Rare Research Opportunity

Parenting styles don’t matter, that is what all the analyses of all the twin and adoption studies came up with. They postulated three sorts of parenting - permissive, authoritative, and authoritarian, and with that in mind and all the twin and adoption data, they found that the middle road was best.

 

I don't see it that way, because for them, the middle was the middle and permissive was one direction and authority the opposite direction, when really, it’s a one directional scale. Really, the spectrum goes from no application of authority, through some (permissive), through more (authoritative), to much (authoritarian) application of authority. "Application of authority" means control and the tools for it, meaning punishment, meaning force. My point being the three "parenting styles" they postulated are increasing levels of force, and the data says a little is bad and a lot is bad, but in between is not as bad. To my mind there are other ways to interpret that pattern than that the middle amount of force simply strikes the right balance, I need to know if that's true, balance between authority and what? Original Sin? If two out of three dosages of it are bad for you, why is the third not?

 

My interpretation is this: children of permissive parents fear punishment less, the deterrents fail because the child is not convinced he'll have to pay the price, so some number more of those kids develop bad habits, find trouble. Conversely, children of authoritarian parents can be any combination of damaged or bitter and angry from abuse they've suffered, and the rougher their parents are, the rougher some of the kids learn to be, and so perhaps more of those kids find trouble too. A multitude of abuse and corporal punishment studies will support that. But then, why the middle road? The other things don't apply, the punishments are consistent, so the deterrents work, the child has a higher expectation of having to pay the price, and the child has a better chance of avoiding real abuse and damage, along with other things as well, probably. I think that small win for the authoritative parents represents more children trapped in impossible binds, more kids who aren't hurting enough to really speak out, more kids we've fooled into taking it like a man. But the point is this.

 

The permissive parents' kids still know they can and will be punished for some things, they know the adults reserve the right to do it, same as with the rougher parents, so they're carrying the bitterness too, them, the middle-road parents' kids, they all know that. To my mind, the force is the trouble - and the science also says individual parents don't leave a trace, that children are raised as a group function, by other kids, with the adult rules and structures in place - the force itself is an issue, but maybe just that all kids know generally that the adults will use the authority, the force, on them is more to the point. That knowledge offends all children, irrespective of how strict or wishy washy their own caregivers are. (That will be a sticking point, of course, I imagine a lot of parents don’t acknowledge that sense of offense, and I would respectfully suggest that not understanding that feeling means there is a large blind spot in our empathy.)

 

Again, they say individual parents don't leave a trace on their kids, so that must mean individual parents' styles don't matter either - again, by their data, and their analyses, because of the simplistic categorization of “parenting styles." Life certainly, but their science particularly needs a control set of zero authority parents, because that is the fundamental difference, authority, punishments and force, yes or no, and then perhaps we can make sense of the floating scale of less, more and most too. They saw very little difference, again, the middle road was only a little better, their main point is none of it makes any difference at all, so really, what that means to me, because I postulate force and punishments as the operative force in these matters, is when force is present, the amount of it makes little difference. Perhaps it’s a binary condition, like the presence of some poison the smallest amount of which is enough and more makes little difference. What we need to see is if there is a difference if we remove it altogether. Now it just so happens, I know a family like that we could interview, put through some tests.

 

Of course, they’d have to be compensated for their time, and these people are rare, which may drive up the price . . . really, though, for a “science” that is a hundred and twenty-five years old, a chance to establish a null control, for perhaps the first time?

 

What price could be too high?

 

Jeff

 

 

Jan. 16, 2016

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Comments (20)

  1. belladora

    How about balance. You know, there are some people that get it right. LOL

    January 18, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      balance between what and what though? Too mean and too nice? Why would those things be bad? I think too mean is bad because of a thousand studies that show abuse and CP are correlated with poor outcomes, but I don’r accept that poor outcomes from less strict parenting are so simple, that “nice” harms directly like “mean” does, I’m sure there’s more to it.

      January 18, 2016
      1. belladora

        Well, I have 4 grown ups that do not use my method of child rearing at all. They believe in decisions being left to the child. Have faith. !!
        Some children may respond to this method but I can assure you not all. How would they know they were loved if we didn’t care what they did. Not always with punishment but with heartfelt words. That doesn’t work, then you beat them ( kidding of course).

        January 19, 2016
        1. Neighsayer

          don’t matter to my idea that they ‘respond’ or not, same deal, but sure.

          January 19, 2016
          1. GoldenPig2012

            Does this count? My firstborn, he is, gasp, 28 now got everything a new (and I was 16 years old) parent could throw at him. I did try to avoid spanking and grounding because I hated it when I was a child, but, at my wit’s end, I did it as a “last resort”. Did it, oh, yeah, I did it. When he was about 8 or 9, my mother told me something I’ve never forgotten, she said, “Honey, your disappointment in him is more than enough”. I didn’t get that, not for years, but, now………………disappointment in bad choices isn’t punishment, right?

