The aim of this study was to find out if there were any gender differences in child rearing practices and as a result determine how they affect the parent‐child relationship. The participants chosen were given a survey which asked primary demographic questions, regarding which parent/parents they have lived with the most, and questions that were related to the gender roles of each parent. Participants were also handed over the Parental Bonding Inventory that measures maternal care and over protectiveness and paternal care and over protectiveness. Noteworthy gender differences were found in the ways in which the parents interacted with their children. For example most young people in the area have been raised by traditional parents and felt close bond with their mothers. Mothers on average were found to spent more time with their children in general than their fathers, spent more time taking care of their children, were more likely not to work full time, were seen as more overprotective and more caring, spent the most quality time with their children, and still speak to their children more often today. Another gender difference between fathers and mothers seen in the families was that fathers were found more likely to be overprotective of their daughters as compared to the degree for their sons. The results of the study endorsed traditional gender expectations, with mothers spending more time with their children and children in turn feeling closer to their mothers while in a growing up phase.
In the late 20th century the term parenthood is found to be undergoing a profound and significant transformation in almost every part of the globe. There had also been a major shift in the language used in the social sciences to refer to human parenting. Twenty years ago parenting meant mothering, and either the studies conducted frankly labeled their subject "mothers" or one quickly learned that all the subjects were women, through the title referred to solely to parents. A decade ago one also started to see the label "care giver", most likely to project the belief that parenting can be done not only by fathers as well mothers but by non parent surrogates too (Lewis & Rosenblum, 1974).
The interdependence of parents and children is a lifelong process that begins at conception and continues throughout late adulthood. Psychology over and over again deal with the subject of nature versus nurture. Some claim that an environment has the potential to shape a child’s standard of living, personality, self concept, etc; whereas others believe that these things are innate to the child. For the largest part a child’s parents are the most significant people in their lives until the teen years and in our society even after he/she turns into man and finally gets married too. Most children and even adults are reliant upon their parents for food, shelter, finances, and companionship. Parental love and at the same time punishments can put forth a massive influence on children’s personality and attitudes. In the western world however during the teenage years some children may believe that they have developed a sense of self and would like to live on their own independently away from their parents. Nevertheless being dependant on their parents in other areas of their life could possibly serve as a hindrance to the teen’s true independence. Because of the reason, the teen’s need for independence and the parent’s will and wishes for the teen are time and again in conflict.
Each stage of a child’s development brings in a different way psychosocial challenges and fulfillment for parents. During infancy both the parents experience the delight of getting to know a new human being who is just beginning to take shape as an individual, and along that
they experience the awe-inspiring duty of providing the infant with devoted care. During the time of preschool years, the major challenge involves the issue of authority, not only over the child, but also between the spouses. An absolute visible conflict between the husband and wife and between parent and child is greater during the preschool years because of the financial burdens and issues, multiplying household tasks, and shifting parental roles. With the onset of adolescent stage, new parenting issues rises, as teenagers demand the rights of adulthood, and frequently ask questions concerning parental values, assumptions, and competence.
As long as the parents and adolescents are living together under the same roof, some absolute clashes does takes place in most families. Adolescents both male and female in general believe that they should be approved of the privileges of adult status much earlier; and more extensively, than parents do ( Holmbeck & 0’ Donnell, 1991). This difference of opinion over status and age rises from the generational stake. Twenty years old believe that controversies between themselves and their parents involves basic values such as personal privacy and freedom, which ought not be interfered with by parents. Parents also believe that the same issues (sleeping late on weekends, engaging in long telephone conversations, wearing tight and revealing clothes, and leaving one’s room in a mess) ought to be within their authority, since they have the child’s well being at their heart. However few parents can make a critical comment about the dirty socks in the floor, and few adolescents can calmly listen to "expressions of concern" without feeling they are unfairly judged ( Sematana & Asquith, 1994).
The style of child rearing practices used by parents may be influenced by parent’s own cultural heritage. Gender roles are the beliefs about ways in which individual, familial, community and societal roles are defined by gender (Slavkin & Stright, 2000). In traditional families, there are significant traditional gender roles, which are said to be common, in which the male figure is mostly the breadwinner and the female is concerned with the childcare and housekeeping. In such set up masculinity is being defined as independent, forceful, and aggressive where as femininity is defined as being nurturing, sensitive and emotional.
