WEEK 2 FORUM

  
This week our forum looks at the foundations of where we learn to become parents.  Please answer both parts within your initial posting. Remember to review grading feedback from previous week to improve your discussion this week. Follow the rubric when you develop your posting.
As for all forum questions, please use the forum question to guide your discussion and write your post in a paragraph(s) format. You do not want to repost the question and then insert your answer. Using references to support your work is important that correct APA format uses in-text citations. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
1. We learn parenting skills from many places. Perhaps our biggest influence on our attitude towards parenting is from our parents and how we were raised. We also are influenced by media, science, religion, and other sources.  In your observation, how have any of these sources influenced parenting, in general, today
2. Pick a theory from this list (Erikson’s Lifespan Theory of Development, Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Theory of Development, Jean Piaget’s Constructivist Theory, or Socio-Culture Theory of Lev Vygotsky) and apply it to either how you were raised or how you will (would) raise your own children?
Initial posts are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday
2 Reply posts are due by 11:59 PM on Sunday
https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/education-common/Universal/CHFD/331/elf/lesson-2/elf_index.html
As we learnt in Lesson 1, a parent’s own childhood and parenting experiences influence their parenting approach. In fact, when surveyed, over half of all parents admitted that their parenting style is greatly affected by the way they were parented themselves (Lerner & Ciervo, 2010). However, 30 percent of surveyed parents indicated that the way they were parented had a moderate impact on the personal parenting style. Although that amounts to just over 80 percent of surveyed parents, parents also have media, historical patterns, and scientific research to inform their parenting style. This lesson will first examine the influences on parental style and then will explore the many different theories that exist (and have historically evolved) regarding parenting.
Topics to be covered include:
· Influences on parenting style
· Theories on parenting style
· Theories on children’s growth and development
 
CONTINUE
Influences on Parental Style Besides Upbringing
· MEDIA
· HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS
Media resources are a significant source of information for parents. Increased access to and the speed of technology has put a wide range of information within close reach of many parents—especially ones who have disposable incomes that permit internet access. Parents can easily look up parenting websites that can advise on topics such as developmental stages, how to soothe sick babies, and when to call the doctor. Websites can also highlight issues in parenting and childcare and encourage debates that make parents think.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow parents to maintain close contact with family, peers, and other parents to seek advice or share updates. Parents can create blogs where they chronicle their learnings as a parent and encourage other parents to post comments. However, parents need to judge the accuracy of the information placed on websites and be aware that commercial sites are often trying to sell products rather than educate. Besides what is now to be considered “traditional” computer use, where the parent researches on his or her personal computer or laptop, the advent and importance of the smartphone impacts the number of parents that are able to research using the World Wide Web. According to Smith’s (2015) recent research, two-thirds (64 percent) of American adults now own a smartphone. Other media such as radio, television, magazines, and newspapers are also resources for parents to learn about current issues in parenting.
Media resources are a significant source of information for parents. Increased access to and the speed of technology has put a wide range of information within close reach of many parents—especially ones who have disposable incomes that permit internet access. Parents can easily look up parenting websites that can advise on topics such as developmental stages, how to soothe sick babies, and when to call the doctor. Websites can also highlight issues in parenting and childcare and encourage debates that make parents think.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow parents to maintain close contact with family, peers, and other parents to seek advice or share updates. Parents can create blogs where they chronicle their learnings as a parent and encourage other parents to post comments. However, parents need to judge the accuracy of the information placed on websites and be aware that commercial sites are often trying to sell products rather than educate. Besides what is now to be considered “traditional” computer use, where the parent researches on his or her personal computer or laptop, the advent and importance of the smartphone impacts the number of parents that are able to research using the World Wide Web. According to Smith’s (2015) recent research, two-thirds (64 percent) of American adults now own a smartphone. Other media such as radio, television, magazines, and newspapers are also resources for parents to learn about current issues in parenting.
Advances in Science and Technology
Advances in science and technology have shown the importance of effective parenting techniques and strategies that help children to grow. These advances have helped to understand the parents’ critical role as sensitive caregivers who not only promote children’s growth but buffer children from the effects of negative genes and negative life experiences. They also help to understand the complexity of the growth process and the need for parental involvement in more areas and for longer times than previously thought.
A parent’s daily interactions with a child can foster positive self-esteem, intellectual growth, and self-regulation behaviors that will help the child reach his or her full potential. Sensitive parents who are observant and flexible to the innate needs of the child’s temperament can help the child develop essential life skills and qualities. Knowledge of genetics, neurobiology, temperament, and cognitive development help parents understand their child’s development better and help them foster positive behaviors and self-esteem within the child.
To illustrate these points, let us look at advances in genetics, neurobiology, and temperament.
Genetics

