Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chapter 10

Hello Friends,

         This post will be centered on a quote from the book Successful Marriages and Families Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives (BYU Studies Copyright 2012) This quote comes from Chapter 10 Parenting with Love, Limits, and Latitude…

        "The authoritative parenting style. The optimal parenting style is the authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parenting fosters a positive emotional connection with children, provides for regulation that places fair and consistent limits on child behavior and allows for reasonable child autonomy in decision making. This style creates a positive emotional climate that helps children be more open to parental input and direction, and allows for parents to individualize child rearing as encouraged by Brigham Young when he enjoined parents to "study their [children’s dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly”  (Widstoe, 1978, p. 207). Some children, for example, may require more limits, while others respond better to more latitude, depending on their dispositions.”

        First of all this is coming from the perspective of a woman who had not had a child yet. I have baby sat for years, worked in pre-schools, day-cares, elementary schools and summer programs. I have held responsibilities for children ranging from 3 months to 18 years. However the majority of my experience has been with toddlers to middle childhood aged children. So no I do not have first hand experience being a mother, but I have had much interaction with children and parents.

      Let’s get started with that fact that we all are aware of, that a baby doesn't come with a manual. So where does that leave us to know how to parent? Well, all of us have grown up in some sort of family setting whether it was our biological family, adopted, foster, or other arrangement there were people who were there to be our guardian(s). Most of what each of us knows about parenting comes from what we learned as we grew up in our family.

      This quote has a clear statement of opinion as to what style of parenting is best for rearing children. Another huge aspect that plays into parenting style are the cultures the parents were raised in and the culture they are currently raising their children in.

What style of parenting were you raised in?

What kind of parenting have you seen done well?

What kind of parenting have you seen done in a way that could have been executed a little (or a lot) better?

       My opinion comes from my studies and observation from years of babysitting and observing the way my friends families as they operated. I have come to find that there needs to be a fine balance of clear rules and allowance for children to make their own decisions based off of what they have been taught. Children need to learn how to be self-sufficient while not being left to do it all on their own either. Each child has their own set of needs and temperament.

      The chapter this quote comes from discusses the needs children have, they need rules, love, and the ability to have some freedoms. Children who are always told what to do tend to grow up and are unable to function in college or the work world because they are so accustomed to being micromanaged. To be able to function successfully people need to know how to take instructions and do it on their own without needing to ask if every last thing they are doing is right. Conversely children indulged and given little to no instruction cannot function in most jobs because they are not used to being told no or having so many rules and boundaries. Another piece of this conversation needs to be that there are no parents that are perfect. Some parents may have not graduated High School while some may have their Doctorate. Some may have the best of motives while others unfortunately see themselves as stuck being a parent. There is such a huge variety of parental ability and circumstances. Talking about parenting is a very broad subject, however most of us will become parents or already are. Weather you just found out that you are expecting or your youngest is a senior in High School, there is always new information to glean and thoughts that you can share with upcoming parents.

      My hope is that if you have questions you will leave them here and if you have thoughts or answers to questions I or other pose that you will feel inclined to respond.

     The quote from Brigham Young reflects the fact that each child will need specialized and specific parenting tactics to best fit their needs. Children are individuals and as we have more than one child we need to ever remember to parent and treat them as an individual not a part of a herd. 

What are your thoughts about parenting style?

Why does it matter if you have one style or another?  

What advice do you have if you are a parent?

Thank you for your time and thoughts!


  1. A couple of my thoughts, also as a woman with no children, who spent some time studying child development, but not a lot--more time learning about the mothers, actually-- and being the youngest in a small family.

    The second block quote bugs me a little because it presupposes that people have been in a large enough family with children spaced in such a way that they're able or even interested in caring for siblings. I'm the baby. My siblings are 6, 12, and 14 years older than me, and the oldest two didn't live with us. Maybe my sister could speak more to it, but from my perspective, I didn't notice a lot of nurturing-that-would-inform-later-parenting. In fact...

    Watching my sister, I'd say the biggest influence on her and her husband's parenting has probably been that their oldest son has autism, which requires very specific behavior, limits, and allowances. It filters to his siblings sometimes, though I also observe individual adaptations at times.

    I used to hang out with a lot of women who practice attachment-based styles of parenting, and I heard one of them say once that rarely does one really "do" any particular system of parenting. It might be your ideal--your guiding star--but ultimately, everyone does what works for and with each child. I think it's important to have guiding principles of what you think works with children--ultimately what works with PEOPLE--in general, but I don't think one should necessarily get hung up on details of systems, anymore than one would with any people. I do think the greatest guiding principle should be kindness, though.

    S'my two cents before I run to work.

  2. I appreciate your perspective Jena. I also was raised basically without siblings near. I based my thoughts off of things I have seen but not experienced first hand. Also I think it varies a lot from one family or person to another. I agree that different circumstances from time to time will dictate the way parents choose to or need to parent.

    I agree there should be some kind of guiding principle but when it comes down to it each must adapt to their situation and make it work the best for them and not be stuck in a box so to speak.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jena!