Posted: August 2nd, 2022

week 5

2 pages

For this observation activity/discussion, please observe parenting styles. We move through our days, weeks and months making observations of people’s behavior.  This observation activity is an unobtrusive observation of the different parenting styles that we can see demonstrated during parent-child interactions.  If you remember unobtrusive observation (Introduction to Psychology) is defined as making observations of others’ behavior while the observer is part of the scene or environment.    Therefore, students should not interfere with the parents’ or caregivers’ behavior, nor should they make themselves known but be an unobtrusive observer of different parenting styles.

You should be in a public place where parenting behavior can be readily observed (good examples: a grocery store, a mall, a baseball game, restaurant, ice cream store, library etc.). Observe the communication and discipline behavior of at least two different parents (mothers or fathers) or maybe even a caregiver (childcare worker, nanny, grandparent). Some questions to consider during your observation…how do parents respond to their children’s behavior and/or misbehavior (e.g., pulling items off the shelf, begging their parent to buy them something, etc.), how the child responds to parental requests, directives and/or reprimands, and so on. 

Take a few mental notes while observing and after your observation write them down.  This can help you when sharing your observations with the class – parenting style observed, approx. age of parents, approx. age of children (toddlers, preschoolers and children entering into middle childhood – even children in adolescence is OK). Be an unobtrusive observer.
Compare and contrast the behavior of the parents that you observe and determine the pattern of parenting (i.e., authoritarian, authoritative, and so on). During your discussion of the parenting behavior and patterns of parenting, describe the pattern of parenting (use the text as a reference and/or other references on patterns of parenting), and why you believe the parent’s behavior fits into that pattern. 
Describe how children responded to the parenting behavior observed and discuss why the parenting behavior did or did not produce a change in the children’s behavior. This discussion should be as detailed and descriptive as possible.                                         

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