Genetic research has revealed that each human has up to 25,000 genes and each gene is more versatile than previously thought. Genes can produce several proteins depending on messages they receive from other cells, other genes, and hormones triggered by the environment. Genes not only produce chemical changes in their environment, the environment triggers changes in the ways genes function and the proteins they produce. The focus now is on the operations of the gene, and the dynamic interplay between DNA and its environment (Brooks, 2013).
Scientists discovered that there are three influences on a gene—a gene’s specific function, chemical changes in the body, and the environmental effects of parenting. Research has demonstrated that a child’s genetic make-up affects the way they respond to parent’s behaviors. Certain insensitive or negative parenting behaviors will increase behaviors like aggression. Alternatively, positive and sensitive parenting behaviors can reduce the impact of traumatic experiences on children (Brooks, 2013).
Neurobiology
· NEW TECHNOLOGIES
· BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
· EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING (EF) SKILLS
· SLEEP PATTERNS
Huttenlocher (2002) through his brain research revealed that each skill or concept learned must continue with practice for the child so that the connections in the brain are maintained and eventually, matured. Much has been learned about the brain in the last 25 years and it has been driven by neuroimaging brain techniques. The most advanced neuroimaging technique is the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It has been studied and replicated that children can be introduced to a concept over a course of a few days but if this concept is not revisited within a short time frame, the brain will actually erase (prune) those neural pathways. In essence, the child will have no memory of the task or of the memory. In order to myelinate (or harden) and neural pathway to the point of muscle memory, a child must be exposed to a concept multiple times (anywhere from 21-49 times) in a variety of settings and experiences to truly learn a task. Beck, Kucan, and McKeown (2002) first cited this research and understood it at a basic level, coining the term as “fast mapping” but many researchers like Marzano (2005) took the concept further and began to research and understand what it took to learn a new skill or concept to that muscle memory level. It is that same level that Huttenlocker was discussing when he noted that another significant finding is that there are no critical periods of learning that close after a certain period, however there are optimal periods of learning for the child where instruction and practice have the best results (Brooks, 2013). The last finding of Huttenlocker is that to nourish learning, children must have periods of instruction and periods of rest and time to integrate learning. This knowledge can reinforce to parents the importance of practicing the lessons of early childhood as well as the importance of play. The brain needs both stimulation and rest to grow.
Temperament
Temperament refers to biologically based differences in how children react to stimulation or triggers within their environment. Parenting behaviors can have different impacts based on a child’s temperament or perception of the world. Research has demonstrated that parents must observe their child’s needs and individualize their parenting techniques and approaches to take into account their child’s temperamental qualities, especially if their child has more significant behavior needs. A one-size parenting approach does not meet all needs (Brooks, 2013).

Knowledge Check
· Advances in science and technology have shown the importance of effective parenting techniques and strategies that help children to grow. Select the areas of advancement that have impacted parenting:

Top of Form
o Genetics
o X-rays
o The study of the role of excitement in the brain.

