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					                                       BAB I




                                 PENDAHULUAN




1.1    PENGENALAN


Sebagai seorang ibu atau bapa, mengambil berat tentang pertumbuhan anak-anak
mereka adalah sangat penting. Pertumbuhan kanak-kanak dipengaruhi oleh pelbagai
faktor. Menurut kepada kajian psikologi, sifat semulajadi kanak-kanak, perasaan
selamat semasa bersama ibu bapa dan gaya keibubapaan merupakan faktor-faktor
yang mempengaruhi pertumbuhan kanak-kanak. Selain perlu mengenali dan
memahami anaknya, ibu bapa harus mengenali dan memahami dirinya sendiri terlebih
dulu. Umumnya, ahli psikologi merumuskan ada dua komponen utama dalam gaya
keibubapaan. Yang pertama ialah „responsif‟, iaitu sebanyak mana kebebasan
diberikan, manakala kedua ialah „permintaan‟, iaitu sebanyak mana disiplin atau hala
tuju akan ditentukan. Dengan kata lain, ibu bapa berdepan dengan paradoks: antara
kasih sayang dan kepemimpinan. Kasih sayang ialah responsifnya terhadap kehendak
anaknya, manakala kepemimpinan pula ialah permintaannya terhadap keperluan masa
depan anaknya. Pertembungan, dinamika dan keseimbangan antara kedua-dua
komponen ini dapat menentukan gaya keibubapaan. Oleh itu, diharapkan bahan ini
dapat memberi sumbangan dari sudut memberi gambaran apakah gaya keibubapaan
yang dapat mempengaruhi pembentukan sahsiah anak-anak yang mempunyai nilai
diri yang tinggi.




                                                                                       1
                                       BAB II




                              KONSEP BAUMRIND




2.1    PENGENALAN


Diana Baumrind (1967; 1971) menegaskan bahawa terdapat perkaitan rapat antara
cara gaya ibu bapa membimbing anak mereka dengan perkembangan sosial dan
konsep kendiri kanak-kanak. Mengikut Baumrind, terdapat tiga jenis cara gaya
keibubapaan, iaitu autoritarian, permisif dan autoritatif. Perbezaan antara ketiga-tiga
jenis ini berasaskan peraturan keluarga, kawalan pada tingkah laku kanak-kanak dan
tahap penerimaan perbincangan dan sikap bertolak ansur ibu bapa.


2.2    AUTORITARIAN


Ibu bapa membesarkan kanak-kanak dengan mengenakan kawalan yang ketat pada
tingkah laku anak dengan membuat peraturan-peraturan, memastikan nilai-nilai
dipatuhi oleh anak dan tidak membenarkan anak menyoal peraturan-peraturan dan
nilai tersebut. Sebaliknya, disiplin amat ketat, malahan cita-cita anak ditentukan ibu
bapa. Kebebasan hampir tidak diberikan dan pendapat anak jarang didengar. Mereka
juga tidak mengamalkan tolak ansur secara lisan dan percaya bahawa kanak-kanak
harus menerima perintah tanpa soal. Keputusan yang dibuat oleh ibu bapa tidak boleh
dibantah. Ibu bapa jenis ini ingin membentuk, mengawal dan menilai tingkah laku
anak mengikut piawaan yang mutlak. Oleh sebab mereka lebih menitikberatkan
kepatuhan anak, mereka lebih cenderung menggunakan kaedah disiplin yang bersifat
hukuman.


       Walaupun mereka pengasih dan penyayang, anak mereka tidak merasainya.
Ibu bapa tidak bersikap responsif terhadap anak, bersikap tidak fleksibel dan ketat
                                                                                     2
dalam mengawal tingkah laku anak. Ibu bapa yang autoritarian rendah responsifnya,
tetapi amat tinggi permintaannya.


         Kesannya hubungan di antara ibu bapa dan anak-anak akan lebih
renggang.Anak-anak merasa tidak mempercayai dan berpuas hati. Gagal menjalinkan
kemesraan dan komunikasi dua hala. Remaja yang dibesarkan dalam suasana
autoritarian berkemungkinan besar berjaya dalam peperiksaan dan kerjayanya, tetapi
mungkin memiliki peribadi yang kaku, rendah harga diri dan terlalu bergantung
kepada arahan pihak berkuasa.


