ece355 week 1 discussion 1, Psychology homework help


Question Description

First, address the following:

  • Describe at least two ways that you think parenting has changed in the last 25 years.

Then, after reading the article “25 Years of Parenting: A Look Back and a Look Ahead (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” and section 1.3 of
your course text, address the following:

  • Explain how your understanding of parenting that you shared in your introduction post does or does not align with the ideas shared in the article.
  • Discuss at least two ideas that were shared in the article that were surprising to you about how parenting has changed.
  • Describe how using this information, along with your knowledge of child development, will help your work with families.

Wardle, F., & Fitzpatrick, T. (2016). Children & families: Understanding behavior & dynamics [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

*You must properly cite and reference the course text in every discussion. A citation is a parenthetical note within the body of your response. It comes after a direct quote or a paraphrase. A reference comes at the end of your response and refers to the required reading or material. Use in-text citations.

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1 Families and Children Jupiterimages/Creatas/Thinkstock Learning Outcomes After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: ሁሁ ሁሁ ሁሁ Assess the various definitions of family, and explain the key functions that families provide to their members and communities. Distinguish key features in American history that have affected how families are structured. Assess how changes to the idea of family have influenced our concepts of marriage, gender roles, and social trends. © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Section 1.1 Understanding the Family Introduction Throughout history, children have represented society’s hope for survival and the future. Thus, their development and survival has always been an essential part of any society. However, as the world has developed, changed, and progressed, so too has the way the next generation is raised. Raising children in today’s society can mean many different things. Our goal in this book is to explore family styles and dynamics, child development, and the rich diversity of today’s families. Understanding how children develop and interact with their families and communities will help you anticipate challenges and develop effective strategies for working with children and their families. This chapter will provide a foundation for many of the concepts we will discuss throughout this book, starting with definitions of what it means to be a family and an exploration of family functions and structures. The second section of this chapter will cover some of the key eras in American history that have affected how families formed, developed, and operated. In the third and final section of this chapter, we will examine how changes to the idea of family have influenced traditional family roles and larger societal trends. Keep an open mind as you read this chapter and be prepared to challenge what you know about families. 1.1 Understanding the Family Understanding how families evolve and function in society is critical to being able to work effectively with them. This first section is intended to serve as a foundation for many of the concepts discussed throughout this book. In our quest to understand family, we will begin by attempting to define family. We will begin this quest by meeting Todd and Sharon in the following The Evolving Family feature box. Todd and Sharon are members of two types of families we will follow throughout this chapter. Defining Family Families are generally viewed as the primary unit in which children are raised and learn about the world. However, defining family is not an easy thing to do. There are a variety of perspectives on what it means to be a family. Representing the historical perspective, Elkin and Handel (1978) defined family as “the first unit with which children have a continuous contact and the first context in which socialization patterns develop” (p.118). The historical notion of the traditional family included “married partners and children residing in a household.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s perspective acknowledges that family structures can vary and offers the following definitions of family: 1. A traditional “nuclear family” of two parents and their children, and where the parents are presumed to be acting in the best interests of their children; 2. An extended-kin model of family made up of a community of parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives which should be recognized as a primary family, even if the blood-ties are not as strong as in a nuclear family; and 3. An individualist model where family members are autonomous and individuality should be respected (Dolgin, 2002). And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Understanding the Family Section 1.1 T h e E v ol v i n g F a m il y : M eet T odd a n d S haro n Family composition and roles change over one’s lifespan. During infancy and the early years of child development, individuals are typically cared for by their family. As individuals age and maturation occurs, the family composition changes, adapts, or is intentionally modified. As unique as the individuals who comprise today’s families are, so too are the structures and processes by which families exist. In this chapter, we will follow Todd and Sharon as they experience the evolution of family. As you read these features, consider how external influences have shaped your life, expectations, and definition of family. Todd After Todd’s parents divorced, their shared custody agreement determined that he would spend four days of the week at his mother’s home with her new husband and his three children from a previous relationship, and three days, including weekends, with his father. The split was originally amicable until Todd’s mother remarried. His parents worked very hard to reassure Todd that their divorce had nothing to do with him and that for the most part everything else would remain the same. Todd remained active in the extracurricular activities he had always participated in since childhood, and stayed at his mother’s house four out of five weekdays so that he could remain at his current high school for his Junior and Senior years. While Todd was typically an A and B student, his grades declined due to the added family stress he experienced before, during, and after his parents’ divorce. Todd’s parents send him to a therapist once a week for added support. Through conversations with Todd, his therapist quickly noticed that Monday mornings seemed to be a difficult time for Todd. She noted that while Todd’s time at his mother’s house included supervised activities with the family, his father’s efforts to provide financial support left little time for leisure activities. Sharon Sharon’s parents truly believed in family first, so