Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Parenting and Social Roles in Turkish Traditional Families: Issues and Choices in Parenting for Turkish Expatriate Families Living in Bucharest

Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Parenting and Social Roles in Turkish Traditional Families: Issues and Choices in Parenting for Turkish Expatriate Families Living in Bucharest

Article excerpt

Abstract: This article looks into the issues and challenges of parenting in Turkish families upholding traditional values that live in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Based on theoretical mainstreams on parenting and the structure of Turkish families, a qualitative research was designed with two aims. The first was to describe the issues and choices in parenting for Turkish expatriate families living in a foreign country. The second was to find out to which of the three ideal-types of families according to Baumrind (permissive, authoritarian, authoritative) do they fit closest. According to the main findings, these Turkish expatriate families show traits somewhere between Baumrind's authoritative and authoritarian types of family. The parents' own values are taken as reference. However, the child's obedience is not an end in itself, using realistic restrictions and giving importance to reasoning for the policies they apply concerning the child's development. Within the family, the father has a dominant position, in charge with securing the economic resources, while the wife main roles are household management and child rearing.

Keywords: Parenting, family, child rearing, Turkish traditional family, roles in the family, motherhood

1. Introduction

In the past 20 years, increasing economic and political ties between Romania and Turkey meant not just a steady expansion in the flow of goods, services and capital, but also in the formation of a community of Turkish citizens living in Romania for business, work or study. This article looks into the issues and challenges of parenting in expatriate Turkish families upholding traditional values. Based on theoretical mainstreams on parenting and the structure of Turkish families, a qualitative research was designed to describe the issues facing Turkish families living in Bucharest.

2. Parenting as a social process

Parents are considered as the first educators of children. Akkok (1999) underlines the importance of family for socialization as primary agents, which influence the child both indirectly and directly. Thus, a partnership between teachers and parents is seen as a necessity for an effective process of learning.

Baumrind (1971) introduced a classification of parents into three groups according to their choices of control mechanisms over the children:

1. Parents in the "Permissive" category allocate a resource to children and give them responsibility to modify, regulate or shape their behaviour as much as possible.

2. Parents in "Authoritarian" category take their own values as reference, give importance to obedience as most important, and exert extended precautions if their children behave in conflict to such values.

3. Parents in "Authoritative" category try to control the activities of their children without considering the obedience as a priority. They use realistic restrictions and give importance to reasoning for the policies they apply for the sake of child's own development.

According to Davies (2000, p. 245), parenting "is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the activity of raising a child rather than the biological relationship." The choices made during this process by the parents, especially on autonomy and warmth have long-lasting effects in enhancing the confidence and identity development during puberty and adolescence (Kamptner, 1988).

Involving parents into educational programs significantly increases their parenting skills and leads to eliminate problems in many areas such as unusual expectations from the child, lack of understanding of the child's requirements, parent-child relationship, methodology of family education for the child, meeting child's emotional, social and physical needs. Croake & Glover (1977) view parenting education as the learning activity in which parents intend to change their methodology of interaction with the child for gaining more affirmative behaviour. …

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