Culture and Child Rearing

Topics: Family, Childhood, Parenting practices Pages: 5 (1739 words) Published: March 3, 2012
Culture and Child Rearing Practices
The purpose of this paper is to express the different ways culture affects child-rearing practices. Culture and child rearing are both essential in child development. Culture and ethnicity can have a deciding effect on the child-rearing techniques that families implement throughout the world. Differences such as methods of discipline, expectations regarding acceptance of responsibilities and transmission of religious instruction will vary among families. The paper includes interviews from three families from different backgrounds about child-rearing practices.

Culture is the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group(Robbins,1997). Child rearing practices are ways in which children in a society are raised(Robbins, 1997). Regardless of their cultural orientation, parents play a significant role in helping their children become honorable and contributing members of society. They accomplish this by nurturing their children, engaging in problem solving with them, and modeling by example of culturally acceptable ways of living and solving problems. A culturally evaluative theory called neo-Freudianism focuses on personal development in that it puts much importance on early childhood experiences being crucial to the development of the adult. The focus was that of socialization and cultural institutions. It is believed that the cause of adult personality stemmed from early child rearing techniques, but that these techniques were largely based on the influences of cultural institutions on the child rearing practices. Child rearing patterns or parenting types have been categorized into three: Autocratic or Authoritarian, Democratic or Authoritative and laissez-faire or permissive (Mindel, 1998). Parents who predominantly rely on the autocratic child rearing lay much emphasis on getting immediate and long-range obedience from their children. The relationship that exists between such parents and their children is such that places value on controlling the child's behavior (Broude, 1994). Democratic parents on the other hand approach the act of child upbringing with some measures of flexibility. Children from such homes are allowed considerable freedom with their discipline, and control altered to meet their need and not wishes. Closely related to the democratic type of child rearing is the laissez-faire. Parents that are in favor of this parental practice typically rely on reasoning and manipulation as against overt demonstration of power (Broude, 1994). Children are recognized as individuals and need to be encouraged to become independent. The home or the family is the first social environment in which the child knows. It is a unit of the larger social environment where the child learns about the norms and mores, and how best to behave in the larger society. From early childhood, children take in information about the roles and relationship of people and things in their environment. Consequently, adults teach children in the course of their daily interaction with them directly or indirectly. I believe that the religion and culture present in your environment will affect your personality, as children are very influential. Religions and cultures have commandments of sorts, which aim to help develop the child into a respectable member of their society. As such, religion and culture can affect generosity, caring, principles, and much more. My religion is Christianity. My parents believed in order and discipline in the home. Members of my home were to behave and respect others or we would be punished.

Three families from different backgrounds provided information on child-rearing practices implemented in their homes. The names of the families were changed to protect identity and privacy. The first family interviewed was an African American mother and father with three children. Their religion is Christianity. The children were ages...

References: Broude, Gwen J. Marriage, Family, and Relationships: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1994.
Mindel, Charles H., Robert W. Halberstein, & Roosevelt Wright , Jr. Ethnic Families in America: Patterns and Variations, 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998
Robbins, Lillian C.,The accuracy of parental recall of aspects of child development and of child rearing practices, The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1997
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