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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume I, Wellbeing in Children and Families by Cary L. Cooper, Susan H. Landry

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9

The Nature of Effective Parenting

Some Current Perspectives

Joan E. Grusec, Dilek Saritascedil and Ella Daniel

University of Toronto, Canada

Parenting is effective when it facilitates the child's socioemotional development: that is, when it enables children to make a maximal contribution to society and, at the same time, to lead a relatively satisfying life. Good parenting is multifaceted, revealing itself in many ways. A major point to be made in this chapter is that these different good ways of parenting have different outcomes. An analysis of parenting, then, must include the fact that there are various ways of parenting well and a variety of outcomes related to these ways.

A second theme to be pursued is that effective parenting behavior does not simply involve specific actions that have the same impact on every child. The same action can be perceived differently by different children, or even by the same child at different points in time. Children actively interpret their parents' teaching, choosing what to accept and what to reject, as well as make judgments about parent intention, fairness, and so on (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994; Kuczynski, 2003; Smetana, 2011). Accordingly, an analysis of effective parenting must take into account the way a given parenting action is viewed by the child, with this view affecting the child's willingness to accept the parent's point of view and teaching ...

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