The Glass Castle Research Paper
What are parenting styles and how do they impact children?
I need to write a research paper about this topic and related it to the book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The research paper needs to discuss and provide real life examples connecting to the characters and details happened in the book. Also, the paper needs relevant statistics and data. Lastly, a bibliography page is also required and need to be in MLA form.
The Glass Castle Research Paper
Four main parenting styles exist which explain how parents raise and nurture their children. The four are neglectful, authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting styles (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian 1-5). These methods affect the growth and outlook of children and influence their lives in a positive or negative way. Parenting supports and promotes the social, emotional and intellectual growth of children from childhood to adulthood. It is necessary that people understand their various parenting styles and develop better parenting methods to raise children with high self-esteem and positive outlook on life.
Most people regard authoritative parenting as the most beneficial and efficient parenting method for healthy kids. These parents are easily recognizable and have high expectations for their off springs. They translate these expectations in an understanding way and support the children into growing to what they deem fit. Such parenting creates a healthy environment for child growth (Bernstein 9). It also assists in creating productive relations between parents and their children. Nearly 97 percent of children from these families succeed in school and get good jobs.
Unlike authoritative parenting, neglectful parenting is quite harmful and can scar a child permanently. These parents rarely care for the children’s physical and emotional needs. They lack an understanding on the ongoings of their children’s lives, and the home environment is unsafe. They hardly ever spend time with their children and lack basic information about their children’s lives like the friends to their kids, teachers, talents, how the children spend their time and if they partake in any dangerous activities. Neglectful parenting results in children lacking a proper role model from their parents. They engage in risky behavior such as truancy, drug use, and premature sex since they lack the attention from their parents. Most children from neglectful parenting are school drop outs, have drug dependency problems or become young parents at an early age.
Permissive parenting involves parents that are loving, nurturing but lenient to their kids. These parents are usually responsible and tend to their children’s needs but are a bit lax regarding delivering discipline to their children. They lack a distinction between disciplining and punishing children thus end up raising offsprings with little self-control and self-discipline. Permissive parents set few and inconsistent rules to their children. They fear exercising too much power and punishment as they believe punishment will affect the children negatively. Some permissive parents resort to this parenting method due to the strict upbringing from their childhood. Others adopt it because they are afraid to upset their children. Despite the sentiments and thoughts that they are creating a free and open environment for their kids, permissive parents affect their children and raise them into lacking discipline, and control which may result in future bad behavior.
Authoritarian parenting entails demanding parenting methods. These parents are quite strict. They have a rare open dialogue with their children and expect them to follow their expectations and rules dutifully. They use punishment to obtain obedience from their children and to educate them. Authoritarian parenting results in children with low self-esteem stemming from their harsh childhood experiences. 70 percent of kids from these backgrounds are abused both emotionally and physically since some parents may overindulge in the punishments. In most cases, these parents punish their children without explaining the cause of punishment because of the minimal communication that exists between these two parties. The children, therefore, develop into shy adults who cannot express their views and see punishment as a normal behavior. They also mistake obedience for love and misbehave when away from their parental figures. Authoritarian parenting is useful for the development of healthy children. Parents should, however, find a balance between authoritarian and authoritative parenting.
Jeannette Walls’ the Glass Castle clearly illuminates parenting styles and how the style of parenting can affect the child’s future. Walls’ childhood was a poor one characterized with a stubborn mother and an alcoholic father. Her parents raised Walls and her three siblings Brian, Lori, and Maureen in a permissive and neglected manner. The children had the freedom to do what they pleased how they saw fit. The parents at times abandoned them especially during times when the father went to support his drinking habits, and the mother was away. The poverty and Rex’s alcoholic behavior and Mary’s stubborn habits are what resulted to the permissive and at times neglected parenting styles. The family had nothing to lose thus no need to exercise excessive authority. The parents were also not role models, and their lifestyles had nothing to desire therefore the minimal expectation of the parents for their children.
Rex and Mary’s parenting styles resulted in their children’s independence. Their parents’ behavior made Walls and her siblings learn to earn money at an early age. The children would do menial jobs to obtain money that was used to buy food (Walls 62). The kids sometimes stole food during instances where they lacked money (Walls 68). They would at times sleep hungry for consecutive nights due to lack of money. It is very unfortunate that Walls and her siblings had to suffer while other children lived comfortably. They learned how to steal to support themselves. The gesture is understandable since the lack of food results to starving, but the act is wrong, juvenile and can lead to imprisonment at an early age. Such behavior can also lead to bad relations with the community who view such behavior as distasteful and unlawful which can make life difficult and cause stigmatization at an early age.
