Social and Emotional Development
Numerous observations of children show that major developmental changes mostly occur during early childhood. It may be perceived by the parents in the form of imitation and observation. The research shows that children tend to interact less and simply mimic each other. The key developmental characteristic of the older preschoolers is that they favor cooperative accomplishments and prefer to work in teams (Rathus, 2014). Another point is that children are often taken away by the idea of engaging themselves in roleplay activities which involve their adaptation to adult roles. There are numerous factors that impact the social and emotional development of the children (Jabeen, Anis-ul-Haque, & Riaz, 2013). These factors are usually contingent on the roles played by the child’s siblings, peers, and, most importantly, parents.
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The changes that transform the child’s personality are often connected to the events that occur around them. At a young age, children begin to develop their self-concept. Moreover, they are going through the stage of realizing that some activities (also called initiatives) may lead to punishment (Rathus, 2014). The core objective of the parents throughout this period is to explore the origins of the child’s fears and adjust their parenting style to the child’s perceptions. There are also serious gender differences and variations in gender behavior that should be taken into account by the parents. At this point, the parents should be motivated to teach their child what is good and what is bad so as to trigger the development of basic ethical concerns (Rathus, 2014). The effect of interaction between the siblings/ peers should be reviewed further by the researchers so as to find evidence that supports the claims that excessive child aggression may originate during this developmental stage.
Child Rearing and Enforcement of Restrictions
It is very common (and normal) that children spend most of their spare time with their family members. The key objective of the parents should be to elicit certain behavior in their children. These behavioral patterns include the perception of responsibility and basic family habits. The reason behind this is the parents’ desire to help the child to develop social skills and ensure that their child will not fail to develop both socially and emotionally. Therefore, the child-rearing techniques are very different, and there is a limitless number of ways to apply these techniques. The two most prevalent scales used to control these techniques are warmth-coldness and restrictiveness-permissiveness (Rathus, 2014).
The parents who represent the former group are much more affectionate toward their children and prefer not to use physical discipline. The latter mostly do not enjoy being with their children and usually complain about their behavior. Research shows that warm parents are more successful in developing the moral sense in their children. Some investigators also argue that parental warmth may be contingent on some genetic factors. In its broader sense, restrictiveness may be considered a positive parent characteristic (Rathus, 2014). Nonetheless, excessive restrictiveness will result in parents imposing different rules on their children and observing them very closely. Research shows that permissive parenting is linked to a more flexible approach which presupposes higher self-esteem and gives the children the ability to adjust to their surroundings better (Raboteg-Saric & Sakic, 2013).
When it comes to the enforcement of restrictions, there are three key techniques that are used by parents. The inductive technique is based on the notion of reasoning and reflects the idea of communicating the correct behavior to the child (Rathus, 2014). By means of this approach, the children will be able to understand the basic social norms and display the required behavior in analogous situations. The power-assertive approach denies the existence of any privileges and ultimately encourages the use of physical punishment. There is a direct dependency between the child’s behavior and the parents’ authoritarianism. It is also very common that power-assertive methods adversely influence the child’s behavior, school performance, and acceptance among peers (Rathus, 2014). Eventually, power-assertive parenting may become the key premise of aggressive behavior and delinquency. The approach based on the withdrawal of love may be used to punish the children who behaved incorrectly. Consequently, the outcomes of the use of this approach may include anxiety and permanent guilt. One of the ways of dealing with children who do things inaccurately is to engage them in a different activity.
The Process of Transmitting Values and Standards
The process of transmitting the values and standards may depend on parenting styles. Mostly, this relates to the division of the parents into four categories – authoritative, authoritarian, permissive-indulgent, and rejecting-neglecting. Even though the parents from the first category are highly restrictive, they support their children and manifest their feelings of love. Authoritative parents know what they want from their children, but they show respect and treat them with warmth (Rathus, 2014). The children of such parents are highly motivated and independent in comparison to the other three categories. Authoritarian parents are known for their strict guidelines and inflexibility when it comes to parenting.
Their core objective is to control their children, but they do not really communicate with them. Authoritarian parenting style can be characterized as the manifestation of rejection and coldness. The children of authoritarian parents are not as successful in school as the children of authoritative parents. Moreover, they are less friendly and are easily irritated (Rathus, 2014). Permissive-indulgent parents do not usually require mature behavior from their children and are not interested in controlling them. Their permissiveness can be characterized as the manifestation of responsiveness and warmth toward their children. Rejecting-neglecting parents also do not control their children and do not require mature behavior from them but, at the same time, they do not show any responsiveness. In perspective, this leads to delinquent behavior and poor performance in school. Rejecting-neglecting parenting style is also connected to substance abuse and low self-confidence.
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Factors that Affect Parenting Styles
The two major factors which impact the child’s development are the overall situation and the child’s individual characteristics. The use of the power-assertive approach may be considered to be one of the examples when the situation affects the parents. In this case, they tend to use the power-assertive technique with the intention of eliminating aggressive behavior but do not use it to cope with social withdrawal (Rathus, 2014). Another good example is the fact that power-assertion is exploited more often than induction in times when the child did not behave appropriately and is considered to be accountable for the spoiled behavior. There are also several extra factors that impact the parenting styles. These factors include grave emotional problems, marital discordance, and traumatic life events. The research suggests that the parents should avoid being too authoritarian or permissive as these are two extremes of the same entity (Rathus, 2014). The parents should establish reasonable rules for the children and be consistent with their requirements. At the same time, they should not impose too many limitations on the child while dealing with the issue of probable excessive permissiveness.
Jabeen, F., Anis-ul-Haque, M., & Riaz, M. (2013). Parenting styles as predictors of emotion regulation among adolescents. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 28(1), 85-105.
Raboteg-Saric, Z., & Sakic, M. (2013). Relations of parenting styles and friendship quality to self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness in adolescents. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9(3), 749-765.
Rathus, S. (2014). Childhood & adolescence: Voyages in development. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.