginning of “Martian Child” David told Dennis that the only rule of the house is no sunglasses while inside. This demonstrates how David does not have any set rules that he expects Dennis to follow. David also allows Dennis to eat only Lucky Charms cereal and allows him to wear a weight belt everywhere he goes. Even though eating Luck Charms daily is not part of a good diet David gave in anyway allowing him to consume mostly, if not only, cereal. Permissive parents try to befriend their children and do not want to be viewed as mostly a disciplinary figure. Throughout this movie David demonstrates mostly a permissive parenting style.

There is also a short period of time in the movie were David uses authoritative parenting. Authoritative parenting is when a parent is both responsive and demanding. The parent achieves control by setting and carrying out the rules. Authoritative parents also make sure to explain the reasons behind the rules. David illustrates authoritative parenting in the movie when he tells Dennis that he can no longer wear his weight belt and finally upgrades his wardrobe. He explains to Dennis that it is not acceptable to wear his belt outside of the house and that includes school. During this part of the movie David is both setting a...
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