PSY109 Spring 2014 Writing Assignment #
Accordingto Erik Erikson, one of the most celebrated developmentalpsychologists, an individual goes through eight stages of developmentfrom childhood to old age. In the early stages of an individual’sdevelopment, a clear understanding and a balance between theconflicting forces in Erikson theory is very essential in parenting.At the age of 4 to 5 years, a child is trying master their world andthere is always a conflict between initiative and guilt. Although thechild has developed self initiative, they feel guilty if theinitiative result into negative effects. The child is eager to trynew things and play with their peers. Play is therefore veryessential at this stage. However, increased conscience result intoguilt and therefore threats and excessive punishment may negativelyaffect child’s development. The parenting style chosen by theparent should be appropriate for the particular stage of developmentwhile taking into account the characters of the child. In general,there are four basic types of parenting style. They includeauthoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful parenting.Authoritative parenting style is a democratic approach to parentingwhich involves constant communication, set rules and responsibility.Authoritarian parenting is a strict approach with littlecommunication and high expectation. Permissive or indulgent parentingallows children to make their own decisions without any expectation.Neglectful parenting is an uninvolved parenting where the parents donot care about what the child does.
Inmy early age of development, my father assumed a different parentingstyle compared to the style adopted by my mother. Influenced by hismilitary career, my father adopted an authoritative parenting style.According to my father’s rule, if you are living under his roof,you had to live according to his rules. Despite being very strict, myfather was both supportive and forgiving and would always guide us onthe need to behave appropriately. On the other hand, my mother alwaysallowed us to make our own decisions on what is good or bad from avery early age. She adopted a permissive or indulgent parentingstyle. My mother was more of a friend that a parent. She did not havedefined expectations or rules but played an important role in shapingour morals through close monitoring and guidance.
Duringthe initiative vs. guilt stage of life, a child is likely to acquirebad behaviors while requiring initiative. The increase independenceability to do things on their own requires choices and parentalguidance. The balance between strict rules and providing a positiveenvironment for character developed that characterized my father’sparenting style had a positive impact on my life. Although we livedby the rules, my father was very democratic and we had a sense ofindependence, but with responsibility. Today, I am able to interactand fit in different social structures due to the guidance of myfather. However, is should admit that the responsive nature of mymother’s indulgent could have negatively affected my life withoutthe strict rules from my father. With hear parenting style, is couldhave easily grown into an irresponsible lad.
Asa parent, it is important to adopt a style that promotes autonomy andindependence in a child going through initiative vs. guilt stage oflife. I would adopt my father’s authoritative parenting style. Thisis because it promotes discipline, communication and expectations. Achild in the initiative vs. guilt stage may face challenges incorrect judgment and therefore rules and communication is verynecessary. While punishment is important in shaping the morals of thechild, constant punishment and criticism without proper guidance mayhave negative impacts on the child. It provides a perfectopportunity for nurturing mature and responsible children and membersof the society. Also it promotes development of the child emotions,independence and courage.