Raising Your Child's Inner Self-Esteem: The Authoritative Guide from Infancy through the Teen Years

By Karen Owens | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Mothers and
Fathers as Disciplinarians

The chapters that comprise the second half of this book are designed to help parents create conditions in the home that promote the development of children's and adolescents' competencies in academic, social, physical, and moral domains. The information and suggestions offered are applicable to children of all age levels. We begin with how parents as effective disciplinarians can help their children develop inner self-esteem.

Socialization is "an adult-initiated process by which developing children, through insight, training, and imitation, acquire the habits and values congruent with adaptation to their culture." 1 A major part of children's socialization depends on helping them to develop social controls or adopt society's rules of behavior. In this sense, parents monitor their children's acts, offering approval or withholding it, in order to help shape children's future acts. While socialization does occur in the child's first year, the onset of socialization pressure or discipline generally comes in the second year. 2


Mothers and Fathers as Socializing Agents

In parenting, fathers tend to place more emphasis on child protection, self-sufficiency, initiative, and competition, while mothers tend to focus on concern for others and self-sacrifice. In accomplishing these goals, fathers are apt to use forceful techniques such as parental power and authority, whereas mothers stress more interpersonal techniques such as reasoning, nurturance, and praise. 3 Moreover, fathers are more likely to report encouraging independence and assertiveness in their children, whereas mothers are more likely to report encouraging ap-

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