Topics: Parenting styles, Childhood, Attachment theory Pages: 6 (1017 words) Published: April 21, 2014

My Virtual Child Experience
Mikayla Jeffryes
Colorado State University
HDFS 101 2014
Dr. Ashley Harvey

Theoretical Framework and Influence of Parenting
Every decision that a parent makes in terms of the way they discipline and comfort their child directly affects multiple aspects of that child’s life as they grow and develop. Different parenting choices develop into parenting styles, or the practices that parents exhibit in relation to their children and their beliefs about those practices (Arnett, 2012). Diana Baumrind communicated four differing parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and disengaged. Each of the four styles of parenting is based on the dimensions of demandingness and responsiveness, and our text specifies that authoritative parents are those who are high in both of those magnitudes. Arnett also indicates that children with authoritative parents tend to have more favorable outcomes, such as independence, self-assurance, creativity, and social skills.

While raising my virtual child, Lyla, I veered more towards the authoritative parenting style and tried to have high control as well as high warmth towards her on a consistent basis. I was always sure that my rules and expectations of Lyla were clear, but always in a gentle way. I also made certain that she knew what the consequences would be if she failed to obey the rules, and would enforce those consequences if it was necessary. However, like other authoritative parents, I left room for discussion and negotiation. For example, when Lyla entered high school, she thought it was reasonable for her to have a later bedtime. Her and I sat down, and she listed all of the reasons as to why she thought she should get her way. After some consideration, I decided that a later bedtime would be acceptable if, and only if, all of her homework was completed at the same time it had to be completed before this later bedtime was introduced. Lyla and I were able to reach a compromise, and no issues following this change in routine.

Along with parenting styles, theoretical frameworks such as attachment also play a vital role in child development. The attachment theory, introduced by John Bowlby, primarily concerns the infant’s relationship with the primary caregiver (Arnett 2012). Bowlby explains that if there is a strong sense of trust in the child’s first attachment, and the caregiver is “sensitive and responsive” in their caring style, the infant will be more likely to learn that other people can also be trusted in social relationships (Arnett 2012). Since my child was shy throughout infancy, it was important that I maintained a goodness of fit with her, meaning that I would change my parenting techniques according to Lyla’s temperament (Arnett 2012). Because Lyla was so shy, I was conscious of the situations I placed her in, making sure I didn’t throw her into anything with an overwhelming amount of new faces or other unfamiliar things. I would ease Lyla into new environments very slowly, making sure I was close by at all times so I was able to encourage and reassure her. This particular parenting choice allowed my child to maintain her secure attachment to me while simultaneously beginning to explore her own independence, using me as her safety net. As Lyla continued to grow and began to make her own decisions more often, she continued to come to me for advice and guidance just as she did when she was an infant, only now in a different context. My child’s trust in me and instinct to seek out my assistance all throughout her eighteen years, relates back to my initial decision to pursue authoritative style parenting, as well as my ability to demonstrate goodness of fit. Virtual Child’s Experience

Development and Characteristics
According to Thomas and Chess and their three categorizes of temperament classification, my child could be described as slow-to-warm-up (Arnett 2012). When she was...

References: Arnett, J. J. (2012). Human Development: A cultural approach. New York. Pearson.
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