In some ways, being a parent is like planting a garden. The way you approach your task dictates your possible results. The more positive energy you put into your goal, the more likely you are to be rewarded with strong and healthy fruit.
Most modern parenting advice falls into two categories: child raising and parenting. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually represent two diametrically opposed viewpoints. In the garden analogy, these farmers will find themselves with vastly different results at harvest time.
Child Raising vs Parenting: What’s the Difference?
In the early 20th century, child psychology was limited to its effects on a child’s social behavior. Issues of hygiene, obedience, and cooperation were the main topics of discussion. Physical growth and educational performance were also closely examined by teachers, doctors, and parents.
In the mid-1950s, a new branch of experimental child psychology became popular. As this trend developed, issues surrounding parenting moved out of schools and homes and into doctor’s offices and treatment centers. This led to more theoretical views on child psychology while deemphasizing many traditional values like independence and unwavering respect for authority.
This shift in popular mindset led to the formation of two different approaches to guiding children to adulthood.
- Child raising. This camp adheres mainly to traditional values of community and self-reliance. The goal is to prepare children to fill vital roles in society that uphold established standards.
- Parenting. These parents apply the advice from psychologists to interactions with their child. In this style, parents often focus on creating activities that stimulate performance in a certain area like academics, sports, or an extracurricular activity.
The main difference between these two parenting styles is focus. Both families love their children and only want the best for them. Those who choose child raising see success as strong interpersonal connections while parenting families believe personal development is the key to fulfillment.
The Benefits of Child Raising
While there are benefits to parenting, child-raising continues to be the best approach for guardians. This philosophy offers long and short-term benefits for the child, family, and community.
- In the parenting style, guardians go to great lengths to shield their children from unpleasant truths. This is done with the belief that the child’s happiness is the ultimate goal. Child-raising families help children process these events and emotions, which leads to stronger emotional intelligence.
- When the child is made the most important factor, they see parents as servants rather than guides. The child-raising model puts the parent in a place of authority, which encourages respectful behaviors in daily life.
- A recent study found that empathy is a key ingredient in mutually beneficial relationships. Parenting-style guardians place unnatural amounts of attention on the child, which hinders the development of empathy. Child-rearing allows youngsters to see the value of others’ experiences, thus increasing their interpersonal skills.
Parenting techniques have their place in family life. It is important to seek the advice and guidance of reliable professionals. However, families benefit most when daily life focuses on responsibility, positive personal relationships, and independence.
Anthony Cupo is a Trained Mindfulness Facilitator (TMF) from the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is a co-owner of Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC and has been meditating for over 30 years.