It has been found mothers on average spend more time taking care of children than fathers do. It is there for said children feel more emotional closeness to their mothers than their fathers because they have spent more time with their mothers. Researchers have also begun to study the affect of the child’s attachment to the father in addition to the mothers. Regardless of what people may think, father’s relationships with their children in reality is very important and notable. According to Dalton III, Frick‐Horbury, and Kitzmann (2006) reports regarding father’s parenting, except mothers, were linked to the quality of present relationships with a romantic partner. Furthermore father’s parenting was associated to the view of the self as being capable of developing close and secure relationships (Dalton et al, 2006).
Parenting Styles & Child Personality
According to Baumrind, there are generally three types of parenting styles. Authoritarian parenting "attempts to shape, control, and evaluate the behavior and attitudes of the child in accordance with a set standard of conduct… any deviations will result in "forceful measures to curb self-will" (Baumrind, 1968). A style of child rearing in which standards for proper behavior are high, misconduct is strictly punished, and child to parent communication is low. Children who are raised by authoritarian parents are under the absolute authority of their parents, and are deprived of their own independence and freedom to do as they wish to. Each act and mostly every decision of the child’s life is decided by the child’s parents. Parents stick to the attitude that they are the ultimate authority figures, and children are expectant to be submissive at the expense of their own desires. Authoritarian parents seem aloof from their children, showing little affection or nurturance. Demand for maturity is high in this parenting style.
Adolescents raised in authoritarian homes, are more dependant, more passive, less socially adept, less self-assured, and less intellectually curious (Steinburg, 2001 & Kurdek, Fine, 1994).
Conversely, a permissive/indulgent parent "allows the child to regulate his own activities as much as possible" (Baumrind, 1968). Children with permissive parents are frequently expectant to put forth their own independence and to make their own decisions in life. These children often receive very little parental guidance in life’s decisions. Parents mostly give up their positions as authority figures and treat their children as their peers with their own agendas. It’s a style of child rearing in which parents rarely punish, guide or control their children, but are nurturant and communicate well with their children. Discipline is lax because demand for maturity is low.
Many adolescents raised in permissive households are often less mature, more irresponsible, more confirming to their peers, and less able to assume positions of leadership (Steinburg, 2001 & Kurdek, Fine, 1994).
Between these two extremes is authoritative parenting. An authoritative parent "directs the child’s activities… in a rational, issue-oriented manner… [and] encourages verbal give and take" (Baumrind, 1968). A style of child rearing in which the parents set limits and provide guidance but are willing to listen to the child’s ideas and make compromises. Under this unique parenting style children are encouraged to make their own decisions and choices as well as exert their own freedom, however limitations are present and compromises with parents on certain issues must be made. Rather than dictating their child, authoritative parents make sure they listen to their child’s point of view and make suggestions and offer direction accordingly. Older children, particularly teenagers, have an inherent psychological need to affirm their independence and build up their independent sense of self apart from their parents, many earlier researches have concluded that this type of parenting yields the healthiest and most emotionally and mentally stable children, at least for western cultures. The parents demand maturity of their offspring, but they also are understanding and nurturant, forgiving rather than punishing a child when demand for maturity are not meant.
In general, young people who have been raised in authoritative households are more psychosocially competent than peers who have been raised in authoritarian or permissive homes. Adolescents who are raised in authoritative homes are more responsible, more self-assured, more adaptive, more creative, more curious, more socially skilled, and more successful in school (Steinburg, 2001 & Kurdek, Fine, 1994).
Another type of child rearing style is the indifferent parenting. They try to do whatever is necessary to minimize the time and energy that must devote to interacting with their children. In extreme cases indifferent parents are neglectful. They know little about their child activities and whereabouts, show little interest in their child’s experiences at school or with friends, rarely converse with their children, and rarely consider their child’s opinion when making decisions. Rather than raising their child according to a set of beliefs about what is good for the child’s development ( as do the other three parent types), indifferent parents are "parent-centered", they structure their home life primarily around their own needs and interests.
Many adolescents raised in indifferent homes are often impulsive and more likely to be involved in delinquent behavior and in precocious experiments with sex, drugs, and alcohol (Fulgini & Eccles, 1993). Parenting that is indifferent, neglectful, or abusive has been shown consistently to have harmful effects on the adolescent’s mental health and development, leading to depression and a variety of behavior problem, including in case of physical abuse, aggression toward others (Crittenden, Claussen, & Sugarman, 1994).
To explore the perception that most young people feel they have close bond with their mothers.
To investigate that mothers on average spend more time with their children and are more caring as compared to fathers.
To explore the perception that fathers are more over protective of their daughters as compared to their sons.
To find out the effect of parenting style on parent-child relationship