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A case study of authoritarian parenting

Info: 1557 words (6 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Psychology

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From all the lines of the passage, clearly Sammy was raised under authoritarian parenting style. Authoritarian parents are adult-centered, demanding and punitive which based on their authority and power. This conclusion can be drawn from the scenario that Sammy’s parents had high expectations on her academic performance and let her further her study. Moreover, authoritarian parents would set straight standards of behavior and allowed little open dialogue. Because of this, Sammy rarely had a chance to express her wills and feelings. They adopted nagging and complaining once they noticed Sammy not working, but not other moderate method persuasion, such as affection, praising and rewards (Moore, 1992).

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Sammy recalled that she didn’t have a clue when their peaceful verbal interaction was, this not only because the parental control over Sammy was high, her parents spent little time on nurturance and giving response as they were both busy working. These are the major barriers lead to poor communication.

Also, rather than questioning why she was hindering behind on academic aspect, Sammy’s parents nagged and complained instead. The criticism of the parents had created lots of conflicts owing to the rebellious thoughts of Sammy. Hence, there was hardly a conversation between them. The lack of disclosure of themselves, made they not understand each other’s thoughts and feelings easily. This brought a lot of negative influences to their relationship, that, this caused a vicious circle to the link between them.

Sammy did not know her identity and her interests. These were the symptoms complied with the idea of “Identity Crisis” suggested by Erikson (1968). Sammy stuck at the fidelity stage of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. By Erikson, it is the crossroad of transforming to adulthood from childhood. Clearly, Sammy was experiencing confusion in her roles which may haunt her in her mature years.

Additionally, Sammy felt she was not as competent as her friends and classmates as well as not as pretty looking as her sister. These show that she lacked confidence. Clearly, Sammy was not satisfied with her body image, which body image was defined as the perception to one’s appearance, and it had a strong correlation to the concept of self. Additionally, female were more unsatisfied than male in terms of their appearance (Stowers and Durm, 1996), hence Sammy, a lady, maybe more negatively affected by her look. These factors have done lots of bad impacts to her physical self of Four Developmental Areas of Self (Hanna, Suggett, and Radtke, 2010).

Moreover, the learning abilities, the motivation, beliefs and attitude towards learning of Sammy is surely low. This is a result of being raised under authoritarian parenting. Children under authoritarian parting are less individuated, perform more poorly on cognitive tests and see their parents as more restrictive (Baumrind, 1991). Moreover, a study of adolescents in the San Francisco Bay Area found that the authoritarian parenting style was linked with lower school grades for all ethnic groups (Dornbusch et al 1987). Consequently, Sammy was probably experiencing problems in her mental self of Four Developmental Areas of Self (Hanna, Suggett, and Radtke, 2010). Since Sammy was not doing well on both mental-self and physical-self, it poorly affected the integration with other two aspects, the emotional self and social self. Since the “selves” should be integrated in a complete model to form a whole self. Otherwise, the selves are mutually affected either. Hence, Sammy was poorly affected making her graded low in self-esteem. As a result, low self-esteem affects academic performance and classroom behaviors (Baker, Beer, and Beer, 1991), and also accounted for loneliness and depression ( Bothwell and Scott, 1997). She was not confident in her. By theory of fulfilling prophecy, she self predicted that she could never finish tasks as good as others, though there was no evidence to prove she was biologically and physically worse than others.

Additionally, by the theory of Life Position (Harris, 1969), Sammy was in the state of “I am not OK, you are OK”. Consequently, she always thought she could not perform as well as others did. Sammy was badly affected by her self-fulfilling prophecy and her life position, which the results were shown in her attitude and performances.

Sammy could not initiate a talk in the right way with her parents. This was because of the parenting style influencing both of them. It was revealed that children under authoritarian parenting learnt that following parental rules and adherence to strict discipline was outweighed independent behavior. Consequently, adolescents may either become independent or rebellious. Those rebellious may show aggressive behavior (Baumrind, 1991). Thus, Sammy once blew up and banged the door after criticism from her parents. After that, Sammy hid her from conflicting with her parents, that, she was suppressing her emotions. However, suggested by Pearsall (1988), people risk the experience of joy if they apply a lot of control over emotions. People not expressing their emotional feelings could feel phony, frustrated and depressed (Bloomfiled, 1996b).

To handle the above mentioned problems, Sammy has to deal with her self-esteem problem, which it accounts for most of the problems. The parenting style is the main reason making her low self-esteem. Sammy should understand that their parents were doing that to her not to criticize her, but to make her better girl. They gave her what they had and did to her what they could to help and nurture her though their methods were not quite right. “When we hold on to past resentments towards parents, currents peace of mind and the ability to experience satisfaction in our here-and-now relationships are n jeopardy. Take responsibility for your own self-esteem” (Hanna, Suggett, and Radtk, 2010, p.22). Hence, there is something in Sammy’s mind should be altered.

To begin with, Sammy should change her thoughts. “The practice of self-love begins in your mind. You must learn to control your thinking” (Dyer, 1976, p.54). Sammy should not be that negative, and should know that criticizing from her parents is not about all. Managing the thoughts after be criticized is prior. Rather than being criticized passively, Sammy should take domination to criticisms by questioning if the criticisms are not to her faults, but people giving negative assessments to her (Hanna, Suggett, and Radtk, 2010, p.22).

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Additionally, Sammy should make some positive changes by creating an achievable but still challenging ideal self, not to afraid of making mistakes. By McKay and Fanning (2000), people should feel good making mistakes, and do not wait until everything has been being right. In addition, mistakes are essential information and would help changing people’s course of action. Developing strengths can be help helpful either. Through her performances on her own strengths, she would feel self-worthy. Feeling being valued is essential to boost self-esteem.

To manage her emotion, Sammy could seek support from friends or professionals. Social linkage and support have been proved to lower mortality rates, to improve recovery from severe sickness, and to maximize the purpose of preventive health practices (Hurdle, 2001). Professional help is also helpful. Sammy should seek help from professional for her emotional problem as she may not receive any appropriate support from social network. Being advised by expertise could move her along faster and enhance the quality of life. (Hanna, Suggett, and Radtk, 2010, p.135)

Writing instead of suppressing emotions is suggested. Writing about emotional upheavals would improve the physical and mental health of a person (Pennebaker, 1997). Moreover, writing is better as people may feel hard to disclose themselves to others. Sammy should remember that suppressing her feeling could be critical. “Any emotion that is repressed will eventually seek manifestation at a later date.” (Ellsworth, 1988, p.77).

What Is Learnt And The Way To Apply

After leaving school and worked for two years before attending to Community College, I had a bad relationship with my parents. Also, I could feel myself having low self-esteem. I felt lost in that period. It has becoming better after I was persuaded by my friends to pursue again my study after two years away from school, because I feel I have re-attained my goal and life becomes bright. However, there are still some problems between me and my parents after this which I do not know how to deal with.

After learning Sammy’s case, I learn more about self-esteem emotional management. Moreover, I have a better understanding to myself. My parents are giving me what they have, things they have done to me are on the purpose of making me a better man. Hence, I should learn from Sammy’s case, to improve my communications with my parents, to manage my thoughts and feelings, and be able to express my own feelings and seek helps once I find myself unable to bear real life situations.


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