2.3      PERMISIF


Cara gaya keibubapaan bersifat permisif dicirikan oleh komunikasi yang terbuka dan
ibu bapa kurang menekankan tingkah laku baik anak. Ibu bapa seperti ini
berkomunikasi secara terbuka dan tidak berusaha untuk membentuk tingkah laku anak.
Ibu bapa jenis ini tidak membuat banyak permintaan terhadap anak mereka dan
memberikan anak mereka sepenuh kebebasan. Mereka kurang menggunakan kawalan,
penjelasan, kuasa atau kekerasan untuk mengawal anak. Mereka berperanan sebagai
sumber yang memenuhi kehendak anak dan bukan sebagai ejen-ejen aktif yang
terlibat dalam penentuan tingkah laku anak. Anak dibiarkan mengatur aktiviti sendiri
dan ibu bapa mengelakkan daripada mengenakan kawalan terhadap anak.


         Walau bagaimanapun ibu bapa jenis ini cuba menyediakan keadaan yang
membimbing untuk perkembangan kanak-kanak tetapi gagal sama sekali untuk
memberi had batasan yang tegas kepada anak. Hasilnya, anak menjadi tidak mampu
menghadapi rasa frustrasi, mengalami kesulitan dalam menerima tanggung jawab,
tidak dewasa secara sosial-emosional, dan kurangnya kontrol diri serta rasa percaya
diri..


2.4      AUTORITATIF


Ibu bapa mengenakan peraturan atau had batasan tingkah laku tertentu tetapi
membenarkan komunikasi yang bersifat terbuka dan anak-anak juga diberi kebebasan
untuk membuat keputusan sendiri dalam beberapa perkara.Ibu bapa aken menjalinkan
                                                                                  3
kemesraan dan komunikasi dua hala dengan anak. Ibu bapa jenis ini bersifat fleksibel
dan rasional dalam sikap dan pandangan serta menggalakkan kanak-kanak supaya
berdikari. Walaupun mengenakan kawalan yang tegas tetapi membenarkan kebebasan
beransuran yang bersesuaian dengan tahap kematangan anak. Disiplin dan hala tuju
ditentukan dan diterangkan rasionalnya. Ibu bapa yang autoritatif pula mempunyai
keseimbangan antara responsif dan permintaan. Mereka akrab, komunikatif dan anak
digalakkan bersuara. Kasih sayang diberikan, ditunjukkan dan dirasai. Anak mereka
bebas menentukan cita-cita dengan ibu bapa memberikan panduan dan bimbingan.


       Autoritatif yang lebih berasaskan konsep demokratik seperti kesamarataan dan
amanah lebih berjaya membimbing anak-anak ke arah pencapaian potensi mereka
sebagai individu yang bertanggungjawab, berdikari, produktif dan berakhlak mulia.
Hal ini cenderung menghasilkan anak yang kompeten, memiliki tanggung jawab
secara sosial, yakin pada dirinya, dan mandiri. Pada kondisi yang positif seperti inilah
anak dapat mengembangkan rasa percaya diri yang tinggi dan konsep diri yang positif.




                                                                                       4
                                          BAB III




                       KONSEP MACCOBY DAN JOHN MARTIN




   3.1    PENGENALAN


   Daripada kajian Maccoby dan Martin, gaya keibubapaan yang berlainan akan
   mempengaruhi pertumbuhan kanak-kanak secara langsung. Maccoby dan Martin
   memgembangkan lagi teori Baumrind kepada dua dimensi yang menitikberatkan
   tentang tahap ibubapa mengawal kanak-kanak dan tahap penerimaan atau tindak balas
   daripada ibu dan bapa. Dengan mengabungkan kedua-dua dimensi ini, akan
   mewujudkan empat jenis gaya keibubapaan, iaitu gaya bertolak ansur(permissive),
   gaya berkuasa penuh(authoritarian), gaya berkuasa separuh(autroritarian) dan gaya
   pengabaian(neglecting). Tiga gaya yang pertama berhubung kait dengan teori yang
   dikemukakan oleh Baumrind. Jadual berikut akan menunjukkan hubung kait antara
   dua dimensi yang disebutkan di atas.