when her paternal grandfather passed away and her grandmother’s health began to decline, Sharon’s family quickly relocated to her father’s hometown to be closer to her ailing grandmother. Sharon’s mother, a teaching assistant, quickly found work with a child care program in the area and her father transferred to his company’s local office. In an effort to maintain a sense of normalcy, the family decided to move into a small rental home near Sharon’s grandmother. After Sharon’s mother was laid off in a reduction in force, her parents found it difficult to maintain the mortgage on both her grandmother’s home, which had been in the family for several generations, and on their rental home. Eventually, Sharon’s family moved into her grandmother’s home. Sharon quickly became the primary caregiver for her grandmother and younger sister, as her mother worked with a temp agency and her father worked overtime in an effort to maintain the middle-class lifestyle to which their family had become accustomed. Discussion Questions 1. How does Todd’s family composition differ from Sharon’s? 2. What do you think are the anticipated challenges and benefits of each family’s composition? A family includes a householder and one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. A family household may contain people not © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Understanding the Family Section 1.1 related to the householder, but those people are not included as part of the householder’s family in census tabulations. (2001, p. A-1) As illustrated by the many definitions of “family,” there are a variety of family types in contemporary society. As you venture into the field of family behavior and dynamics, you must be conscious of how you interact with children and families. One way to do this is to be culturally responsive and acknowledge and respect the uniqueness of each family. Being culturally responsive means that you affirm the cultures of the children and families with whom you work, and that you view their cultures and experiences as strengths” (Gollnick & Chinn, 2009). We will discuss cultural responsiveness from various perspectives throughout this text. P a us e a n d R e f l e c t : W ho D o Y ou C o n sider F ami l y ? Take a moment to reflect on the way you would have defined your family as a nine year old. Reflection Questions 1. Who were the members of your family? 2. Were these individuals genetically related to you? 3. Now consider your current definition of family. How has this definition changed over time? Family Structures and Family Functions There is no such thing as a “typical” or “normal” family composition in contemporary society. Family structures, or kinds of family configurations, can include, but are not limited to: • • • • • • • • • • • Adoptive families Blended families Extended families Families of divorce Foster families Nuclear families Single parent families by choice Single parent families by situation Same sex families Separated families Transitioning families We will discuss family structures more in Chapter 2; however, all families, regardless of their structure, have a function. Family functions are the essential tasks that all families perform to meet the essential needs of the children and other family members. According to Berger (2011), these include: • Meeting the physical needs of children. Families provide shelter, food, clothes, and medical care. • Encouraging learning. Schools cannot succeed without family support, collaboration, and school-family communication. © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Understanding the Family Section 1.1 • Contributing to the development of self-esteem. Families need to help their children feel competent, loved, and appreciated. We will examine the developmental process of self-esteem more closely in Chapters 2 and 3. • Providing harmony, stability, and consistency. Children need to feel psychologically and physically safe at home; they need to feel protected and experience a predictable environment. Families and parents do not exist in a vacuum; they reflect and contribute to the cultures and societies from which they come. As we will see later in this chapter and throughout the book, societal, historical, and cultural forces significantly impact contemporary families (Socha & Stamp, 2009). The lives of children are heavily dependent on their caregivers’ choices, choices which are in turn influenced by their caregivers’ family, community, and cultural norms. Cultural norms are customs and rules that guide the behaviors, expectations, and responses of a group. They can provide insight into how an individual will respond when becoming a parent or caregiver and dictate appropriate reproductive patterns, caregiving practices, and familial roles, all of which affect the developing child. For some, the decision to become a parent is a conscious one based on careful planning and consideration; for others, this decision may be unplanned. Regardless, families have a function and a direct effect on the development and behavior of the children within them. The way in which families function has been viewed as one of the greatest predictors of a child’s psychological well-being. For emotional well-being, infants and toddlers need sensitive, responsive adult caregivers. They need warm, caring adults who are able to form enduring relationships (Honig, 2002). An infant’s survival is dependent upon the willingness of others to provide for his or her primary needs. When caregivers are responsive, children learn to trust those around them. “Infants are ready from birth to connect emotionally, interact, and start relationships with their primary caregivers” (Freeney, Galper, & Seefeldt, 2009, p. 60). The individuals that comprise a family provide the first relationships that a child will experience. It is from these relationships that children develop their expectations for the future. Family Systems Theory, discussed in the next section, is one of the most common frameworks in which to view how families function. The Family Systems Theory According to Turner and Welch (2012), “The manner in which parents interact with and guide their children influences the child’s development in more ways than are immediately visible” (p.30). With this in mind, professionals must seek to understand the children within the context of their families and communities. Family instability is commonly associated with the inability to complete necessary family tasks, and when families function ineffectively or are not able to fulfill their family tasks, the results can affect the larger community. According to Robles de Melendez and Beck (2010), there are six key tasks that effective families provide: • • • • • • Basic needs Socialization tasks Emotional support and spirituality Economic tasks Educational tasks Crisis management tasks © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Understanding the Family Section 1.1 Dr. Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory, developed in the 1950s, is a theoretical framework that focuses on universal characteristics found among families (boundaries, roles, rules, hierarchy, climate, and equilibrium). It views families in the context of interconnected and interdependent individuals by examining each individual family member’s influence on each other in predictable, consistent ways, with an emphasis on family dynamics and communication styles. The individuals that comprise the system are a collection of friends, coworkers, or family members. The primary focus is the dynamic of the group rather than the individuals who are a part of the group. Like a well-oiled machine, a family system is a cohesive unit in which each member is affected by others in the system. If the family system is destabilized by the actions or decisions of one member, the remaining parts of the system must adapt. Family Systems Theory is commonly viewed from two perspectives: family composition and family process (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). The family composition perspective examines the impact of the family structure and suggests that two-parent, intact families are optimal for a child’s development. Proponents of this approach argue the benefits of two biological parents and monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock the social capital the two parents can ሁሁ According to the family composition perspective, provide. Social capital is considered the children raised by two biological parents benefit emotional, economic, and educational from a greater amount of social capital than other support that famlies provide (McLanahan family systems. and Sandefur, 1994). For example, when children live with both biological parents, they are said to benefit from the ability to interact with and learn from two knowledgable adults who are invested in the wellbeing of their children. The biological parents in an intact family are thought to be fully invested in the successful outcomes of their children and thus are likely to provide the necessary support associated with positive outcomes (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). David Sacks/Digital Vision/Thinkstock ሁሁ According to family process perspective, non- biological and single-parent families can create just as supportive environments as biological, twoparent families; in some cases they can be more supportive. Family process researchers, on the other hand, support the position that the process of the family can mitigate the impact of the family structure, focusing on the quality of the parent-child relationships within each family configuration (Acock & Demo, 1994). In other words, unlike the family compostion belief, the family process perspective supports the belief that social capital does not have to come from both biological parents, but can be provided by another individual, including a single parent. The value is perceived to be in the quality of the adult interaction rather than in the quantity (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Historical Influences on Family Development Section 1.2 T h e E v ol v i n g F a m il y : T odd a n d S haro n as a C oup l e Sharon and Todd attend the same high school and saw one another in the hallways numerous times. While at first glance the two seemed to have little in common, their platonic friendship became romantic. However, they were concerned about the interracial nature of their relationship (Sharon is Black and Todd is White). Interracial dating was not common in their community, so they worked diligently to keep their relationship a secret. Sharon assumed that her parents would not approve of her relationship with Todd based on conversations she had overhead about the contentious racial climate in their community, while Todd avoided most conversation with his mother and rarely saw his father. In an attempt to escape the stress of dating in secret, which they had been doing for a year, Sharon and Todd decide they will move into a small apartment together their senior year of high school. While their friends accepted this decision as the “next step” to their relationship, they were very apprehensive about telling their parents. When Sharon formally introduced Todd to her family and informed them of their plan to move in together, her parents were less than pleased with her decision to cohabit. Yet they were also relieved when Sharon agreed to remain close to the family home to continue caring for her sister and grandmother while she completed high school. She also agreed to attend classes at the local university after graduation. When Todd mentioned his plans to move in with Sharon and get a full-time job after high school, rather than go on to college, his mother expressed her disappointment and ended their rare conversations. Todd’s father initially appeared to accept Sharon. However, he later expressed concern about Todd’s well-being given the racial tension in the area and predicted that neither of them would graduate high school. Discussion Questions 1. How has the proposal of moving in together changed Todd’s and Sharon’s family structures and functions? 2. Is the Family Systems Theory applicable to this scenario? If so, how? 1.2 Historical Influences on Family Development To better understand the modern family, it is important to consider the cultural and economic events that have modified it over the course of time. These events impact the way families function and also shape the social identity of the individuals within the family. Social identity is the way in which individuals view themselves, how they interact with others, and how they live their lives. Because social identity is influenced by both time and context, it is in a constant state of flux. For example, the history of the American family, as well as in most developed nations, can be described in three economic eras: agricultural, industrial, and service. The Agricultural Era (1500 to 1800) This era reflects a historical period in which most people survived on income earned from agricultural work or farming land. While by present day standards these individuals were primarily self-employed, their wages were not significant. Most families during this period grew or made many of the items they needed for daily living and bartered for items they could © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Section 1.2 Historical Influences on Family Development not produce. Individuals were valued for their ...
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Tutor Answer

School: New York University


Parenting has changed dramatically over the last 25 years which can mostly be attributed to
technological changes. Technological changes have played a major part in the evolution of
parenting especially through availing parenting information online. For instance, 25 years ago,
very few bloggers who mainly dwelled on parenting existed. In the modern day, parents can
access tons of information from the internet which they use as a guide on how to bring u their
children. On the negative side...

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