Maintaining Parenting Styles In China And The United State

1531 words - 7 pages

An effective parenting style is something that many parents want to pursue as it plays a vital role on children’s development. Among different parenting style, the Chinese one is described as “restrictive” and “controlling” (Chiu, 1987) while the U.S. one is described as “accepting” and “forgiving” (Chao, 2000). Some psychologists and scholars, such as Baumrind, have begun researching on it, trying to find a parenting style that can fit most parents’ expectation. Yet, due to the diverse culture of China and the U.S., it is difficult to propose a parenting style that can be applied in both countries. To help parents have a better understanding towards it, this essay will analyze the ...view middle of the document...

And until now, this kind of child-rearing style is still kept in America society. It may largely due to the fact that people learn parenting styles from their own parents and they just modify it slightly (Santrock, 2007). It means that the knowledge that we have about child rearing comes from our ancestors and how parents rear their children affects the way they rear their next generations. As a result, the Chinese may continue adapting the authoritarian parenting style while the Americans may keep on developing their own lenient parenting style. Based on it, we can predict that it is difficult to require the general to change their perceptions and adapt a new parenting style in a short time.

At the same time, the difference role of parents in China and America also becomes a barrier for experts to propose a parenting style that can be adapted in every family. In Chinese society, parents or grandparents own the highest power or status in a family. They are the elder members of a family and thus children should obey then. This may largely due to the influence of Confucianism: “no matter how unreasonable parents’ demands, or how harsh the treatment inflicted by parents, children must obey, endure and make sure that the parents’ wishes are fulfilled” (O’Brian & Lau, 1995). Because traditional Chinese values, such as obedience, filial piety and self-discipline, have been well-executed among the society, Chinese children are required to obey their parents and follow what they say. It explains why authoritarian parenting style can be kept in China and last for decades. However, this become a barrier to scholars at the same time because authoritarian parenting style is found to be an efficient way of building authority in front of children and the Chinese may probably not give it up. Meanwhile, the relationship between parents and children in the U.S. is more like friends compared with the Chinese one. For example, American parents “are concerned with making their children feel love” (Chao, 2000, p. 236). They believe the best way to understand their children is to communicate with them like friends, and therefore, they will do lots of things that the Chinese parents seldom do so, including praising their kids, sharing happiness with them and soothing them when they have difficulties at school. It leads to a more understanding and lenient parenting style in the U.S. As a result, there is a difficulty in finding a single parenting style that can highlight the power of Chinese parents in a family while not destroying the relationship between parents and children in the U.S.

The third difficulty is to fulfill the Chinese and American parents’ expectations on children by a single type of child-rearing method. Chinese parents focus on children’s academic achievement while the American parents emphasize a balanced development. As Campbell and Mandel (1990) notes, children’s academic achievement is perceived as very important in Chinese society, and...

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