Tahap mengawal dan mengarah




   Gaya Berkuasa Penuh (Authoritarian)        Gaya Berkuasa Separuh (Authoritative)
   Bersifat pendesak, berkuasa mutlak         Bertimbang rasa, fleksibel, rasional
   Displin ketat                              Komunikasi dua hala


   Gaya Pengabaian (Negleting)                Gaya Bertolak Ansur (Permissive)
   Tanpa penglibatan                          Bersifat penurutan hawa nafsu, manja
                                              Memenuhi kehendak anak

                                                         Tahap penerimaan dan bertindak balas

                                                                                      5
3.2    GAYA BERTOLAK ANSUR


Ibubapa yang mengamalkan gaya bertolak ansur selalu memenuhi keperluan anak-
anak mereka, tahap penerimaan mereka terhadap anak-anak adalah sangat tinggi,
mereka boleh menerima segala kelebihan dan kelemahan anak-anak mereka sehingga
sanggup berlindung anak-anak mereka daripada serangan fizikal mahupun mental.
Manakala, tahap pengawalan mereka adalah sangat rendah dan anak-anak mereka
boleh membuat keputusan sendiri dalam sesuatu perkara dengan sesuka hati. Ibubapa
sedemikian selalunya akan memberikan segala keperluan kebendaan kepada anak-
anak mereka dan komunikasi antara mereka dengan anak-anak adalah kurang
berkesan, mereka tidak memahami anak mereka dengan mendalam.


       Kanak-kanak mereka selalunya bersifat ganas, garang dan kasar, berkelakuan
kurang matang serta keputusan akademik mereka juga kurang memuaskan. Selain itu,
mereka tidak boleh berdikari dan tidak bertanggngjawab terhadap amanah mereka.
Kanak-kanak sedemikian boleh dikatakan dimanja oleh ibu bapa mereka.


3.3    GAYA BERKUASA PENUH


Bagi ibu bapa yang mengamalkan gaya berkuasa penuh, permintaan mereka terhadap
anak-anak mereka adalah sangat tinggi, mereka bercenderung untuk menguasai atau
ingin mengacu kelakuan anak-anak mereka dan jarang menanyakan pendapat anak
mereka. Pelbagai peraturan yang ketat telah ditetapkan di rumah mereka. Oleh sebab
mereka lebih menitikberatkan kepatuhan anak, mereka lebih cenderung menggunakan
kaedah displin yang bersifat hukuman apabila anak mereka melakukan sebarang
kesalahan .
       Perhubungan antara mereka dengan anak-anak mereka renggang dan sokongan
dari segi mental dan emosi jarang diberikan kepada anak-anak mereka jika anak
mereka menghadapi masalah. Konsep “patuh dan dapat”(give-and-take) selalunya
diamalkan dalam keluarga sedemikian.


       Kanak-kanak mereka berhidup tertekan dalam keadaan ini. Keyakinan mereka
terhadap diri sendiri agak rendah dan berasa takut untuk melakukan sesuatu perkara.
Kelakuan mereka di dalam rumah adalah baik tetapi kelakuan mereka di luar rumah
                                                                                 6
tidak terjamin akan baik kerana mereka mungkin akan melepaskan tekanan mereka
yang terpedam melalui cara yang tidak betul seperti vandelisma, menyertai kumpulan
gangster dan sebagainya. Keadaan emosi mereka juga tidak stabil.


3.4    GAYA BERKUASA SEPARUH


Dibanding dengan keempat-empat gaya, gaya keibubapaan yang paling berkesan
adalah gaya berkuasa separuh, manakala separuh lagi adalah dipenuhi dengan kasih
saying mereka. Mereka selalunya cuba berkomunikasi dengan anak-anak mereka
untuk memahami keadaan anak-anak mereka mahupun segi fizikal atau mental.
Permintaan mereka terhadap anak-anak mereka tidaklah terlalu tinggi dan permintaan
ini adalah dalam kemampuan anak mereka. Mereka sentiasa memberikan sokongan
dan galakan yang sepenuhnya kepada anak-anak mereka dan cuba sedaya upaya untuk
membimbing anak mereka dalam menghadapi dan mengatasi masalah.


       Ibubapa sedemikian jarang melaksanakan hukuman fizikal ke atas anak
mereka manakala digantikan dengan hukuman yang bersifat lembut, mereka akan
mendisiplinkan anak-anak mereka sekiranya anak mereka melanggar peraturan yang
ditetapkan. Contohnya seperti mengurangkan masa anak-anak mereka dalam melayari
internet. Jadi, perhubungan antara ibubapa dengan anak-anak adalah baik seumpama
hubungan antara kawan karib. Ibu bapa yang megamalkan gaya berkuasa separuh pula
mempunyai keseimbangan antara responsif dan permintaan.


       Anak-anak mereka beryakin terhadap kebolehan diri sendiri disebabkan
mereka sentiasa dipandang tinggi oleh ibubapa mereka, mereka bersikap pemurah,
suka membantu orang lain dan mereka adalah bertanggungjawab. Pencapaian mereka
juga baik di dalam pelbagai aspek.


