How Are Students Raised?
Submitted by Brooke Goldschmidt
From Chapter 7 – Teaching Self-Control: What Parenting Styles Tell Us
Teaching has become increasingly difficult for teachers over the years. While at one point in time, self-control was a concept developed and taught at home and reinforced at school, many students are finding their way into the classrooms with this undeveloped, underutilized or unvalued skill (Henley 2003). The reason these skills are no longer taught at home could be because of the values of their home or neighborhood, and the involvement, support and control of their parents.
While it is not necessarily in the job description of the educator to “fix” children with self-control issues, it is important for educators to identify these students and try to learn as much about their background as possible in order to effectively provide the tools and promote healthy self-control strategies in the classroom.
Parenting styles typically fall into one of four parenting styles which have their own sets of defining characteristics. Just like any stereotype or label, these styles are not all encompassing and they are not “fixed.” Parents can change their parenting style over a period of time. It is not uncommon for parents to be more strict and controlling with a first child and less controlling or involved with additional children (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). Parenting styles and implications on student behavior and learning also varies from culture to culture.
Indifferent parents typically do not respond to school emails, phone calls, or participate in school events. The parents are not typically proactive and do not follow through if they do communicate with school. They have low demands or control and low responsiveness or support. The house typically lacks rules or structure. Indifferent parents are a unique mix culturally and can be either of low socioeconomic status or high socioeconomic status (SES). The parents with low SES are typically not around and live in neighborhoods with little to no adult supervision or authority present while the parents with high SES have demanding jobs that pull time and attention away from their homes (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). The indifferent parent has several implications on student learning in the classroom and produce students that are impulsive, with little self-control and have poor academic performance .These students are also more likely to engage in self-destructive and delinquent behaviors (Authoritative Parenting: A Style for Long Term Success, 2011).
Indulgent parents usually have a lot of response and support for their students but have little control or demand. There is typically a lack of rules and structure and/or the children may run the house. Teachers can sometime observe little discipline or follow through by the parents at home. These parents are typically people-pleasers who are more interested in being a friend to their children rather than an authority figure. Indifferent parents can come from any SES background and background, however it is more common in Western culture (Cultural Differences in Parenting Practices, 2011). Children of indulgent parents are less likely to possess self-control and are more likely to have poor academic performance. These children are usually more concerned with their peers than value their academics and therefore are more likely to engage in self-destructive and delinquent behaviors (Authoritative Parenting: A Style for Long Term Success, 2011).
Authoritarian parents possess high demand and control with very little acceptance or support for their children. These parents are power assertive, meaning they use their authority as parents to push their own agenda and control their children (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). These parents set rules, use restriction, and closely monitor and enforce said rules, but offer very little support. These types of parents are “Do as I say,” and “Because I said so” parents. These children are typically obedient while their parents are around but the behavior does not last when the authority is not present. The are typically decent students, but are not as confident and lack the self-esteem necessary to demonstrate consistent self-control. While most Western cultures do not value this type of parenting style, many Asian cultures that do. For instance, the Chinese and Filipino cultures typically view this as “training” their children as part of a cultural identity. Because it is part of their cultural identity, this type of parenting usually does not have the negative effect on students as it does in Western culture (Cultural Differences in Parenting Practices, 2011).
Authoritative parents are the type with high levels of control/demand and also provide their children with balance of response and support (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). Authoritative parents have clear expectations and enforced rules but also have reasons for these rules and encourage their children to follow them on their own. The rules are explained and parents value their child’s agenda as well.This empowers the student and encourages the student to internalize and practice self-control. Authoritative parents usually produce the child with the best self-control for the following reasons: they use effective inductive discipline, They respect their child’s views, they have clear rules and expectations, and they compromise & reason (Authoritative Parenting: A Style for Long Term Success, 2011).
Teachers and schools cannot always change or remove the source of a undesirable behavior, nor can we change some of the circumstances our students face at home. We can, however, use our time to teach students to take ownership and control of their decisions. We can help especially those students who have indifferent parents at home who may lack direction, make the best choices possible. There is not a particular check-list that an effective teacher has to teach self-control, but being more intentional with pointing out self control opportunities can help and teachers modeling self-control skills in the classroom is also an easy place to start. A curriculum that emphasizes self-control is not a cure, but rather a remedy for this growing problem. Teachers should be empowering students with self-control techniques for the following reasons: 1) Self-control improves both physical and mental health, 2) Students learn responsibility and have the opportunity to make choices and learn from them, 3) Student choice can motivate and enhance achievement, 4) Collaborating with students can be challenging but also develop a sense of unity and belonging, 5) Empowerment communicates respect. (Henley, 2003).
Bergin, C.C. & Bergin, D.A. (2012). Child and Adolescent Development in Your Classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Henley, Martin (2003). Teaching Self-Control (2nd Ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
(2011). Cultural Differences in Parenting Practices: What Asian American … Retrieved October 2, 2013, from http://mcclellandinstitute.arizona.edu/sites/mcclellandinstitute.arizona.edu/files/ResearchLink_2.1_Russell_AsianFam.pdf.
(2011). Authoritative Parenting – A Style for Long Term Success … Retrieved October 2, 2013, from http://www.foundationscounselingllc.com/authoritative-parenting.php.
Reflect upon your childhood. What was the style of parenting you were raised with? Did both parents share the same parenting style? Were your siblings raised the same way?
How do you identify students in your classroom who come from different parenting styles than yours? In what ways have you found success in reaching students raised with different styles?
In what ways do the different parenting styles have an affect on your classroom? Have you ever had a personality clash with a parent who adopts a different style than your own?
How do you set up your classroom management in a way that reaches students from all different parental styles and backgrounds?
How do you empower your students and promote positive self-control in the classroom?