End-of Semester Wrap Up

•December 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Due dates for the rest of the class are as follows:

Post 8: Sunday, 12/13 @ midnight

Quiz 8: (10 pts – 15 min) Friday, 12/18 @ midnight (end of finals week)

Final Quiz: (20 pts – 1 hr) Friday, 12/18 @ midnight (end of finals week)

Both quizzes are now available on WebCT. I would strongly suggest waiting to take both Quiz 8 and the Final Quiz until after today’s lecture.

Extra Credit Opportunity:

A  few students have approached me about extra credit for the course. Here is an available option:

Look over your missed quiz questions (the ones you got wrong). Write a paragraph for each, explaining the CORRECT answer in detail. There is no need to explain why you incorrectly chose another answer option. Send me your answer descriptions by email by FRIDAY, 12/18 @ midnight (end of finals week). Each quiz question that you write about will be worth 1/2 pt.

I’ve enjoyed having you all in class! Thanks for participating in discussions and for all your thoughtful questions!


Unit 8: Parenting and Families

•December 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

Assigned Reading:

Fatherneed Ch. 2

The Gay Baby Boom Ch. 3

Guiding Questions:

How should public policy reflect the research on gay and lesbian parenting?

What are the known benefits associated with involved fathering?

How could our culture encourage fathers to be more involved?

What kinds of parenting strategies would an Authoritative parent use? Authoritarian? Permissive?

In what ways do parents need to adapt their parenting when raising adopted children?

discipline and punishment

•December 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

I realize this is late, I thought the due date was next Sunday.

Until recently, I always thought that spanking or any form of physical punishment was considered abuse and illegal. A couple of months ago, I came across this article about some reality television show about how “Kate” spanked her child on television. Immediately I thought that she was incredibly stupid and will probably have her child taken away from her and her show stopped but instead her show continued on and she was interviewed for her parenting style and why she chose to spank her child. I didn’t understand why her children weren’t taken away from her. Any form of violence towards a child or any other human being is outlawed but why was spanking permitted? Is spanking not a violent and abusive act?

As we learned in class, it turns out that certain forms of physical punishment are permited. They are required to be open-handed slaps and only used on children ages 2 to 6; there can be no sign of injury or bruising. Any closed fisted hits, kicking, punching, burning, or harm towards children younger than two is considered abuse. To me, this is ridiculous. This sends the messages that physical punishment is okay as long as you can get away with it by not showing any evidence such as bruising. Not to mention, it also teaches violence. Parents are models for children and they learn how to manage their emotions by watching their parents; so if mom hits child when child was misbehaving in some way that doesn’t suit mom, then child will apply that to similar situations when the child doesn’t get his way.  The physical punishment that the parents thought would teach the child or cause fear in the child to prevent the misbehavior ends up teaching the child more about the consequences of physical pain and abuse than what they did wrong. It should be illegal and not permitted, but instead of taking children away from the parents, we need parenting classes to help teach parents better ways to deal with their children. Physical punishment should not be the last resort, it shouldn’t be an option at all.

kathy phan

“I’m a cool mom.”

•December 14, 2009 • 3 Comments

How many of you have seen the movie “mean girls”? In the film, Regina’s mother plays the role of a permissive parent. When Regina brings her friends over, she introduces herself as follows: “I just want you to know, if you ever need anything, don’t be shy, OK? There are NO rules in the house. I’m not like a *regular* mom, I’m a *cool* mom.” She later says how the girls are her best friends and how she just loves them.. etc. I would like to expand on both the benefits and risks of this type of friendship, I mean… parenting style.

Although I am aware that an authoritative parenting style has proven the most successful results in parenting, I would like to first identify the pros of permissive parenting. “Permissive parenting” is the term to identify a generally easy-going parenting style. Within this style, the child is allowed to make their own decisions, is fully supported by the parent in these decisions, is given limited boundaries and little discipline, and generally assume a role more similar to a friend than a child. The benefits of this style are few, but I can understand why a parent would willingly choose to be permissive. First, the child will like the parent; they may even call you a “cool mom.” Due to the little structure and discipline given within this style, it may even require less effort as a parent in raising the child. Additionally, a more relaxed atmosphere is present, in which the child is able to fully explore the world to their liking, thus they may have a more prevalent sense of independence, which is, in my opinion, favorable.

Research would agree that the risks generally outweigh the benefits of this style, which follow. Within this style, a child may find that there is chaos out in the real world. In school, they may find that their teachers and friends are not as loving and forgiving of them as mom and dad. Because of this, they may even have trouble making friends, in respect to their previous self-centered and self-involved environment. Also, children need instruction in making good decisions. This is due to the rules that all must abide by in the real world, and children need to know this from their childhood, so that they are on a path to make good decisions for themselves. Another, somewhat less established concern, is that the child may lose respect for their parent at a later time. They may, in fact love that they were raised in such an environment, but there is the possibility of them questioning their caregivers’ quality of parenting and overall capability in their upbringing.

However glamorous this style may sound to a parent, in that your child is your ‘best friend,’ etc, it is not only a risk to the child later in life in a number of areas, but in class we learned that it can in some cases be considered ‘robbing a child of their youth,’ which is, in my opinion, among the worst mistakes a parent can make overall.