3.5    GAYA PENGABAIAN

Sebaliknya, gaya pengabaian adalah gaya yang mendatangkan paling banyak kesan-
kesan negatif kepada seluruh keluarga. Tahap mengawal anak-anak dan tahap
penerimaan ibubapa terhadap anak adalah sangat rendah. Ibubapa tidak ambil peduli
di mana anak mereka berada, apa aktiviti yang dilakukan, siapa kawan-kawannya,

                                                                                    7
tidak tahu hal ehwal pelajarannya serta suasana persekitaran sosial anak mereka.
Ibubapa selalu sibuk untuk mencari nafkah sehingga mengabaikan keperluan anak-
anak mereka dari semua segi. Keluarga sedemikian berkemungkinan menghadapi
masalah kewangan yang sangat serius sehingga anak-anak mereka tanpa dijaga oleh
ibu atau bapa.

       Selain itu, ibu atau bapa yang berpenyakit mental juga dikategorikan di bawah
golongan ini. Kehidupan keluarga ini mennjadi tertekan dan emosi seluruh ahli
kelurga juga terpengaruh.

       Tiada pertalian yang rapat antara ibubapa dengan anak-anak. Hubungan antara
ahli kelurga seperti orang asing. Kelakuan kanak-kanak adalah paling teruk jika
dibandingkan dengan ketiga-tiga kategori di atas. Pencapaian mereka dalam sekolah
tidak baik dan kebanyakan daripada mereka akan terlibat dalam gejala yang kurang
sihat seperti perhubungan seks pada awal tahun, menagih dadah dan lain-lain. Kanak-
kanak sedemikian selalunya dipandang rendah oleh masyarakat dan menyebabkan
mereka tidak suka bergaul dengan orang lain. Golongan penjahat selalunya keluar dari
kategori ini. Gaya pengabaian pula hampir tiada permintaan, disiplin dan hala tuju,
serta hampir memberikan kebebasan penuh. Malahan, ia lebih merupakan satu
kecuaian keibubapaan




                                                                                      8
                                       BAB IV




             GAYA KEIBUBAPAAN YANG PATUT DIAMALKAN




4.1    PENGENALAN

Gaya keibubapaan autoritatif kerap dirujuk sebagai keibubapaan yang positif. Gaya
ini adalah gaya keibubapaan yang paling berkesan. Ibubapa yang berwibawa adalah
ibubapa yang peka dengan perlakuan anak dan memberi galakan, rangsangan serta
bimbingan melalui pendekatan disiplin yang asertif dan tidak kasar, berinteraksi
secara positif, disamping menyemai emosi yang bersesuaian serta bertanggungjawab.
Selain itu, ibubapa harus dapat membantu anak-anak mengawal diri dengan
menetapkan batasan dan peraturan rumah.

       Gaya keibubapaan yang lain adalah kurang berkesan.

4.2    KEBAIKAN MENGAMALKAN GAYA KEIBUBAPAAN YANG
       POSITIF

Mengamalkan gaya keibubapaan yang positif akan mengeratkan hubungan antara
ibubapa dan anak, meningkatkan rasa harga diri anak, mengalakkan disiplin diri anak
di samping mengajar anak berfikir untuk diri sendiri. Selain itu, gaya yang positif
juga dapat menyediakan peluang untuk ibubapa membimbing anak dan membantu
anak mempunyai kawalan diri.

4.3    KEBURUKAN MENGAMALKAN GAYA KEIBUBAPAAN YANG
       NEGATIF

Gaya keibubapaan yang negatif akan merendahkan rasa harga diri anak. Anak akan
menjadi tidak bertanggungjawab dan kurang matang. Selain itu, perhubungan antara
ibubapa dan anak menjadi kurang mesra serta anak akan kerap memprotes secara
melampau.




                                                                                      9
                                       BAB V




                                  KESIMPULAN


Gaya keibubapaan yang berlainan akan membentuk sikap dan kelakuan anak-anak
yang berbeza. Dengan jelas sekali, gaya berkuasa separuh iaitu autoritatif adalah gaya
yang paling unggul dan baik manakala tidak dapat satu teori yang akan menyesuaikan
semua jenis keluarga. Teori ini tidak menjelaskan pengaruh kelakuan ibubapa
terhadap pertumbuhan anak-anak mereka. Secara praktisnya, banyak perkara yang di
luar jangkaan akan berlaku. Pelbagai cara telah dicadangkan oleh ahli kajian untuk
mempraktisnya di dalam sesebuah keluarga.


