Interview two (2) mothers or fathers (or both) from two generations (at least 10 years apart in age) about their experiences as parents. They cannot be in your own immediate family members or friends. Interview each parent or couple about their experiences with some aspect of parenting. The best papers will not cover every topic but will focus on a particular aspect of parenting
In your interviews, you want to ask questions that elicit enough detail that you will have interesting information to write about. Try to avoid asking questions that can be answered yes or no. It is best to develop a set of questions in advance, and be sure to ask each person you interview exactly the same questions. This ensures that you will have comparable information from each source. Your paper should summarize the similarities and differences across generations and your own reflections.
Attach interview questions (should be 5-6) and the initials and email addresses or contact number of individuals who were interviewed to the back of the 2 page paper.
All papers must adhere to strict paper format guidelines: 1) Two (2) full pages; 2) Single-spaced, 12pt font, 1/2 inch margins (all sides), double-spaced between paragraphs; 3) Must be typed on computer paper; 4) Name and topic/title (top right header).
Generations Interview: Aspects of parenting
Parenting, also known as the process of child rearing, is the progression of supporting and promoting the development of a child from infancy to adulthood, physically, emotionally, financially, and intellectually. It entails efforts that go beyond just providing biological relationships. The chief caretakers in parenting are the biological parents of the particular children, but in some cases the role might be taken by an older sibling, close relatives, or a legal guardian. The parenting methods used are affected by a number of factors, including social class, wealth, and culture (Bornstein 4). On the other hand, parenting is always changing in response to dynamism in social norms and traditions. This paper will provide a summary of differences and similarities aspects for mothers belonging to two generations: one was born in 1941 and the other in 1961.
To collect this data, two parents of different generations were interviewed about their preferred parenting styles, then the aspects were compared. The parents selected had an age difference of about twenty years (one was aged 75 and the other 55) and were both asked the same set of questions. The questions are attached at the end of this paper. From the interview, it emerged that parenting is one of the most challenging and demanding tasks for a parent as there is no instruction manual to follow. Moreover, it differs from one generation to the other due to changes in cultural factors, thus affecting the specific behavioral challenges that children present to the parents.
According to the parenting aspect of the old generation, represented by the 75 year-old parent interviewed, the authoritative approach of instilling discipline in children was widely preferred. In contrast, the younger generation tends to combine various parenting styles, although they tend to be more permissive in their approach. The old generation-parent regarded authority or force as the best approach to instill discipline in her children. She used to have high expectations for her children, but she also tempered these expectations by providing a supportive environment as well. According to the parent, authority creates a healthy environment for a developing child while assisting in fostering a productive relationship between the child and the parent. This authoritarian parenting is associated with parents who are demanding but not responsive to their children’s emotional needs or feelings. They open up for little dialogue between them and the children, and they expect the child to follow strict guidelines and to live up to certain expectations. Punishment is always their tool of choice in their quest to teach new lesson to or demand obedience from their children.
On the other hand, the younger parent, representing the younger generation, answered the same questions rather differently. Her parenting approach tended to be more permissive compared to that of her older counterpart. The approach was more indulgent and the parents used less stringent measures while disciplining the children. She also admitted to being highly responsive to her children’s needs as well as being less demanding. This generation’s parenting style can be said to place a lot of emphasis on loving and nurturing. Arguably, the disadvantages of this approach surpass the advantages. The parents set limited and inconsistent rules and guidelines for their children. There is also a lack of a fixed structure that translate into a situation in which children grow with little discipline and self-control. According to the younger parent, some people use this approach to draw contrast with the authoritative manner in which they were brought up, while others simply do not want to upset their children. From the interview with the 55 year-old parent a permissive approach seems to be the most appropriate parenting style from the children’s perspective since it gives them a strong sense of freedom. Nevertheless, some children long for a sense of structure in order to feel safe. Indeed, a children can benefit a lot in terms of the development process by growing up within distinctly-defined roles and responsibilities. Permissive parenting can have long-lasting negative effects on a child’s character. For instance, teens with permissive parents are highly likely to indulge in underage abuse of drugs such as alcohol since they lack a sense of repercussions for their behavior. It is of paramount importance for permissive parents to start setting boundaries and guidelines for their children at the earliest opportunity in order to contribute significantly to their upright upbringing.
From the interview with the two parents, it is evident that generational and cultural changes strongly influence the way in which parents interact with their children. The older-generation parent was more authoritative than her younger counterpart who adopted a more liberal approach. The emergence of the liberal mindset may have been contributed to factors such as technological advancement, higher educational achievement, and high social status. Through education, younger parents have gained exposure to new suggestions on how to bring up children. Consequently, these liberal-minded parents are more likely to experiment on these suggestions than their older, conservative counterparts. Other related factors such as lifestyle changes also affect the choice of parenting method. For instance, younger parents operate under tight schedules, meaning that they tend to have little time for their children.
The two approaches of installing the aspect of discipline to children described above differ from each other, although they also have some similarities since they are ultimately directed to the achievement of the same goal. Each of the parenting styles has its advantages. In general, permissive parents want their children to be happy, to feel loved, and to enjoy life. At the same time, they also want them to improve the sense of self-empowerment and to appreciate the connection they have with their children. The best moments to build connection between the parents and the children are typically during holidays and in the evenings when everyone looks forward to a relaxed environment after a long day at work or school. This type of parenting comes from the aspiration to let the child’s creativity improve and to avoid limiting their sense of empowerment. It can also come up as a result of not knowing any other approach of parenting. Consequently, it takes concerted efforts and engagement to instill discipline and other life enhancing behaviors in the young ones. Similarly, authoritarian parents want their children to succeed in life, to be independent, and productive. In this regard, the road to success involves the acquisition of self-discipline without which the child would be unable to interact well with the outside world (Park and Walton-Moss 495). The main problems associated with this approach, though, include little or lack of a close relationship with the child, the development of a harsh inner critic in the child, the rise of aspects of secrecy in the child’s life, and an elevated potential for the child’s adoption of violent behavior in future. These negative aspects may be weight against some of the main disadvantages of permissive parenting, which include spoilt children, lack of discipline, anxiety, and a strong sense of insecurity in the parents’ absence.
In conclusion, parenting approaches of instilling discipline to children tend to vary with generational and cultural changes. Old-generation parents mostly use the authoritarian approach of parenting while their younger counterparts tend to be more lenient and permissive in the way they bring up their children. Although the two parenting styles are geared towards the achievement of the same objective, they somewhat vary in terms of the disadvantages and benefits associated with each.
Bornstein, Marc H. “Parenting: Science and Practice.” Parenting, 1.2 (2001): 1-4. Web.
Park, Hyunjeong and Walton-Moss, Benita. “Parenting Style, Parenting Stress, and Children’s Health-Related Behaviors.” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 33.6 (2012): 495-503. Web.
- Does your child’s day have structure to it, such as a planned bedtime and understood household rules?
- Does your child understand the expectations that you have for his/her behavior, and are these expectations reasonable?
- Do you have a healthy and open line of communication with your child? That is, does your child feel that he/she can speak to you about anything without fear of negative consequences or harsh judgment?
- Does the home provide a safe space for the child where he/she can share their experiences and expect positive feedback rather than negative or no feedback?
- Do you spend long periods of time away from home, leaving the child alone?
- Do you often find yourself making excuses for not being there for your child?
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