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Session Overview
RN13_01c_P: Parenting and Parent Child Relations I
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Rita Gouveia, Université de Genève
Session Chair: Ruby Lai, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Location: PD.4.35
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 4.

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Understanding of the concepts of “good” parents and “good” children

Vida Cesnuityte

Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania

The research aims to find why parents and children sometimes obviate each other’s emotional support even they need it. What are the causes or consequences related to such processes?

The theoretical approaches state that within parents-children ties the interpersonal support is distinguished type. Normatively, it is natural that parents expect support from children and children – from parents. Such practices coherent with affectual solidarity covering interpersonal feelings and emotional ties like love, empathy, closeness, attachment, caring, trust. Its strengthen ties among family members and create family. The research hypothesis is that respect and concern about well-being of closest relative prevent from looking for emotional support among, respectively, children and parents. The analysis is based on quantitative representative data collected in Lithuania between November, 2011 and January, 2012, and in-depth qualitative interviews carried out between June-August, 2012.

The research results reveal importance of emotional support of parents to children and of children to parents. They intend to give such support to each other. Such practices can be assigned to practices that are doing family. Meanwhile, qualitative data highlight some aspects that create obstacles for sharing of emotional support. Children, usually, look for it beyond the family in order to protect parents from the information about failures in their personal life. Similarly, parents prefer emotional support from other relatives or non-relatives but not from children in order not to burden children with their worries. Such behaviour is expression of inner understanding of “good” parent and “good” child who care about each other’s well-being.

„Empathetic but looking out only for oneself” - on the parents expectations regarding their children and on parenting practices in contemporary Polish families

Malgorzata Sikorska

University of Warsaw, Poland

The main aim of my presentation is to discuss the first results of the research project: „Family and parenting practices in traditional and postmodern families - reconstruction of daily routines”.

I will focus on the parents expectations regarding their children as well as on the parent-child relation described on two following levels: 1) the reconstruction of the social patterns of a ’good’ parent, a ’good’ child and a socially accepted model of raising process (based on the discourse analyses and on the outcome from the depth interviews with respondents) and 2) the reconstruction of parenting practice, the routines appearing in parents-child relations (based on the outcome from the depth interviews with respondents and the results of the diaries filled by respondents).

The main aim of my research is to confront the social patterns of a ’good’ mother, a ’good’ father and a socialization process with the reality of parenting practices. The first analysis entitled to frame the initial findings on the parents’ inconsistency visible in the following issues: 1) the inconsistency relating to parental expectations regarding their children (for example: the respondents expect that their children will be at the same time empathetic and looking out only for themselves); 2) the inconsistency between the social ideal patterns and the parenting practices. The mentioned inconsistency create a feeling of insecurity in the role of ’good’ parent. I propose the preliminary thesis that the social pattern of parenting as well as the parental practices in Polish families are influenced at least by two conflicting perspectives: 1) liberal and subjective treatment of children and 2) very traditional treatment based among others on catholic norms.

Theme RN13_h

Social investment versus parental investment: a French public problem?

Claude Martin

CNRS, France

Since more than 30 years the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children – HBCS inquiry documents the children well-being at the international level. In the 3 last editions of this inquiry which explores the situation of thousands of 11, 13 and 15 year olds in almost 40 countries, the French situation looks very problematic on the "parent-child relations"' issue, as France is at the last position in the ranking of the countries. In our presentation we propose to explore hypothesis to understand this situation. We suggest to explain the problem in terms of balance between social investment (public) and parental investment (private) and to look at the way this balance is build up as a public problem in the French parenting support policy. Since the early 1990s, an explicit parenting support policy effectively made its way onto the French political agenda. This policy responds to a growing political demand to avoid the failure of the parental educational mission and “new social risks” for children. To educate parents to their own role, to improve their “competence”, to control their practices, correspond to the construction of parenting as a public problem and the defense of a “parental determinism”, mobilizing many different knowledge and empirical results. We argue that the slow policy process that led to current French parenting support policy is the outcome of an ideological, professional and scientific battle. In this battle, public actors (politicians, experts, media) could miss a main point concerning the parent-child relations and parental investment and its quality. To present the field of positions and arguments, we look at official and experts’ reports in the last decade.

Parenting Practices ‚interrelated‘: Conceptualizing Parental Involvement at the Transition to Parenthood

Eva-Maria Schmidt, Ulrike Zartler, Irene Rieder

University of Vienna, Austria

Numerous studies have explored parents’ unequal involvement in care work, emphasizing the formative power of the first period of parenthood. However, detailed knowledge of the ways in which care work is interlinked between parents in everyday practice during the transition to parenthood is limited. An Austrian qualitative longitudinal study with first-time 22 parents (66 individual interviews during pregnancy, six and 24 months postpartum) provides in-depth insights into the variety and complexity of everyday parental relations in doing care work at the transition to parenthood. By exploring parents’ practices longitudinally, we developed a typology of parental care that is grounded on relationality and a gender-neutral conception of how pre-pregnancy-, pregnancy- or child-related needs are identified and fulfilled by both parents. The typology embraces six types of interrelated parenting practices, namely equal caring, managing–conducting, main caring–co-recognizing, key caring–helping, exclusive caring–absent, and being absent. We show how parental involvement in care is constituted by a complex interplay of parenting practices performed by both parents over time. We demonstrate that parents are situated on a continuum between equality, dichotomy, ambiguity and inequality when practicing care work. Overall, the results systematize the tremendous variety of parents’ interrelated involvement in care work.

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