Raisingchildrenhasbecomea complicated duty in the world today where parents need not only tomake their children understand to behave in a particular way, whichis acceptable in the society, but also to inspire them. However,parents use various parenting styles, which can be attributed todifferent cultural backgrounds and exposures. Parenting style is apsychological construct, which the parents adopt in bringing up theirchildren. There are various ways of raising children, which can becategorized as authoritarian, authoritative, permissive anduninvolved parenting among others. In some of these, parents can seemto be very harsh and strict, while others they are warm andencouraging. As a result, theyproducechildren with different characteristics as their outcomes differ.
Forinstance, in the case under study, Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart areauthoritarian parents who believe in the importance of sterndiscipline. The children have to follow set rules, which are strictwithout questioning them. In case there is any violation, the parentspenalize their children harshly, frequently with spanking.
Accordingto Trifan, Stattin and Tilton (2014) authoritarian parenting style iswhere parents are strict to their children and expect them to followthe rules without exception just like Mr. and Mrs. Harsh Heart. Inthis kind of parenting, the children are seldom involved in makingdecisions of the family as there is no room for negotiation. Thisstyle of parenting has been linked with unfortunate social andemotional development of children as the parents exercise highbehavior control and low responsiveness (Trifan et al., 2014).
Theparents of these families are normally harsh towards their childrenas shown in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart. As a consequence,the children will either grow to be very obedient and can fit to workin institutions, which are authoritative such as police or military.On the other hand, the children can develop low self-esteem issues asthey have been raised in an environment where they have learnednothing about self-expression(Friedson, 2016).
Moreover,the children will also practice the same behavior to expressthemselves as they have not been taught to appreciate differentopinions from people. In some instances, they might rebel as they tryto express themselves since they feel that they are in a prison wherethey need to break out because of the strictness of their parents(Friedson, 2016).
Onthe other hand, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Easy-Going exercisesauthoritative parenting style. The children are not enticed to followany rules for fear of punishment, but parents encourage them to knowthat there are consequences for bad and wrong choices in life. Thechildren in this family are involved in setting household rulesthrough holding regular meetings. High behavior control characterizesthe family exercising authoritative parenting.
Accordingto Larzelere, Morris, and Harrist (2013), an authoritative familyutilizes a strategy, which includes the children in decision makingas witnessed in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Easy-Going family. Theparents of this family are warm and responsive towards the well-beingof their children. As a consequence, the children are allowed to haverelative freedom of choice to enhance their independent thinking(Larzelereet al., 2013).
Thismode of parenting has been useful as it fosters confidence inchildren as they learn to express themselves (Larzelereet al., 2013).As a consequence, the children will grow with high self-esteem. Also,as their parents have been warm and have involved them in makingfamily decisions, these children will grow up being responsible.However, the problem of this parenting is that children mightoverlook and challenge the decisions of their parents as there is nomotivation not to(Larzelere et al., 2013).
EthicalConsideration in Spanking a Child
Whatis morally right depends on whether parents justify their actions byutilitarian, egoism, natural law, Kantian theory or religious beliefs(Williams, 2012).In utilitarian theory, parents can use any means to punish theirchild as long as they believe that the end results will bring morehappiness (Williams,2012).Thus, a parent might employ spanking, if he/she thinks that thismethod will bring more satisfying results in the changing of unwantedbehavior. Furthermore, a parent might be guided by ego. In this case,a parent does what is best for himself/herself without regard for thechildren’s interest.
However,parents who utilize Kantian and natural law theory, they might feelthat spanking is not the right way to raise their children. This isbecause natural law theory acknowledges that every human being hashis/her rights and dignity and deserves to be respected(United Nations, n.d.).Thus, a parent who applies this moral theory will not punish his/herchildren by spanking because the mode seems harsh.
Moreover,a parent who adopts Kantian principles will treat any human as he/shewishes to be treated. Kantian acknowledges that people should not beused as a means to end rather than the end itself(Stanford, n.d.).Therefore, a parent guided by this moral principal will likely notresult to spanking a child as a mode of punishment. Subsequently,some parents might be guided by religion in deciding if spanking achild is right.
For,an instance in Christianity there is a verse that says spare the rodand spoil a child. It is thus logical that anyone who has been taughtin that manner would believe spanking is right. Nevertheless, in someinstances, spanking can be regarded unethical, especially where itencourages aggression, and it is harmful to a child (Williams,2012).For instance, it is unethical to spank a child who is not old enoughto understand the mistake he/she has done. Moreover, it is alsounethical if it results in more harm than intended positive effect.
Therefore,due to diversity, there are various parenting styles that parents canadopt. Each of these styles produces different result. For instance,in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Harsh-Heart who exercises authoritarian,the parents seem to be very restricted, and the children play no rolein the formation of household rules neither do they question them. Asa result, these children tend to be very conservative and have lowself-esteem.
Onthe other hand, Mr. and Mrs. Easy-Going employ an authoritativeparenting style where they involve their children in deciding thehousehold meetings. In this family, the children are taught theimportance of the consequences of wrong actions, and they are notpunished for their actions through spanking. As a result, thechildren feel loved as their parents are warm to them. As aconsequence, they grow having high self-esteem and being confident.
Also,these children are characterized by a high sense of responsibility asthey have previously been involved in family decisions. It isimportant to note that there are ethical considerations to consider,which are determined by the application of various moral theories.Nevertheless, what might be ethical to one parent might not be toanother. As a result, parents exercise different parenting styles,which produce different outcomes.
Friedson,M. (2016). Authoritarian parenting attitudes and social origin: Themultigenerational relationship of socioeconomic position tochildrearing values. ChildAbuse & Neglect,51,263-275.
Larzelere,R. E., Morris, A. S. E., & Harrist, A. W. (2013). Authoritativeparenting: Synthesizing nurturance and discipline for optimal childdevelopment.American Psychological Association.
Stanford.(n.d.). Kant`s Moral Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia ofPhilosophy). Retrieved fromhttp://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/
Trifan,T. A., Stattin, H., & Tilton‐Weaver,L. (2014). Have authoritarian parenting practices and roles changedin the last 50 years?. Journalof Marriage and Family,76(4),744-761.
UnitedNations. (n.d.). Universal Declaration of Human Rights | UnitedNations. Retrieved fromhttp://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
Williams.(2012). Morality:An Introduction to Ethics.Cambridge University Press.