            January 20, 2016
            1. Neighsayer

              ouch . . . not punishment, no. I’m realizing these days that whether we lay hands on ‘em or not, they still feel the threat, they still get the message, and I’m thinking it’s still a traumatic message.

              January 21, 2016
  2. GoldenPig2012

    Control. Control is a bad thing? Even if exercised to keep children safe? They want to run out in the middle of a busy street, we control that behavior. Bad thing? We both know that isn’t. Not all “control” is bad, it’s a matter of controlling unsafe, downright dangerous behavior (children are famous for it) until they can do it for themselves. If not, hell, I could have laid on the couch watching soap operas and eating bon-bons for the last 30 years. Crap. Wasted time.

    January 18, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      control with love – and control that is work for you, not for the kid. Can’t we hold onto them until they’re old enough to understand? And not beat them stupid so that happens a little earlier?

      January 20, 2016
      1. GoldenPig2012

        Ah, so…….certain types of “control” are acceptable. Just checking.

        January 20, 2016
  3. DaninaD

    so, let me ask, if individual parenting isn’t 100 percent to raise child then why are there half truths about discipline? there would be possible problems to occur, why double those? Why mistreat people when they are taking care of their members of their family due to the birth mom not establishing herself. Grandparents hated that much, young mothers hated that much? They dope kids up in preK so the child will piss all over himself cause they wanted to use a child because they wanted him to go to sleep when he slept 12 hours at night already. One things for sure grandparents get very little information. Got black woman discriminating in a prek classroom passing out candy for the christmas party. Give him a forth of what all the others were given. Stupid people with stupid ideas ! Why would somethings system want a 3 year old to lie instead of telling the truth. why would something elses system want to give therapy to the 5 year old(same child) to tell the truth when the truth was told but they wanted twist that around for meanness plus medicate the child with something that causes torticollis when he had over thirty trips at age 2 for neck therapy + wore a doc band and really if there isn’t enough activity and opportunity then there are lessons and such a parent has to coordinate for it to take place and that timing is the families timing not a time for others to ridicule a child(ren) and degragate the children and their family. All for control and the ability for others to play puppeteer with people.

    January 19, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      dude, slow down. Pick one point at a time, OK?

      January 20, 2016
  4. GoldenPig2012

    Neighsayer, yes, “ouch”, it hurt then, when I think back now, it still hurts. Makes me all the more willing to allow THAT to be what my youngest child has instead of memories of spankings and time-outs and groundings. He is, of course, only three, not a teen yet (God help me), but…..I’m working on it.

    January 21, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      you’re gonna be pretty old when this one’s a teen. You better be doing martial arts or something.

      I mean, just in case my whole theory doesn’t work with boys . . .

      January 21, 2016
      1. GoldenPig2012

        HUGE frustrated sigh, NOW you tell me there’s a question about this method working with male children! sumbitch, I’m probably screwed, either way. Or, he is because I’ll have forgotten more than he ever remembers.

        January 21, 2016
        1. Neighsayer

          off to work again here . . . later

          January 21, 2016
          1. GoldenPig2012

            Have a good day, dear.

            January 21, 2016
  5. ehudsonlimber

    A year from the post and the nurture vs nature results are in.

    It all started in the 1990;s in China, when a limit on the number of children per family became law. Fact is, boy babies were kept and girl babies were given up for adoption. Twins were separated for adoption. Many girls all over the world were scattered to the wind. A study of 1,118 sets of twins separated at birth and raised in varied places and cultures revealed that in the debate of nature vs. nurture, nature is a slam dunk. The genetic coding for the way twins laugh for example, remained dominant over laughing like a aisian or an american, or like a step sister.

    I am not a parent, although plenty people call me a mother! Is this thing on? I was punished though. My take is that children have boundaries often ignored. Punishment in my opinion is a private matter and should be left that way.If sibs have questions, refer them to the punished party to answer.

    Ships crew have a saying, one “ah shit” wipes out 100 “atta boyz”. The ratio of praise to criticism on a working ship at sea is with adults is 100 to 1. That is to say 100 up remarks to one down remark. Not at my house growing up! howbout you?

    February 20, 2017
    1. Neighsayer

      yeah, more like the other way around in my childhood too. That sailor’s saying, that’s the truth, I mean in about the right proportions. Pain is the force we apply. Positive reinforcement is almost powerless by comparison. Positive has to mean “absence of negative” to matter.

      .

      yes, there are amazing samenesses between these separated twins, but the most impressive ones would seem to be meaningless. I suppose if they all grow up and vote the same, that’s pretty meaningful (and I think they do).

      February 22, 2017
  6. Neighsayer

    I saw something once, can’t recall the tribe either . . .

    January 19, 2016