Does SAH create demanding children?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Does SAH create demanding children?
113
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 8:03am
I am reading The Mask of Motherhood and although I am not in total agreement of her theories and discussions, I thought they would be interesting in the context of this board.

One of her discussions focuses around the idea that now that mothers have more time/less household demands coupled with the parenting child-centered philosphies that the children have become more demanding of our time and attention.

Of course this discussion can take place regardless of employment status, but as the author seemed to be a SAHP, she clearly points to this as part of the reason we have "selfish brats".

SUS

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 8:48am
I don't know if I would call it bad parenting,but more of a more permissive style.It is what I see at parks.etc. IRL.I am not saying it is Gods truth.I am just reporting what I see in my little corner of the world.I know lots of older parents with adopted children,and they do take parenting *very seriously*,which is good,but can be taken to an extreme.I also think studies would back me up on the theory that working class people are stricter,although that is usually presented as a bad thing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:05am
I don't think that is quite it; that it is a matter of "strict" or not. The author points to less real world experience with children amongst the upper stratas and the working class, one of the bigger differentiators between the two groups tending to be family size. Of course that is an overview of the demographics.

I think that the opportunity or lack of choices can make the difference. I think that author is on to something when she discusses how we have changed the expectations of what mothers can control because now we do have this unprecedented time on hands - and these changes have largely been directed to how much attention we give our children in comparison to previous generations, which creates children who want more attention - I don't think that is all good or all bad.

The author exempts the working class for most of her discussion, which does create a different type of stereotype, but I don't think that is a necessary truth. I do think that when people are in survival / just keeping thier heads above water, they have less time and inclination for the introspection.

SUS

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:06am
Yes,and we are told by studies etc. how more educated people are better aprents,and I at least see a lot of really permissive parenting among those groups.(I am guilty of being permissive about some things,too.I am not advocating the "spank em and tell them to shut up theory",either).

I think "sensitive parenting" has been confused with lack of ANY authority.Yesterday,a womans college mom stormed into her house and said,"FINE!Don't come in!"when Sugarplum said,"NO" to her.

Most of those parents attend a zillion workshops and lectures on parenting,so I would think they would do basic things like watch their kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:13am
All right, I know I'm splitting hairs here, but may I please clarify something? Researchers have to use something ***measurable*** in order to do correlation studies. Hence, the studies that show a relationship between the mother's education and the child's performance in school measure just exactly that -- what kinds of grades the child gets and how many years he stays in school. A positive correlation has been found between those factors and how many years of education the mother has.

No one has yet found a quantifiable measurement of "good parenting". Lots of college kids were raised on inappropriate movies, junk food diets, undesirable toys, no bike helmets, whatever else somebody might see as a sign of "bad parenting". But that isn't what the studies are measuring.

Thank you for reading this message about the facts and fallicies surrounding correlation studies. We now return you to your regular programming. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:21am
You are so biased against wealthier parents. Working class parents enjoy their kids more? They are more strict? Maybe in your experience. But what a biased generalization!!

I am very strict and really enjoy my boys. Don't let your working class prejudices show!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:35am
I never changed a baby's diaper until I had DS#1. The lack of exposure to children has not made me enjoy or cope with my children less well, or be more permissive. How many upper middle class or wealthy people do msn, you, faciabell, etc. know? Why would being strict be the province of the working classes????????? And no, I'm not the exception in my circle of friends. We all discipline our children, have set meal and sleep times, etc. You are all barking way up the wrong tree.

None of us who WAH or WOH are permissive because we feel guilty about working.

This thread is really ticking me off.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:45am
How about "book smart and people stupid"? It's not necessarily about earning power or even age.

My best friend took 8.5 years of marriage to have her first child, and it weighed heavily in her decision to SAH. But she is as strict as I am. :)

No smart parent wants a spoiled brat.

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Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:50am
Wow, talk about stereotypes and generalizing!

DH and I are "older" parents. We're also comfortable, on our way to being "well off." Our boys are far from being brats, and that's not only our biased opinion. I get so many compliments on how compassionate, nice and well behaved our boys are and what exceptional manners they have. But I guess since that's what I see in my little corner of the world, I should generalize that that's the way it is??? Hogwash!

I see great parents who are of all ages and SES backgrounds, and I see lousy parents of all ages and SES backgrounds. I would never think to assume that because parents ABC and "older and well off" that they're going to have brats for kids.

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:03am
Yes, I also disagree with your post indicating that older more affluent parents (esp. those who suffered from infertility) tend to be more permissive and raise brats.

I am a somewhat older parent due to infertility. Yes,I am more thankful than the average parent who takes childbearing for granted. That doesnt mean that I will let my DS do what ever he wants without any rules. This is just preposterous.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:14am
Why?

The argument put forth is really that we have created a group of children that are more demanding than previous generations. The reasons - according to the author - do lie in the theory that as the time necessary to maintain the home has decreased, we have turned our attention to the children and that we believe that we have control over things that possibly we really don't. (a colicy baby, a baby that doesn't want to nurse, temperment...) There is a difference in finding chores for a child to do and having to work within the family for basic needs.

I happen to belive that it crosses SES, but the author doesn't seem to hold that belief. Again she references the family size differences, which gives people more exposure to babies. She does report the working class mothers are more satisfied in their roles, but she doesn't put qualitative measures on that, she just puts forth that due to their hands-on experience, they come to the table better prepared than those who haven't had the opportunities.

I have a friend who was had a lot of responsiblity for her younger sibs growing up. I had none. She babysat. I would have rathered picked weeds along the expressway in 125 degree heat. When we had our babies, she was much more prepared for the functional and physical aspects of infant/child care. This preparation probably helped her emotionally. I had no clue. But that doesn't mean that she is a "superior" or even better parent than I am. It is what it is.

SUS

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