kitchen table math, the sequel: extreme parenting

Friday, January 14, 2011

extreme parenting

The New York Times has a group of responses to Amy Chua's "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior."

I thought two were interesting:

The Power of Conviction

Defining Success for Myself

Amazingly, no one has thought to ask Laurence Steinberg what he thinks. At this point, we have 50 years of research into what type of parenting produces great kids, but no one mentions it over at the Times.

multiple choice:

a) authoritarian
b) permissive
c) authoritative
d) disengaged

The answer is C.


Crimson Wife said...

Didn't Steinberg find that that was only true within ethnic groups?

ChemProf said...

Yes and no, according to this. Yes for psychosocial, not necessarily for academic accomplishment.

"Although in the United States authoritative parenting is most common among intact, middle-class families of European descent, the relationship between authoritativeness and child outcomes is quite similar across groups. There are some exceptions to this general statement, however: (1) demandingness appears to be less critical to girls’ than to boys’ well-being (Weiss & Schwarz, 1996), and (2) authoritative parenting predicts good psychosocial outcomes and problem behaviors for adolescents in all ethnic groups studied (African-, Asian-, European-, and Hispanic Americans), but it is associated with academic performance only among European Americans and, to a lesser extent, Hispanic Americans (Steinberg, Dornbusch, & Brown, 1992; Steinberg, Darling, & Fletcher, 1995). Chao (1994) and others (Darling & Steinberg, 1993) have argued that observed ethnic differences in the association of parenting style with child outcomes may be due to differences in social context, parenting practices, or the cultural meaning of specific dimensions of parenting style."

Catherine Johnson said...

Didn't Steinberg find that that was only true within ethnic groups?

I've ordered my copy of the book, but my memory is that he says that authoritative parenting produces more successful kids in all ethnic groups he studied.

I'll check.

fyi: authoritative parenting means high warmth/high discipline, exactly the atmosphere created in a Jesuit boys high school.

I had lunch with the president of our school board yesterday, a public school teacher in Yonkers. I said something about C's school & he said that C's school can throw kids out when they don't behave.

That's true, but that's not why the school is so successful. The school is successful because it doesn't **have** to throw kids out. The authoritative culture of the place keeps kids who wouldn't be able to keep it together in public school on track.

There are quite a few SPED kids doing very well there without IEPs & 504 accommodations.

Catherine Johnson said...

Authoritative parenting means: strict control over behavior and laissez faire over thought.

In other words, a child raised by authoritative parents is supported in becoming intellectually and emotionally and probably even morally independent.

He or she is not allowed to **do** whatever he or she wants to do.

Mental freedom, not behavioral freedom.

That is a critical distinction that permissive parents don't make.