       Perhubungan antara manusia adalah berpunca daripada kasih. Ibubapa harus
meluangkan masa yang berkualiti bersama anak. Hal ini akan menyediakan peluang
kepada ibu bapa untuk mengenali, memahami dan membimbing anak. Selain itu,
ibubapa sebagai ketua dalam keluarga harus menetapkan peraturan di rumah. Hal ini
kerana anak-anak perlu tahu apa yang mereka patuh mematuhi. Penggunaan pujian
juga amat penting. Pujian membuat kanak-kanak memahami apakah tingkalaku yang
baik, merasai ibu-bapa menyayanginya dan dapat meningkatkan rasa harga dirinya.
Daripada karya Dorothy Law Notle, kanak-kanak akan mempelajari di dalam keadaan
yang mereka berada.

       Ada ketikanya ibubapa akan menegur tingkahlaku anak tetapi anak tetap
berbuat sebaliknya dari apa yang dikehendaki ibubapa. Pada ketika ini amat penting
untuk ibubapa memahami bahawa anak mahukan perhatian dengan perbuatan tersebut.
Oleh itu ibubapa tidak patut mengendahkan perbuatan anak itu. Langkah ini dipanggil
"ignoring" atau "tak ambil endah". Di samping itu, amat penting membimbing anak
mereka berfikir untuk diri sendiri dan ibubapa perlu menolong anak melalui proses
atau langkah-langkah membuat keputusan. Mereka harus mengelakkan terus membuat
keputusan untuk anak.




                                                                                    10
                                     BAB VI




                              SENARAI RUJUKAN


Bee Boyd. 2007. The Development Child. Edisi ke-11. Pearson International Edition :
       United States.


Dinkmeyer, D & Mc Kay, G.D. (1989). STEP: The Parent’s Handbook. American
       Guidance Service.


Crawford J.S. (2003). Parental and Temperamental Influence on Early Development
of Attention and Language. D. Ed. Pacific Graduate School of Psychology,
California, USA.

Daniels E. (2004). Nobody’s Ever Asked Me That Before: Middle School Students talk
About Motivation To Achieve In School Context. D.Ed. San Diego State
University-University of San Diego, USA.

Deemer S.A. (2004). Classroom Goal Orientation in High School Classroom:
Revealing link with Teacher Beliefs and Classroom Environment. Educational
Research vol. 146, no. 1, Spring 2004.

 C.R. (2004). An examination of the Relationship between Ego Development
and Parenting Style. P.hd. The College of William and Mary in Virginia,
USA.

Fridenberg and Lewis (2004). Adolescent least able to cope: How do they response to
stress. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, vol.32, no. 1.


Major-Ahmed M (2002). Adolescent Psycho-Social Development and Academic
Motivation: Connecting Student-teacher relationship to Motivation. D. Ed.

Mohamad Nazar Mohamad. (2001). Pengantar Psikologi. Kuala Lumpur: DB


Http : // www. google. com. Gaya keibubapaan. (31 Aug 2008)


http://www.myhealth.gov.my




                                                                                 11
                                   BAB VII




                                 LAMPIRAN


7.1    GAMBAR




Tanpa latihan mendidik anak, ibu bapa mungkin cenderung ke arah tindakan ekstrem
             Sumber Ilustrasi : Dinkmeyer, D & Mc Kay, G.D. (1989)




                                                                              12
7.2    CARTA



You can measure your parenting along two related lines.

One is the “demandingness” line, which can also be thought of as “behavioural
control”. How much to do you demand of your child? Do you expect them to comply
with every request, or do you allow them to make their own decisions about some
things – and so on.

The second scale is of “Responsiveness” – also known as “warmth” or
“supportiveness”. Are you very responsive, making the effort to deal with every
concern your child brings to you – or do you leave children more to their own devices?

These two scales then cross over each other to make the following four parenting
styles:




                                                                                   13
Carta di atas merujuk kepada gaya keibubapaan yang berlainan akan
menghasikan sikap anak yang berlainan.




  The diagram shows the basic findings of the parenting styles research modeled on
                                 Diana Baumrind‟s model.



                                                                                 14
                Changing families, challenging futures
                   6th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference
                            Melbourne 25-27 November 1998

© Australian Institute of Family Studies, 1998. One copy of this paper can be made for the purpose of
personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution to the author.