Kellie Gibson

Examples of being an authoritative parent

•December 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

I found a few examples of how to be an Authoritative parent. Being an Authoritative parent follows a simple pattern consisting of consistency, love, effective communication and logic. We can all learn strategies to this parenting style, but it is learning the style that is important, and it is rather simple. In all the parenting strategies you attempt, we must remember to follow that basic foundation of consistency, love, effective communication, and logic.
It is in the best interest of the child, that their be firm, somewhat strict rules placed upon them. Examples of such rules would include setting a reasonable bedtime, instructing chores, and making sure that homework is done. These are all simple guidelines that should be met by all children, regardless of age. Of course, certain guidelines should be given for each age group.
Another example of parenting for authoritative parents would be to set a curfew for older children. They should be expected back home at a reasonable time. The thing to remember when striving to accomplish authoritative parenting is to enforce these rules and not just set them.
Anyone can set rules and say them, but without the enforcing of these rules, it is not likely that they will be followed. One way for authoritative parents to enforce such rules would be to discipline the child once the rules are broken. This will show to the child that their will be consequences for the breaking of these rules. (http://www.syl.com/articles/beingauthoritativeparents.html)
As we learned in class, punishment is different than discipline and logical consequences are best!

Kayla Lindberg

•December 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Fathers have a very important role in the raising of children. My interest lies in the effects of absent fathers with daughters. In my own experience, girls who do not have a proper male role model in their lives tend to end up looking for male influences in their lives in sex and relationships. I read the abstract to an article by Hetherington, E. Mavis from the APA and they agreed that girls tend to engage in “early heterosexual behavior” and “proximity seeking and attention seeking from males.” This comes from divorced parents, according to Hetherington, and different reactions come from daughters of widows. These girls end up quite the opposite and engage in “inhibition, rigidity, avoidance, and restraint around males.” So in essence, fathers have an immense role in the raising of daughters for without them, they seem to end up lost.

Are gay parents better parents?

•December 14, 2009 • 3 Comments

After discussing this topic in class, I became very interested in the advantages of having homosexual parents.  In class we discussed how there is more distribution of labor, more positive discipline, and less physical punishment.  I was curious to see what other results there might be.  I found that there was actually much more research than I had expected on the subject.

One of the most intriguing things I discovered was that not only is the parenting better, the overall development of the children has been found to be superior.  One source said, “[Studies] suggest that children with two lesbian mothers may have marginally better social competence than children in ‘traditional nuclear’ families.”  I thought this was pretty amazing.  Information like this has been effectively suppressed for so long.  My whole life I’ve heard people try to argue that quality of life would be much worse, but that’s just not the case.

Another study performed at the University of Southern California founds similar results.  They found that, “Children with lesbian or gay parents show more empathy for social diversity, are less confined by gender stereotypes.”  It really seems to be true that the quality of a child’s life can positively benefit, rather than be more challenging, when raised by gay parents.

Eric Harris



Same Sex Parenting

•December 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Same sex parenting is becoming a hot issue and it is a very passionate arguement from both sides. Recently studies have been coming out that are saying that there is no difference for the child if he or she is raised by a heterosexual couple or a gay or lesbian couple. People who fight against same sex parenting claim outragious studies saying the child will become gay because they were raised by a gay couple, but we know that is false because we’re finding out more and more that being gay or lesbian is on a genetic level. People also claim that the child will be at a disadvantage becaus there is no set man or woman in the house hold, but that has proven to be beneficial because the child learns that there is no typical “women and men’s work” and the child learns that it’s okay that the man cleans and makes dinner this helps fight off all the stereotypes and makes the child more rounded. Studies have shown that children raised by same sex parents are average on everything from development to iq, and everything inbetween. The only differences studies have shown betweent the two are that the children raised by same sex couples are more accepting of other people and their differences which I can we can all agree that is a good thing. Same sex couples have to work tirelessly for years and pay huge amounts of money just to have a child since they can’t do it themselves so it makes perfect sense that they are great parents because they’ve already invest to much time and money into having a child. The studies have made it clear that same sex couples should have every right to adopt or have a child by whatever means they choose.

Josh Fagen

Open Adoption

•December 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

During the lecture on adoption, I couldn’t help but reflect back on the years with my youngest brother who is adopted.  He became part of our family when he was only a couple of days old and so we all tend to forget that he is even adopted.  He’s even experienced this, such as when he went to college out of state & was filling out some medical information.  About 15 minutes into the paperwork he realized, “Oh wait a minute.  I don’t know all of this information really because I’m answering questions about my (adopted) parents — not my biological parents.”  He has not felt the need to track down where he originated & has no doubt that he belongs in the family he is is.

Not everyone feels the same way.  Many children have many questions, such as “Why was I put up for adoption?” or “What medical issues should I be aware of” or “Where are my roots?”  Some people now have the option of having “open adoptions” where the birth parents are allowed to be a part of the child’s life and the child is allowed contact with the parents & information for the questions he or she may have.  For some children and the birth parents this may be a good option.  Others find some conflicts that arise such as confusing “boundaries” & expectations. 

For more information about the pros & cons of open adoptions, there is an interesting site: http://adoption.about.com/od/adopting/a/whyopenadoption.htm

Deanna Cote’