Sweet and Spice and Everything Nice!

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What are the ingredients of having well-behaved, intelligent, socially expectable children? Most researchers along with most people would agree that having 2 parents that are still together, and who uses authoritative parenting styles would be the best way for a child to end up "normal." I agree that this probably helps the situation, however I don't think it's that clean-cut. Having a successful child has to do with a lot of other factors that can be incorporated into these ideas. What if the parents are still together but constantly fight? What if one parent is authoritative and the other is permissive? There are so many different environments that a child could possibly be raised in that I think it is nearly impossible to define how to raise a successful child.
My parents got divorced when I was young and I was raised by My Dad, so as an outsider one might see this as a more unique case and if they read our psychology book they might infer that I had behavior problems, and was more aggressive growing up, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. I have never been in a fight and rarely have gotten in trouble at school or with other adults. This is why I think it is kind of silly to say that a child will be "better" or "worse" by solely looking at the number of parents in their life. I think it has to do with how the parent or parents treat their child and the examples they set for their children.

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I really like your article! Short and to the point. I completely agree with what you say about how it really does not matter how many parents or guardians a child has in their life but by what their standards and rules are for their child or children. I feel like these days parents are becoming more and more indifferent toward how they raise their kids. I personally feel that adolescents that are in middle school or younger today are becoming more wild and spoiled. They are rude, loud, and just plain rowdy. Perhaps in time they will grow and mature out of that stage but I seriously worry about future generations.

This topic of how to create a "normal" child is very intriguing. Unlike you, I was raised in a two parent household, however similar to you I have rarely gotten into fights or in trouble. Your final sentence hits the nail on the head: parents set a model for their children to follow and grow into. If you are spoiled as a child, you are likely to be selfish, if you have little supervision/rules, you are likely to act irrationally since no consequences exist. The environment, not the number of parents, impacts how children grow up.

I work at a daycare center so I feel that I can really connect with this topic of parenting and how it effects children. Like you have said I don't think the number of parents is the primary influence on how a child develops. I have seen many single parents do a considerably better job of raising kids than some of the kids raised in two-parent households. It amazes me of how big of an influence parents have on children even from a young age. The effects of rough family life can be seen in very young children as they often act out to get attention that they may be deprived of at home. It's sad to see that some children start off life in a negative environment that can impact them for the rest of their lives.

I completely agree with the ideas you put forth in your blog. Producing "good" children is not something that can be accomplished with simply having two parents. There are so many different factors that combine to create the behavioral aspects of a child. Not only can the relationships with parents affect behavior, but the genes that the parents contribute to the child also play a huge role in behavior. In a sense it comes down to the nature vs. nurture debate yet again, and just like with all aspects of that debate there is not a clear-cut answer.

I agree, there is not just one factor in how someone's personality develops. I think if may be harder for children who attached to their parents as a whole instead of two separate people. I think this because if children expect their parents to be together may resent them when they are not together leading to additional behavioral problems. I also think peers have the biggest impact in children's' personality because it is natural to want to try to fit in. Therefore, no matter if their parents are together or not the child's personality may be different depending on peer influences.

This was a very interesting article, and I love that you connected it to your life so closely. I personally was raised in a two parent household and have never had any aggression or behavior problems like yourself, and I think that you have done a great job trying to define "normal". It is all relative, and it definitely varies from situation to situation. I agree that there is no clear-cut answer but there may be models from some behaviors resulting from various parent situations with outlier cases on each end of the spectrum. I agree with the comment above in the fact that the environment that the children grow up in has a huge impact on how they turn out in the future but it is more so the models that the parent(s) set for the children. If there is at least one good model, I feel the kids will turn out alright!

Your article raises very good points. There really is no "perfect" environment that every child should grow up in. It is simply how the child is raised within that enviroment. Personally i grew up in a two-parent environment, but I never had any siblings, which I think is another important factor in how a child grows up. The fact is that there are so many factors that go into raising a child that one individual factor is not necessarily as important as people think. Everyone has a "perfect" image of what a family should look like, but most cases will not follow that typical family we often see on sitcom television.

You raise a very valid point. While reading from the textbook I also disagreed to an extent with the two parent ideology. My parents more recently have fought continuously while still living together and raising myself and two siblings. My sister, who is still in elementary school, seemed to be impacted the greatest by the constant fighting and arguing. In my point of view, the negative environment we were susceptible to at times ultimately changed some behaviors of my younger sister.I am extremely happy and grateful to be living with both my mother and father, but I feel that just because both are present does not mean that my siblings and I are among the "perfect" children. The environmental factors we grew up under, for example, greatly influenced who we are today.

I also agree that just because children are raised in a two parent household, doesn't imply that they are “ideal” when other factors are taken into consideration. My aunt and uncle have been feuding for years but refuse to separate which has led to many negative effects on my cousins such as feelings of guilt, emotional abuse, and staying over at friends’ houses whenever possible just to be away from the constant arguing and fights. I agree that how a child turns out has more to do with how the parents treat their children and what examples they set for them than solely with how many parents are in the household. I believe that it would be ideal for the child to be able to have a good relationship with both parents, whom work together to positively impact their child but even when this isn’t possible, “normal” children can be achieved in households others than the two parent household. Thanks for sharing your personal story, it really made an impact and brought up some thought provoking questions on this concept.

I agree entirely with what you're saying, but I do think people consider those factors when compiling statistical data. Perhaps, the use the phrase "happily together" or "fully committed" when they are determining the use of their targeted demographic. It's a shame how high the divorce rate is these days and I do think it has a negative impact on children. I personally think it makes them feel as though nothing is permanent and that if you are annoyed with sometime you can easily change it. Our society has grown accustom to too much entitlement and maybe that has something to do with our ability to change our oaths and vows with ease and without question. I don't know, just a thought I had.

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This page contains a single entry by leas0048 published on March 21, 2012 12:02 PM.

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