    'I always swore I wasn't going to be like my mother as a parent' :
                intergenerational change and continuity
                                         Violet Kolar
                             Australian Institute of Family Studies

                                          Abstract
Parenting-21 is a study that explores how Australian parents from various
cultural backgrounds pass on their values to their children. In particular, the
study focuses on child rearing attitudes and practices and how these relate to
cultural beliefs about the nature of childhood. Parenting-21 aims to provide a
detailed picture of how ordinary Australian families are raising their children
today, preparing them for life into the next century; and to compare the
influence of various cultural backgrounds when raising children; and, to
contribute to discussions regarding the development of support services for
families with young children.
The paper summarises findings from interviews conducted with families with a
child in one of five target age groups (6 months, 18 months, 3 years, 4.5 years and 8
years). Specifically, findings relate to parents' descriptions of their own families of
origin, and to what extent that experience has impacted upon their personal parenting
style.
This study was conducted in collaboration with the International Study of Parents,
Children and Schools, and involves researchers from Italy, the Netherlands, Poland,
Spain, Sweden, and the United States.


INTRODUCTION:

'I always swore I wasn't going to be like my mother as a parent'; this comment was
made by a mother of a 4.5 year old child, when asked whether there was any overlap
in her parenting of her child and how she was parented by her own mother. You may
be interested to know that when she was asked for details about what she did that was
similar to her mother, she replied, 'just about everything'!

The author of Emotional Milestones, Ruth Schmidt Neven, has said 'parents are not
made at birth but become parents over time'. But the role of parent is one for which no
training or educational qualification is required (Neven, 1996; Tomison, in press).
What then, is the basis for this role.

From their work with a community of American parents, researchers Harkness, Super,
and Keefer (1992), proposed 3 sources that parents use for thinking about children
and about themselves as parents:
                                                                                                   15
      own family of origin-
      informal sources (such as relatives, friends, and neighbours)
      and formal sources (such as parenting books, the media and professionals
       working with families)

The focus of this paper is on learning to be a parent, primarily looking at the role of
family of origin and how that may influence parenting style.

PARENTING-21:

Data for the paper come from the Australian Institute of Family Studies' Parenting 21
project, which seeks to understand parenting from the perspective of parents
themselves. The late Harry McGurk, who was the driving force behind the project,
referred to this as the 'bottom-up' approach to parenting studies. In brief, Parenting-21
is about shedding light on how ordinary parents in ordinary Australian families are
going about the task of bringing up their children. To reflect the diversity of
Australia's families, the project includes families from Anglo and Vietnamese
communities, the Torres Strait Islands, as well as a sample of families from around
Australia (McGurk and Kolar, 1997).


SAMPLE DESCRIPTION:

      However, the preliminary findings presented here are based only on the
       interviews with 60 Anglo-Australian parents who volunteered to take part
       Parenting-21.
      For the purpose of the project, families were defined as 'Anglo-Australian'
       where a child, aged between 6 months and 8 years, and both parents were
       Australian born, with grandparents born in either Australia or the United
       Kingdom.

      Selected families lived in the Melbourne metropolitan area and were
       interviewed in mid 1996.




                                                                                          16
       Mothers were the main respondents with only 3 fathers in the sample. The
       expectation, and in retrospect a naive one, was that the sample would include a
       relatively even number of mothers and fathers. Unfortunately, for reasons
       associated with the way we recruited, this did not happen.
      Most parents were in a first marriage with at least two children and were aged
       35 and over.
      In terms of qualifications and employment, 78% had a tertiary qualification
       and 73% were employed (mostly on a part-time basis).

      A point to note is that because parents volunteered to take part, there is a bias
       towards the well educated and middle-class, and those willing to express their
       views; views which may well differ from those who did not volunteer.
       Although the sample is not therefore, technically representative, it is relatively
       homogeneous. As such, the views expressed may be relevant to other similarly
       composed groups of parents.


'Being a parent'

Before moving on to the main focus of this paper, it is appropriate to address a central
issue in parenting: what does it mean to be a parent. Importantly, what does it mean to
parents themselves.

This selection of quotes highlights the overall tone of comments made when parents
were asked 'what does being a parent mean to you':

For one it meant:
'Responsibility for teaching about love and caring for others; responsibility for
keeping them safe and secure so that their own personalities can develop in a healthy
way...'

Another said:
'Something very special, close and loving; it means an enormous responsibility, it
changes your life course - once you start being a parent it's an ongoing thing with
worries and anxieties attached to that'

And finally:
'It's the most important job you will ever do in your life. The social ramifications of
parenting are so important because the responsibility is yours to bring happy, well
adjusted people into adulthood...and the joy and despair are often seconds apart and
always oscillating; we really take being a parent so seriously'

As demonstrated, the role represents an incredibly significant and major undertaking;
one keenly felt by this group of parents. What influence then, does family of origin
have in helping parents learn about their role.




