Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Paradoxical Pathways By_ Elliot Weininger and Annette Lareau

When I was growing up I was expected to do many things on my own and my parents, especially my mom, depended on me being her little helper around the house and with my brother. Being her oldest child I learned quite a few skills early on because she was a full-time student, worker and mother. In order for her to be able to trust me with the responsibilities that she was giving me, she had to teach me early on how to make “good” judgment and decisions. Not only was I taught to be able to make decisions for myself and not immediately follow behind someone else’s decision, I was also taught how to make decisions for those younger than me (my brother) and be able to stand my ground if he tried to challenge them. Did this teaching help me out for the long run? Yes it did, but I also feel like it took away part of my childhood. Now the example with the Handlon family seems to be different, but again the study only focuses on the steering of decision making, and not necessarily the families living situation. Teaching youth how to make their own decisions and not to wait on the decisions of others is great because it allows them a chance to build confidence and reliability in their selves so that they never have to wait around to see what others are doing in order to fit in. With my mom teaching me these things, I never felt the need to do what others were doing because it did not matter if I was the only one doing it. I may have felt weird and a little displaced, but it did not deter me from the things that I enjoyed doing regardless of who was doing it with me. More than not, if youth are given the chance to have an option or options at an early age, the more independent they tend to be as they get older verses those who do not really have many choices in childhood. A perfect example would be of my younger brother.
He is the youngest grandchild and the youngest sibling, so therefore he has been babied his entire life. Now that he is going 18 years old he wants to have more independence, but has often times proven that he does not make the best judgment calls. This is partly because he was never required to have to think about decisions and actions because it was always done for him. So now, that it is critical he is having a hard time and my mother is having a hard time trusting his judgment. I strongly believe that it is because we never required him to do much on his own and the little that he did was overly supervised. He did not have to deal with repercussion because there was always someone to take blame for his actions. So, there has to be a balance between to two. Each family yields different needs with different youth and parenting.
Over all this reading seemed very statistical and reminds me of my Communication research class, so it was kind of a drag reading it, but it was interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you are complexifying the reading by looking at the diverse ways you and your brother have had such different experiences of childhood (in the same family)! I also appreciate your discussing what is lost and gained for you in having so many responsibilities as a youth (as the oldest child of three kids, I can very much relate!). Birth order is a big influence on so many things.