Does Involved Parenting Create Inequality?
There is a growing concern among child experts that today’s modern parent just may be contributing to many of the society’s future problems through their parenting skills. Of course, the solution is not always evident, but some have even gone so far as to say the family unit should be abolished. But hold on a minute, not so fast. While Adam Swift’s view of the traditional family may be shocking, some of what he is saying seems to not be that far out of left field. So does today’s style of involved parenting create inequality for our kids?
Can Modern Involved Parenting Create Inequality Socially?
Some of what has been proposed might make sense, depending on how you look at it. While Swift’s presentation that parents who send their kids to private schools or even to church regularly give them an unfair advantage over other kids, I have my doubts. These social connections have always been there, and kids will find their “tribe” regardless of where we send them to school or worship. Just ask the growing tribe of “ex-Catholics” which many refer to as the largest religious group in the world. And Swift goes on to say that the act of having a child should not automatically give you the right to raise that child. If it doesn’t I don’t know what does. But his point about how parents raise their kids affecting their place in society is not a new one. Annette Lareau has been saying something similar for some time now.
Lareau States Parenting Styles Maintain Class Structures
The sociologist has been saying for several years that how we raise our kids is just as important as where. This is especially so when it comes to whether they end up in the middle class or not. She is just one of several specialists in her field who are looking at how social class affects economic outcomes for families. Her research has shown that working-class parents raise their kids in a more hands-off manner than middle class parents. Where middle-class parents negotiate with their kids on everything from bedtime to discipline, they are also more likely to teach kids how to deal with structured days.
Breaking Free Of Our Class Restrictions
All those Little League games and after school classes prepare them for the middle management white collar jobs there are destined to inherit. Working class kids may be more independent but they also lack the skills to negotiate through bureaucracy. That is a skill that comes in handy in the corporate world. So does our modern involved middle-class parent creating a new class structure for the future? While I don’t want to think that Adam Swift’s vision of government run crèches which smack of Orwell’s 1984 is the solution, helicopter parents who push their kids up the corporate ladder isn’t healthy either. Maybe those working class parents have something right that we should look at more closely. Unless we are all too busy helping our kids get into the right schools and play with the right kids.