Child Rearing Strategies and Their Long-Run Consequences

ASOC – 440 Assignment # 4 Whether or not parents are aware of it, child-rearing strategies have predictable long-run consequences. Two child rearing strategies are “Concerted Cultivation” and the “Accomplishment of natural growth”. “Concerted Cultivation” is the child rearing strategy that is most commonly seen amongst families of the middle class while “Accomplishment of natural growth” is the child rearing strategy that is most commonly seen amongst families of the working class and of the poor. There are different aspects of the Child rearing strategies but for now we will be concentrating on “Play”.

Let’s look at “play” as the activities that kids take part in where they have interactions with other kids and/or adults. Play is heavily affected by the type of Child rearing strategies. The different strategies affect a child’s structure of play and have different long tern effects. So that we can further break down “Play” and compare it by the different child rearing strategies, “Concerted Cultivation” and “Accomplishment of natural growth”, we will concentrate on two of Annette Lareau’s family cases from her book Unequal Childhoods; Garrett Tallinger and Tyrec Taylor.

Garrett Tallinger is a 10 year old white kid who belongs to a middle class family. He is being raised under the ideas of “Concerted Cultivation”. Let’s take a look into Garrett’s structure of play. Garrett’s structure of play is very hectic. He is involved in many extra-curricular activities. He plays and is on many different organized sport teams, including basketball, baseball, swimming, two soccer teams, and also plays piano. Now since his parents are using the concerted cultivation approach, they look at their children as projects and try and get the most out of them.

Garrett’s Parents encourage him to join as many organized activities as possible. They are so into it that they will rearrange their own schedules to make time around his, drive him places, make a point to be at games, and paying of team fees and equipment. Garrett interacts with a number of different kids, all usually around the same age as him, and a number of different adult instructors. Also as a result of Concerted Cultivation Garrett ends up spending less time with family members such as his siblings, and spends more time with different teammates.

Tyrec Taylor is a 9 year old Black kid who belongs to a working class family. He is being raised under the ideas “Accomplishment of natural growth”. His structure of play is different the Garrett’s. Tyrec’s schedule of play isn’t hectic; doesn’t have many appointments to uphold. He isn’t a part of sport teams; he spends most of his free time playing games with the kids from his block and his siblings ranging from different ages. His parents don’t encourage him to join any organized activities.

One time him mother finally allowed him to participate in an organized football team. But halfway during the season she found herself tired and over worked and struggling to keep up with the responsibility. Tyrec himself also started to rethink his choice. No we can probably see how a families well-being can affect weather they use Concerted Cultivation of Accomplishment of natural growth. Middle class families are more susceptible to Concerted Cultivation; they make enough money and have enough room in their schedules to accommodate the obligations of organized activities.

They find that organized sports/activities teach their kids things that they can’t learn in school. Working class families are more susceptible to Accomplishment of natural growth; they aren’t well off so most times organized activities become a burden financially and they can’t keep up. They are concentrating the majority of their time and money into keeping the family safe, fed, clothed etc. Instead of encouraging organized sports, they encourage family bonds.

Now both of these approaches have their up and downs and can have predictable long term effects. We find that children of Concerted Cultivation are more competitive and hostile towards their sibling as compared to their working-class(Accomplishment of natural growth) counter-parts. They also have weaker ties with extended family. Children under Concerted Cultivation may take their right to be involved in various activities, and the organized sports they take part in can help prepare them for performance-based assessments at school.

Children like Garrett, who meet and learn to work with a new set of adults for every activity they enroll in, are acquiring a basic job skill; the ability to work smoothly wit acquaintances. In Tyrec’s case (Accomplishment of natural growth) he plays with a relatively stable group of boys, because this group functions with no adult monitoring, he learns how to construct and sustain friendships and how to organize and negotiate. Tyrec also develops skills in peer mediation, conflict management, and personal responsibility.

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