                                                                                      17
PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

Family of origin:

It's only in recent years that the influence of family of origin has been more widely
considered as a source of parental beliefs; in the past, research was generally confined
to those parents who were abused as children and how they subsequently approached
their own parenting tasks (Luster and Okagaki, 1993:63). However, and to quote
Neven again:

       '...the process and the experience of childhood does not end with childhood
       itself. It remains within all of us as a live and informative experience that
       influences our current and future relationships and activities' (1996:13;
       emphasis added).

So what was the childhood experience for this group; parents were asked to describe
what it was like to grow up in their families, and about the emotional closeness they
shared then and now, with their mothers and fathers.




The chart shows the overall ratings assigned to parents on the basis of their
background descriptions. Clearly shown, is that the vast majority were able to
recollect their first ten years, with over 60 per cent describing this formative period in
a positive way. Thirteen per cent of parents, however, gave negative descriptions of
their childhoods, while just over 20 per cent talked about positive and negative
aspects.




                                                                                        18
In addition, 55 per cent reported, that during these early years, they had 'extremely
close' or 'very close' relationships with their mothers; with fathers, it was 39 per cent.
In general, most relationships with fathers tended to be relatively less 'intense' with
parents describing those relationships as 'close' or 'sometimes close'.




How had those ties evolved. The chart shows that, generally, relationships remained
stable and even strengthened over time, particularly with fathers. For a few parents,
however, a 'close' relationship with own mother during childhood had become more
variable in adulthood. In addition, geographical proximity showed physical closeness
                                                                                        19
with over half the sample living within an hour's drive or closer to their own parents,
whom they saw at least once a week.




Parents were asked about who they turned to for general information regarding
parenting. The chart shows the 13 most popular sources contacted by parents over a
12 month period. Clearly represented is family of origin including both mother and
father, and sister. Informal sources (with friends and neighbours, as well as other
important people such as spouse and mother-in-law), and formal sources (which
included maternal and child health services, the general medical profession, books,
magazines, newspapers and television), also have a strong presence.

Most popular contacts, as reported by over half the sample, were: own mother, friends
and books. Parents could, of course, go to more than one source, and this was in fact,
the norm rather than the exception. In other words, parents tended to have a network
of contacts they turned to. As one parent explained:

'With (my own) mother, I want to use the techniques she used because they don't seem
to have had a harmful effect; I trust her and she will be honest with me. (With) friends
and neighbours, because they have more current experiences with children's
socialising'.
Generally, this is a picture of close ties and connected lives between kin. Therefore,
one might reasonably expect some overlap in parenting styles between two
generations.




                                                                                      20
Parents were asked about the sorts of things they wanted to do that were similar to, as
well as different from, the strategies adopted by their own mothers and fathers.

Their comments have been categorised under the following themes which incorporate
both the positive and not so positive factors. Thus, parent demeanour (or behaviour),
includes descriptions such as respectful, tolerant, patient, possessing a sense of
humour, intelligent, and committed; as well as, arrogant, inflexible, and impatient.
Emotional and physical environment, refers to the nurturing of self-esteem, stability,
harmony, loving relationships and good role models; as well as instability, undue
pressure or demands on the child, and in a couple of cases, chaos and fear.
Communication was mentioned, as was involvement which included spending time
and playing with children, generally being interested and able to enjoy their company.
Availability simply meant that the parent was physically around. Discipline, referred
to both democratic and authoritarian approaches, consistent and clear rules and
boundaries, as well as too many rules or no boundaries. The 'other' category included
references to parents as hardworking, financially supportive, or able to maintain some
balance between competing roles.

Needless to say, these themes overlap and are significantly interrelated. For example,
it would be difficult to describe an environment as nurturing if the demeanour of a
parent suggested a lack of respect for a child. Therefore, a rigorous interpretation
would be inappropriate. Nevertheless, these preliminary findings serve as a broad
illustration of those childrearing components that were salient to this particular group
of parents.




                                                                                      21
With regards to own mother's parenting style, comments overall, reflected a desire by
parents to do some things in a similar fashion while approaching other aspects
differently. The chart shows an emphasis on parent demeanour, the home
environment, and discipline, with a slightly higher proportion of parents reporting that
they approached these differently compared with those who followed a similar style.
With involvement, parents tended to replicate the style of their mothers.

But, the contrast between change and continuity was most prominent with regards to
being available for your child; for some parents, who recalled that their mothers were
'always there' , the aim was to follow in their footsteps. But for this group (n=10),
availability for some meant they worked part-time or more casually, while for others,
it meant no paid employment, but rather, being physically available on a full-time
basis.

