ERIC Number: ED276517
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
The Power and Limitations of Parents.
Human development has two different stories to tell. One describes the growth of the universal characteristics that are present in all human beings because humans possess a particular set of genes. Four examples of biologically prepared, universal characteristics in the psychological growth of children are the growth of memory, of moral sense and empathy, of readiness for responsibility, and of the ability to recognize inconsistency. The second story, which is of greater interest to citizens, seeks to explain why individuals are psychologically different from one another. Six conditions contribute importantly to evident differences in four qualities valued by contemporary Americans: technical ability, wealth and status, the ability to enter into close and satisfying social relationships with others, and personal happiness. The contributing conditions are biological temperament, birth order, parental influences, identification with role models, success and failure, and chance and history. Only one, parental influences, is completely within the power of parents. A second, identification with role models, is somewhat within the power of parents. The remaining four are less easily influenced. Thus, while parents should be loving and conscientious, and should reflect on their actions, they must realize that their growing child is a product of the coming together of a great many coherent events. An individual life is a complex story with many collaborators. (RH)
Descriptors: Biological Influences, Birth Order, Cognitive Development, Empathy, Identification (Psychology), Individual Development, Individual Differences, Memory, Moral Development, Parent Influence, Personality, Role Models
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Publications Division, P.O. Box 7998, Austin, TX 78713-7998 ($0.50; 100 or more, $0.44 each).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
Note: Paper originally presented at the Institute for the Humanities Lecture Series (Salado, TX, 1985).