Bottom of Form
THEORIES ON CHILDREN’S GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT‹ 1/5 ›
· There are certain sets of theories that describe the growth and developmental stages of children. These theories can help parents understand how to interact with their children to provide appropriate experiences to help them develop physically, socially, intellectually, and emotionally. These theories also help the parent to understand the range of behaviors and achievements they may be able to expect at different stages of their child’s life.
Parenting Theories on Children’s Inner Qualities
There are certain sets of theories that describe the growth and developmental stages of children. These theories can help parents understand how to interact with their children to provide appropriate experiences to help them develop physically, socially, intellectually, and emotionally. These theories also help the parent to understand the range of behaviors and achievements they may be able to expect at different stages of their child’s life.
There are three major theories when it comes to the development of a child’s inner qualities–evolutionary development theory, Piaget’s constructivist theory and Freud’s theory of psychosexual development.
Evolutionary Development Theory
This theory examines and emphasizes how the evolutionary heritage influences current behaviors. Evolutionary psychologists draw on Darwin’s concept of natural selection, which is the process where adaptive characteristics increase in a group because those behaviors allow the individual to survive, grow to maturity, reproduce and then pass along their genes to the next generation. Evolutionary psychologists provide insights about contemporary social life by showing how our human genetic history influences our needs and behavior today.
In today’s terms, advantages are evident in those children whose parents make a heavy investment in parenting. When a child grows up in an amicable family, with resources to provide many opportunities for learning and development, children postpone sexual activity and mating, produce fewer children, and invest heavily in those they have. On the other hand, when children grow up in conflicted families with limited resources and few opportunities for skill development, they reach puberty early, invest heavily in sexual and mating behaviors, and invest less in parenting behaviors. One way to increase parental investment for those growing up in families with limited resources is to provide opportunities for growth and development.

Piaget’s Constructivist Theory
Jean Piaget emphasized that a child thinks about the world differently from adults and the focus of this theory was a child’s active construction of knowledge. Under constructivist theory, intellectual growth is viewed as a constant interplay of acquiring new information (assimilation) and modifying the current internal structures (accommodation) to achieve a balance between the child’s concept of the world and the world itself. Equilibration is the active process by which a child achieves that effective balance between the two.
ASSIMILATION
ACCOMMODATION
EQUILIBRATION
Piaget described child development as occurring into the following four distinct periods with distinct abilities to process information.
SENSORY–MOTOR PERIOD (0–24 MONTHS)
PREOPERATIONAL PERIOD (2–7 YEARS)
CONCRETE OPERATIONS PERIOD (7–14 YEARS)
FORMAL OPERATIONS PERIOD (14 YEARS–ADULTHOOD)
Piaget’s theory helps parents understand that they must take into account the child’s ability to process information when they interact. Children need many opportunities to explore objects, pretend play, and think and talk about their thoughts. These opportunities help them to grow intellectually.
Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development
Sigmund Freud proposed that many adult emotional difficulties come from anxieties concerning early childhood experiences. While treating many adults with emotional issues, he observed that he could trace many of the adult symptoms to anxieties about experiences that occurred in early childhood. He believed that the experiences that occurred in early childhood had life-long lasting effects on adults’ personalities. Freud focused on children’s impulses, particularly sexual impulses and their sources of gratification. He viewed children as pleasure-seeking creatures who tamed their impulses to meet parental and societal demands. Freud divided childhood into the following five stages; each stage is named after the areas of the body that were the primary source of stimulation and gratification at that time.
1. Oral: Feeding development. This focused on the pleasures of nursing and receiving food.
2. Anal: Toilet training. This focused on the pleasures associated with the tightening and releasing of the anal musculature.
3. Phallic: Preschool genital stimulation and Oedipal complex. This focused on the pleasures of genital stimulation overtaking the oral and anal gratifications.
4. Latency: Early elementary years when sexual feelings are thought to be dormant.
5. Genital: Adolescence is centered around sexual pleasures and gratifications when a child develops fully.
Freud’s theory was based upon the idea that a child’s development of their “adult personality” was driven by the child’s attempts at gratification of impulses in each of the stages, as well as others’ reactions to their behaviors.
Freud never gave direct advice to parents; however, he emphasized the importance of appropriate gratification of children’s natural impulses—demand feeding, permissive attitudes about thumb sucking and toilet training, acceptable outlets for aggressive impulses—without criticism or punishment. His theory does help parents to understand (1) Children have internal needs that drive behavior and neither they nor their parents have complete control, and (2) parents have a powerful role in understanding children’s inner needs and helping them find acceptable ways to gratify their impulses; parents are authoritative guides and supporters on the path to maturity, not generals commanding the course of growth.
Freud also believed the human personality is made up of three parts.
· THE ID
· THE EGO
· THE SUPEREGO
The id is the impulsive, biological state infants are born into and they demand satisfaction immediately.
Knowledge Check
· Theories that involve only inner qualities of the child suggest that:

Top of Form
o Inner qualities of the child have a major impact on child growth and development.
o External influences do not matter.
o External influences do not exist.
o Inner qualities are a bigger influence on the development of the child.

Bottom of Form
Parenting Theories Emphasizing Both Internal and External Influences
The theories discussed in this section emphasize that interaction between the child’s own inner qualities, their genes, and their environmental and social factors shape the child’s growth. The parents take active roles to manage the effects of these forces in the child’s life.
ERIKSON’S LIFESPAN OF DEVELOPMENT
Erikson expanded upon Freud’s five stages of child development into eight stages of life. The following table outlines Erikson’s eight stages of life.
Within these eight stages of life, the individual goes through positive and negative experiences that lead the individual to develop positive or negative attitudes about themselves at that life stage. The individual will experience growth, but he or she needs support from the environment to achieve it. More positive experiences help the individual develop positive attitudes and qualities.
An individual who works through difficulties within each life stage will develop certain virtues or strengths. Erikson believed that an individual could have recurring problems or negative attitudes at different stages in life due to ongoing stress. Positive experiences in childhood can help an individual solve problems later on, in adulthood. Erikson’s theory can help parents realize that children are adaptive individuals who can grow to be independent. They continue to develop psychologically throughout adulthood and they can continue to work through difficulties. Parenting is important for the parent who provides and for the child who experiences it (Brooks, 2013).
ERIKSON’S THEORY OF PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
  
Age

Conflict

Resolution or “Virtue”

Culmination in Old Age
 
Infancy (0-1 year)

Trust versus Mistrust

Hope

Appreciation of interdependence   and relatedness
 
Early Childhood (1-3 years)

Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt

Purpose

Humor, empathy, resilience
 
Preschool Age (3-6years)

Initiative versus Guilt

Will

Humility, acceptance of the
 
School Age (6-12 years)

Industry versus Inferiority

Competence

Humility, acceptance of the   course of one’s life and unfulfilled hopes
 
Adolescence (12-18 years)

Identity versus Confusion

Fidelity

Sense of complexity of life,   merging of sensory, logical and aesthetic perception
 
Early Adulthood (18-35 Years)

Intimacy versus Isolation

Love

Sense of complexity of   relationships, value of tenderness, and loving freely
 
Middle Adulthood (35-65 years)

Generativity versus Stagnation

Care

Caritas, caring for others,   agape, empathy and concern
 
Old Age (65 years+)

Ego integrity versus Despair

Wisdom

Existential identity, sense of   integrity strong enough to withstand physical disintegration
Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Theory of Development
This theory uses a framework of Processes–Person–Context–Time (PPCT) to describe the interaction between the child’s inner qualities and the environment as he or she develops and grows.
Bronfenbrenner’s framework sought to highlight to parents the influence of forces such as economic factors, work policies, historical events on parenting, and the importance of stability and regularity in a child’s life (Brooks, 2013).
  