It was somewhat surprising that communication did not emerge as a prominent theme.
While a handful of parents mentioned it explicitly, others may well have regarded it
as a cornerstone of, for example, parent behaviour or involvement.




                                                                                     22
Reflecting on the style of their own fathers, parents emphasised parent demeanour and
involvement; a high proportion replicated the style, while an equally high proportion
had done things differently. In a few cases, communication was an issue that parents
had opted to handle differently from their own fathers.

For a handful of parents, family of origin did not present a style of parenting that they
embraced and made a conscious effort to recreate. Equally though, the style was
rejected with other parents who approached childrearing in very different ways.
Overall, family of origin provided a model of parenting generally valued by this
sample; nevertheless, it was a model that a high proportion of parents had adapted to
incorporate some areas of change.

How, then, did the group judge their personal parenting strategy: what did they
perceive to be their strengths and weaknesses in rearing their own children. Parents
were asked to talk about the things they were 'good at' as well as those things they
were 'not so good at'. When asked what she was good at as a parent, one mother said:
'raising her voice'!




                                                                                       23
In terms of the positive aspects of their parenting, a high proportion referred to the
emotional/physical environment, involvement and parent behaviour. However, most
comments referred to some negative aspect of behaviour with close to half explaining
they were not good at remaining patient or tolerant, or keeping their temper under
control, especially at times of stress or feeling tired.

Discipline, too, was an aspect identified as a shortcoming; some worried about being
inconsistent, inflexible, overly strict, or unable to resolve conflicts. Disciplining a
child, in fact, was one aspect of parenting that a number of parents did not enjoy.

The chart shows an interesting shift in themes, and although not prominent, it does
hint at a change in the nature of parenting. That is, when talking about themselves as
parents, the theme: availability, was not mentioned; instead, parents talked about the
difficulties they experienced 'keeping up'; this referred to the daily demands of life
and the rushing around involved trying to get children to where they needed to be, on
time.

DISCUSSION:

In general, the preliminary findings suggests two things: the first, whether they
embraced the child rearing strategies of their own mothers and fathers, or rejected
them, most parents had learnt something about parenting from their families of origin.
Second, the data reflect both change and continuity in parenting style from one
generation to the next; only a few parents said there was nothing they wanted to
replicate, while an equally small number said there was nothing they wanted to do
differently. In other words, in most cases the style was adopted with some changes
made.

Why should this be important? The parent-child relationship is an important and
complex one; it is based on mutual rather than uni-directional influence. In other
                                                                                      24
words, just as parents affect the development of children, so children themselves
affect the development of parents' ideas and expectations (Okagaki & Divecha,
1993:54; Schaffer, 1996:207). However, there are other influences also, including the
presence of social networks and the quality of the marital relationship; but any
attempt to understand how parental beliefs are formed and how they may be linked to
behaviour requires an understanding of the history of the parent, prior to becoming a
parent (Luster & Okagaki, 1993:245)

Primary prevention programs are aimed at educating the general community on such
issues as child abuse and neglect, and the use of appropriate means of discipline (as
opposed to physical punishment); for such programs to be appropriately targeted, it is
important to know about the range of beliefs held by the community, and what
informs those beliefs (Donovan, 1987).

References

Donovan, R. (1987), Value of the Child, Report to Department of Community
Services, Donovan Research, Melbourne, Vol.1.

Harkness, S., Super, C.M. and Keefer, C.H. (1992), 'Learning to be an American
parent: how cultural models gain directive force', in R.G. D'Andrade and C. Strauss
(eds), Human Motives and Cultural Models, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Luster, T. and Okagaki, L. (1993), 'Multiple influences on parenting: ecological and
life-course perspectives', in T. Luster and L. Okagaki (eds), Parenting: an ecological
perspective, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., New Jersey.

McGurk, H. and Kolar, V. (1997), 'Exploring parenthood and parenting: an
introduction to Parenting-21', Family Matters, No.48, pp.38-40.

Neven, R.S. (1996), Emotional Milestones, Australian Council for Educational
Research Ltd, Camberwell, Melbourne.

Okagaki, L. and Divecha, D.J. (1993), 'Development of Parental Beliefs', in T. Luster
and L. Okagaki (eds), Parenting: an ecological perspective, Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, Inc., New Jersey.

Schaffer, R.H. (1996), Social development, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Cambridge.

Tomison, A.M. (in press), 'Valuing parent education: the cornerstone of child abuse
preventions', National Child Protection Clearing House Issues Paper No.10,
Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne.




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