Monday, March 31, 2014

Precis 2 (Strict Parenting=Good)

Jennifer Brozak, writer of The Advantages of Strict Parents, discusses the controversial topic of strict parenting and it's advantages. Jennifer believes that it is very much possible to have firm discipline yet also have nurture and lovingness. By dividing adolescents up into various aspects, Jen takes an organized look at what kind of discipline/parenting is best; those aspects being academics, self-control, peer pressure, and social interaction. She that setting high standards will result in academic and social excellence; two things that are crucial in success. Jen goes on to say that having constant consequences for a child will them improve their self control, manners, and resist to peer pressure. All this structure that Jen finds necessary to parenting all help make her point very clear; that strict parenting is the correct way to raise a kid.
"The Advantages of Strict Parents." Preschooler. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

Although worded and organized well, there are several points in this article that I have conflicting ideas with. There is not one idea in this article that I disagree with; rather the level of extremity that Jennifer wants to take them to. First, kids with stricter parents excel in academics. This is a well known fact, and I fully support it. However, Jennifer claims that parents should have constant high academic standards for their kid, and to consistently have consequences when those standards aren't met. This is where I disagree. Mistakes and priorities are both relevant issues in everyone's lives, regardless of age. Instilling into a child's brain from a very young age that academics is always first can increase stress in the child's brain, resulting in an overall anxious kid. Teaching that academics is first will literally make academics their world, and this squishes crucial social and adventurous opportunities. The experiences that you have out in the world, while growing up, defines you as a person. An academics-only lifestyle ruins this completely, and therefore a not a very well-rounded young adult. The other debatable statement comes when Jen describes how always being strict helps improve self control and peer pressure. There is no doubt that consequences and structure help raise a smart kid with his own feelings about self control and peer pressure, but that is not what Jen is saying. Jen wants to prevent the opportunity all together. If a person doesn't do something only because he is afraid of what his mom will do, does that teach him real life consequences? No, it teaches him that he just needs to wait until his mom won't be around; example being college. Raising a child based on fear, consequences, and 1 dimensional consequences will only increase their desire to do something bad; something that is different. That is why it is important to slowly decrease how much a parent monitors their kid, and have important discussions of why some things aren't ok to do. Otherwise, the parent's young adult will go from being sheltered to exposed too quickly and too extremely. Studies show that the acceleration of sheltered kids to college can actually cause a need to do all the new opportunities at once. This can be very dangerous, and several students have died under these circumstances. Research shows that kids in high school who had a relative of social and academic "college-like" experiences were more adept at handling the change.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Precis 1 (Strict Parenting=Bad)

Dr. Laura Markham in her article,  '"What's wrong with strict parenting?," poses the problems and effects of strict parenting, and offers her advice on ways to form a parent-kid relationship that isn't based on rules or fear. She argues that an authoritarian parenting will result in a child with low self esteem. The low self esteem makes the child act out more, and therefore gets punished more. This is an endless cycle that, in the grand scheme of things, does not work out. Children that are deprived of the opportunity to self discipline and self reflect are consequentially lacking in responsibility. Overall, strictness is going to be the only thing a parent is associated with when a child thinks of them. The positive goals that the parents are pushing for get completely looked over, leaving both the parents and the the child unsatisfied.
Markham, Laura. "What's Wrong with Strict Parenting?" Dr. Laura Markham What's Wrong With Strict Parenting? N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

As a current teenage son, I believe that I have enough personal experience to properly validate whichever opinion that I choose. That being said, my opinion is very restricted due to me not having experience with the second side of the argument, which would be being a parent. However, I do not think that authoritarian parenting is the right way to raise a child. The entire point of growing up to grow, expand, and become independent as a human being. Growing up in a household where there is a harsh rule and consequence around every corner can eliminates those chances! A lot of parents are specifically unaffectionate and strict because they want their child to grow up in a household modeled to what society is like. This actually can backfire really quickly. First and most specifically, it is a new generation. Growing up today is totally different than growing up when our parents did. To attempt to household manner similar to child's real life would be unfair and stupid. Secondly, If the kid grows up in a very strict setting with every action getting a reaction, he won't have experienced any real world consequences or have an idea of how rules truly work in a society. No matter what, there will always be a disconnect between society's and parent's rules and consequences. But it is up to the parents to recognize the necessity for a teenager or young adult to eventually learn about the difference.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Since the beginning of society, the way parents raise their kids is unique to each family. Each set of parents raise their kid based on their moral standards and expectations. The old theory was that it is necessary to use fear to strictly instill values and good actions into your children, along with strict consequences if the rules are broken. This is not so much the case anymore. As our society grows and becomes more focused on liberal arts, parenting has changed too. Mistakes that kids make are more widely accepted, and consequences are less severe. Nowadays, when a child messes up, having a deep discussion is a more common result than hitting or yelling. "Helicopter" parenting is becoming less and less prevalent. However, there is still a major percentage of parents who believe that the best way to raise a child is come down hard on them whenever a mistake is made. Things such as not tolerating bad grades, tracking, using strict consequences, etc. are how the parents were raised, so they want to continue this parenting style. The logic a lot of times is "well my parents were strict, and I turned out successful." This "if it ain't broke don't fix it" moral is something that many parents believe in, and therefore they pass it on to their kids. These two styles of parenting do seem to collide, with advantages and disadvantages on both sides. As being a teenage son right now, I believe I have dog in this fight. And that is why I think it would be intriguing to explore both sides extensively to see which style fits better in the modern day.