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What Factors Affect a Parent's Child-Rearing Philosophy?

By Sarah Smenyak ; Updated June 13, 2017

Parenting philosophies may have many influences and affect how parents deal with issues, such as discipline and gender roles. Some parents have a specific parenting ideal in mind while others have a less regimented approach. But, it is a good idea to understand what it is that you expect from yourself as a parent and what your goals are for your children. Developing a parenting philosophy also takes into account your children and their temperaments and motivations.

Family Roots

Your family of origin exerts a large influence over the type of parent you will become. Many beliefs, values habits and thought patterns are ingrained through early family life. Although people are very capable of parenting differently than they were parented, your parents taught you your first lessons on how to be a parent. In developing your own parenting philosophy, reflecting on both the positives and negatives of how you were parented can help you form your parenting goals. Because parenting partners often come into parenting with different family experiences, Family Education suggests that it is important for partners to talk through their parenting ideals.

Religious Beliefs

Religion, or lack of religion, can affect parenting philosophies. Parents who place religion high on their priority list often incorporate these beliefs into their parenting. Religious families tend to have rules and norms in family life that reflect those of their church, and family time is often built around church attendance and influences. Families that do not have strong religious ties may create family ideals from other sources. Sometimes, parents bring prior religious experiences or beliefs into family life, even if they are not particularly active in a church or faith.

Social Influences

Some parenting philosophies have become established names in the parenting communities. Examples are: attachment parenting, which seeks to create strong emotional bonds; slow parenting, which encourages parents to not over plan and organize their children's lives, and parenting for everyone, which believes in the dignity of the child and the child's sense of worthiness.

Parents can find their own parenting styles influenced by their own peer group. Sometimes a particular philosophy becomes popular in a community or school group, or you may find that you borrow from your friends' various parenting styles as you see what works for families around you.

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