Child rearing theories

Beginning in the 17th century, two philosophers published books that have had a huge impact on child rearing. From a Puritan perspective, John Locke’s 1693 book Some Thoughts Concerning Education is a well-known foundation for educational pedagogy. Locke emphasises the relevance of experiences in a child’s growth and advises to develop physical habits first. Emile: or, On Education, was published in 1762 by the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He advocated that a child’s early education should be based less on books and more on experiences with the outside world. Rousseau is more in favour of gradual parenting, while Locke is more in favour of deliberate cultivation.

The cognitive development hypothesis of Jean Piaget describes how children represent and reason about the world. The Sensorimotor stage, Preoperational stage, Concrete operational stage, and Formal operational stage are all part of this developmental stage paradigm. Piaget was a forerunner in the field of child development. His ideas continue to impact parents, educators, and other thinkers today.


Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist, claimed that each individual must progress through eight life stages. A crisis must arise in order to go through the eight stages. Then there’s a fresh dilemma that propels you forward to the next stage. Parents may choose a variety of parenting approaches that aid each child as suitable at each step. They must comprehend and balance two opposing forces at each level.

The first five of his eight stages occur during childhood: the virtue of hope necessitates a delicate balance of trust and suspicion, and it usually occurs between the ages of birth and one year. Around the age of two to three, Will strikes a balance between autonomy and guilt and doubt. At the age of four to six years, purpose balances initiative with guilt. Around the age of seven to twelve, competence weighs industry against inadequacy. In the ages of 13 to 19, fidelity contrasts identity with role confusion. Love, caring, and knowledge are the remaining adult virtues.

Rudolf Dreikurs felt that pre-adolescent misconduct sprang from an unfulfilled desire to belong to a social group. They then act out a series of four erroneous goals, according to him: first, they want attention. If they don’t obtain it, they go after power, retribution, and lastly feeling insufficient. This approach is employed in both education and parenting, and it is a useful tool for dealing with misbehaviour. Other parenting approaches that enhance learning and happiness should be adopted as well. He underlined the importance of establishing a democratic family style that avoids punishment by using a strategy of periodic democratic family councils. He promotes “logical and natural consequences,”. They teach youngsters responsibility and the inherent consequences of following standards of conduct and breaking them.

Frank Furedi is a sociologist who specialises in child rearing and family dynamics. He argues that parents’ acts are less decisive than what others assert. He defines neonatal determinism as “the determination of a person’s life chances based on what occurs to them during infancy,” claiming that there is little or no evidence to support it. While commercial, governmental, and other interests strive to get parents to do more and be more concerned about their children, he believes that children can thrive in practically any situation. Steve Petersen of Washington University in St. Furedi quoted Louis by saying: “Development is eager to take place. To stifle development, create a hostile environment… don’t raise your child in a closet, starve them, or smack them in the head with a frying pan “..

In his book No Fear, journalist Tim Gill highlighted concern about excessive risk aversion among parents and those responsible for children. This aversion reduces children’s opportunity to develop adequate adult abilities, especially in coping with risk, but also in engaging in adventurous and imaginative activities.

In 1998, independent scholar Judith Rich Harris published The Nurture Assumption. Here, she argued that scientific evidence, particularly behavioural genetics, showed that all forms of child rearing, with the exception of severe child abuse or neglect, have no significant effects on children’s development. She provides two primary points for the consequences: genetic influences and social effects involving children’s peer groups. The ostensible impacts of various parenting styles are all illusions generated by inheritance, culture, and children’s own influence on how their parents treat them.

Baumrind’s typology of parenting

Diana Baumrind is a researcher who specialises in categorising parenting styles. Baumrind’s parenting typology is the result of his research. She discovered four main characteristics in her research that she believes might assist create good parenting: responsiveness vs. unresponsiveness, and demanding vs. undemanding. Parental responsiveness is the degree to which a parent reacts to a child’s needs in a helpful and accepting manner.

Parental Demandingness is a parent’s set of rules for their child’s behaviour, as well as the expectations for their children to follow those standards and the severity of the consequences if they break the rules. Baumrind recognised three basic parenting styles based on her research: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting. Maccoby and Martin added to Baumrind’s three initial parenting styles by categorising them into two groups: demanding and non-demanding.

Baumlind believes that parents should not be harsh or indifferent to their children. Instead, they should set rules for their children and treat them with affection. These parenting styles depict natural parenting changes rather than bad parenting, such as that seen in abusive households.

Furthermore, parenting stress can lead to inconsistency, greater negative communication, decreased monitoring and/or supervision, setting unclear rules or restrictions on conduct, being more reactive rather than proactive, and engaging in progressively harsh disciplinary practises.

Child rearing styles, psychological and behavioural difficulties, as well as academic success are related according to Chandler, Heffer, and Turner.

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