Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Was St Joseph a strict father?

Today's studies of parenting styles reveal the effect of different styles on the personalities of children, and they can be a good indicator for parents who are endeavouring to be the best parents they can be to their children.
Maccoby and Martin in the late 80s undertook an extensive study of parenting. Their work was measured according to two variables:

1. The demandingness of parents - ranging from authoritarian to permissive.

2. The responsiveness of parents - ranging from reciprocative to negligent.

Thus, the opposite of authoritarian/reciprocative parents are permissive/negligent ones, and the opposite of permissive/reciprocative parents are authoritarian/repressive ones. So, with that in mind we could describe permissive/reciprocative parents as non-traditional and lenient, but conscientious and committed to their children. Authoritarian/repressive parents are obedience and status oriented who give a structured environment to their children. Authoritarian/reciprocative parents give clear standards, asserting and supporting (rather than permitting) their children. Permissive/negligent parents are basically uninvolved with their children.
Which category do you think St Joseph and Our Lady would represent?
It is also very indicative to look at the consequences of these parenting styles in the personalities of their children. These studies found that children of permissive/reciprocative parents had only average behaviour and low academics, but high self-esteem and good social skills. Children of authoritarian/repressive parents had good academics and behaviour, but poor social skills and low self-esteem. Children of authoritarian/reciprocative parents had good academics and behaviour, and good social skills and high self-esteem. Children of permissive/negligent parents showed little sense of educational development.
For a fuller treatment of this put Maccoby and Martin into a Google search - you will find a host a very accessible web pages.


Anonymous said...

Sounds very interesting..i rebel against an authoritarian type because we were brought up like that with a fair amount of smacking involved. i refuse to smack my children..of course that's another post in itself & one i've tackled on my blog.i prefer to reward good behaviour & ignore bad..generally speaking i think my kids are well-behaved & can be taken anywhere..never had a problem with all 10 in Mass for example..but a fascinating post..

Anonymous said...

Authoritarian/Reciprocative ? Or maybe he brought THEM up. I imagine by the age of 12, they were thinking "what have we taken on, here".

Fr Richard Aladics said...

Quite. Psychologists can't compute grace anyway, but their work is revealing and can help parents recognise the influence that their style and personality has upon their children - part of building the Civilisation of Love.