Maintaining Parenting Styles in China and the United State

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Date Submitted: 03/04/2013 09:24 PM

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An effective parenting style is something that many parents want to pursue as it plays a vital role on children’s development. Among different parenting style, the Chinese one is described as “restrictive” and “controlling” (Chiu, 1987) while the U.S. one is described as “accepting” and “forgiving” (Chao, 2000). Some psychologists and scholars, such as Baumrind, have begun researching on it, trying to find a parenting style that can fit most parents’ expectation. Yet, due to the diverse culture of China and the U.S., it is difficult to propose a parenting style that can be applied in both countries. To help parents have a better understanding towards it, this essay will analyze the difficulties involved, such as the diversities of cultural orientations, the role of parents and their expectations on children in China and the U.S.

The first difficulty is that the cultural orientations in China and the U.S. are different, which makes it difficult to introduce the same parenting style. For example, the Chinese believe that being strict to children is the only way that can produce outstanding children, either at school or at home. According to a survey conducted by Chao (1994, p. 1116), most Chinese parents interviewed believed that “Children can improve in almost everything if they work hard”. They then answered that parents should start training their children as soon as possible, like telling them to work hard and be disciplined. It proves that Chinese parents tend to have a mindset that it is needed to control kids’ behavior and be strict to them or else their children will become useless, which are generally described as “authoritarian parenting style” (Baumrind, 1966, p.887). However, in the U.S., the story is completely different. American parents are more lenient and give more freedom to their kids. They think that children should form a lasting and loving bond with the parents instead of obeying the parents absolutely (Hunt, Festel, Martine & Sallee, 2012),...