PROCESS

PERSON
 
CONTEXT

TIME
Family Systems Theory
This theory describes the family as a system that consists of interdependent members who interact and respond to each other. Within this system are the influences of the quality of the relationships between parent and child, sibling and sibling, parent and parent, parent and families of origin, grandparents and grandchildren, and parents and coworkers and friends. Within the family system, members are trying to maintain relationships, be supportive, and accommodate needs. When an event occurs to one family member, there will be a ripple effect to other members. This causes stress within the family.
Hill, (1949), uses the ABC-X model to describe the process that occurs when families respond to a change in the family or an external, stressful event. A stressor event occurs (represented by letter A). The level of stress the family experiences (X) is dependent upon the family’s resources (B) for coping with the event and the family’s perceptions (C) of that event. So the level of stress (X) that is triggered by a stressor event (A) varies from family to family depending on the B and C factors.
Parental resources (B) include parents’ abilities and strengths and the resources and strengths of the extended family and community. When these resources are positive, parents are better able to cope with stress, but when these resources are negative or lacking, then families are vulnerable and find coping difficult or impossible, and the family’s functioning decreases. The two most important resources in families are the parents’ marital relationship and support from extended family and the community. When these resources are positive assets, families can cope with any stress as we shall see in subsequent lessons, and when they are absent or negative, families have increased stress. Resources are potential sources of help or hindrance until they are drawn upon. Many families have identical levels of resources, but one family uses them, and another family does not (Brooks, 2013).
Parents’ perceptions (C) of stressor events play a large role in determining parents’ level of stress, especially when it comes to dealing with children’s behaviors. Parents’ perceptions, rooted in their past experiences, their cultural traditions, and family and community expectations, play an especially powerful role in determining the meaning or significance of their children’s behaviors. For example, Asian parents have a favorable view of their child’s shyness, seeing it as a sign of the child’s sensitivity and cautiousness, and so they are positive and supportive of their shy children whereas North American parents view their child’s shyness negatively as it does not meet the culture’s expectation of independence and social outgoingness so they are critical and sometimes rejecting. The children’s behavior is the same, but the parents’ view of it changes its significance (Brooks, 2013).
Cultural traditions, past experiences, and family expectations can also influence the parents’ perceptions of the level of severity of the stressful event. The same event can have different stress levels on two different families depending on those influences. To cope with stress, families have the coping strategies to change the event, change their perception of the event and how to deal with it, or manage their feelings by seeking support emotionally.
Peterson, Hennon, and Knox (2000) use the family systems theory views on stress to understand the stress that parents experience.
They highlight the following three types of stress that parents experience in the process of parenting:
NORMATIVE STRESSORS
NON-NORMATIVE STRESSORS
CHRONIC STRESSORS
As identified in family stress theory, the most important resources for parents to cope with stress include a secure marital relationship and family and community support. Parents who do not have these supports or choose not to use them will have increased stress. Cultural traditions and family and community expectations affect a parent’s perception of the severity of the stress. Parents cope with stress by direct action to change the situation, using their supports to help manage their feelings and sometimes reframe the stressors to view them as challenges and opportunities to pursue parent education programs.
Knowledge Check
· Major theories that emphasize both internal and external influences include the following:

Top of Form
o Erikson’s Lifespan of Development
o Piaget’s Constructivist Theory
o Neuroimaging
o Freud’s Divisions of Human Personality

Bottom of Form
“Relations between Physiological and Cognitive Regulatory Systems: Infant Sleep Regulation and Subsequent Executive Functioning,” Child Development 81 (2010): 1739–1752.
Brooks, J. (2013) The process of parenting, 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions.
Hill, R. (1949). Families under Stress. New York, Harper and Row.
Huttenlocher, P.R. (2002). Neural plasticity: The effects of environment on the development of the cerebral cortex. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Lerner, C., & Ciervo, L. (n.d.). Parenting Young Children Today: What the Research Tells Us, Zero to Three (J), 2010-Mar. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ915260
Marzano, R.J. (2005). Building academic vocabulary: Teacher’s manual. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Peterson, G.W., Hennon, C.B. and Knox, T. (2000). Conceptualizing parenting stress with Family Stress Theory. In McKenry, P. C., & Price, S. J. (Eds). Families & change: Coping with stressful events and transitions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Pollock, L. A. (1983, 1993). Forgotten children: Parent-child relations from 1500 to 1900. Cambridge: University Press.
Smith, A. (2015, April 1). A Portrait of SmartPhone Ownership. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/
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