Walls and her siblings faced an unfortunate upbringing because of their parents’ habits and the have-nots parenting styles. Walls learned to steal from her friends’ to avoid starvation. The young kids used to wander around collecting beer cans which are both unsafe and may result in kidnapping or sexual assault. More so, they were sexually and physically abused by their in-laws. Such childhoods have a 99 percent children sexual and physical abuse. Parents need education on the effect of their behavior and their parenting methods on their children.
Rex and Mary loved their children, and they had a chance to provide good lives for their kids, but they chose themselves over the children. Mary for instance had property that she could have cashed in and completely changed her children’s life but she did not. Mary was a teacher but instead chose to paint to fulfill her life’s dreams. She positioned herself before the kids and at times finished food for them. Rex, on the other hand, chose to use the money to buy alcohol as opposed to providing the necessities to his children. Alcoholism is a choice, and it results to the misuse of money and violent behavior as portrayed by Rex (Walls 112). This family would have a better life were the parents more responsible, grounded and more strict on their children.
In her book, Walls explains how parenting styles depend primarily on the behavior of parents. Walls’ childhood would be different and better were her parents responsible, understanding, caring and not alcoholic. Parents should, therefore, work on themselves and provide better lives for themselves to better rear their children and provide better lives for them. Parents should learn at an early age how to become authoritative parents. The authoritative parenting style is the best as it ensures responsibility, care, mentorship, good communication, good freedom and discipline on the children. All parents have the ability to practice authoritativeness once they prioritize their parental obligations, provide for their families, ensure proper communication, protection, and instill discipline. Rex and Mary would have made excellent parents had they done the same.
The style of parenting also provides a good foundation for a child’s future. Walls and her siblings except Maureen strove to provide better lives for themselves. Their poor upbringing, abuse, and poverty made them yearn for a better life. According to Urban institute’s 2015 statistics, 13 percent of poor students are less likely to complete high school and 43 percent to complete college, some children raised in neglect and loving homes strive to better their lives. Rex taught his kids how to dream big and have positive visions of a better life. Despite his flaws, he taught his children life philosophies. Thus, parents have an obligation to nurture their children to grow into meaningful and better human beings. Despite the theft and other poor behavior by Walls and her siblings, Rex and Mary’s parental methods resulted to independent off springs. Parental styles, therefore, have a significant effect on how a child turns out. A parent may lack the financial ability, and the capacity to provide for their children but the children may still succeed depending on how their parents raise them. Walls was taught to envision a better life and strive to attain it thus her success. However, poor upbringing can also result in bad choices and behavior by some individuals. Maureen, for instance, succumbed to drugs and criminal activity as an adult. Parenting styles are therefore crucial in the raising of obedient, upfront, law bidding and productive adults.
In conclusion, it
is necessary for parents to adopt the authoritative parenting style while
raising their children. This parenting style ensures that children have good
manners, discipline, how to behave and the necessity for expectations and goals
in life. Also, parents should be positive role models to their children to
ensure that they provide a good example that their children can emulate.
Parenting is an obligation and parents should provide the necessities for their
kids to make sure that they have a positive life. Parents should learn the
difference between good parenting and pampering; firmness and leniency;
independence and excessive freedom; and lastly discipline and punishment. All
these impact the future of children once they become adults in various ways.
Walls and her siblings had a difficult childhood, but they managed to succeed
except Maureen. Their parent’s parenting styles despite not being perfect
taught them about independence, survival, and yearning for a better life. It
is, therefore, possible to create better lives and future for one’s kids
despite a rough life. Parents should teach their children about having
aspirations and positive traits which can only achieve by proper communication
and good role models. Parenting requires a balance which results in better
lives for children once exercised properly.
Bernstein, Douglas A. Essentials Of Psychology. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2011. Print.
Plotnik, Rod and Haig Kouyoumdjian. Introduction To Psychology. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2010. Print.
Urban Institute. Child Poverty And Adult Success. 2015. Print.
Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle. 1st ed. New York: Scribner, 2005. Print.