There is no shortcut to success. It is when ordinary people rise beyond their normal expectation to become successful. Studying and working hard leads to success. However, research has it that social-class shapes the future of an individual regardless of the race. Annette Lareau in her book, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life, argue that social class and parenting approaches significantly have impacted on educational and work outcomes (Lareau 2003). It is this particular sentiment that captured my attention. It makes me reflect back to my childhood life, I realize that I didn’t grow up with a sense that where I was, was where I was going to be. I grew up with a sense that where I was almost did not matter at all because I would become someone greater after all. This is not the case anymore.
I find Lareau’s books very eye opening. I often observe people during my daily routine, in class and even in the workplace. Some individuals do much better in certain activities. They have abilities to perform that seem unrelated to intelligence. They have abilities to ask questions, showing confidence and having the ability to express ideas in a convincing manner. These abilities are nurtured through concerted cultivation.
At first I saw this ability as talent possessed by an individual. I had never before considered that parenting styles influence one’s success in life. Lareau’s books make me understand that the parenting style is usually correlated with social class. Children raised through concerted cultivation display a lot of confidence while those raised through natural growth show less confidence.
I believe that every single individual control his or her own destiny, and that greatness exists in all of us. It is very important to note that Lareau’s ideas only claim that no parenting style is morally better. I think the main idea that Lareau brings out is that, concerted cultivation is better that the natural growth from the careers and life outcome point of view.
However, I beg to differ with Lareau’s point of view concerning parenting styles. Whenever I read her great work, I keep on asking myself questions about her ideas concerning style of parenting. She points out that those children of middle-class, experience a lot of psychological problems than expected. At the same time, children from a working-class background are less successful in life. She went ahead and states that no parenting style is better than the other. I believe the main objective of education is to equip our children with skills and tools needed for excellence in the workplace. If children exposed to natural growth tend not to be more successful, surely can one conclude that concerted cultivation is the better parenting style? Should it be set as the mode of parenting method?
I think society makes concerted parenting style more superior to natural cultured parenting style rather than putting more emphasis on concerted cultivation as better style. If we decide to follow Lareau’s observations, we will then tend to believe that, concerted cultivation is better parenting method than natural growth parenting style. This is because concerted cultivations come with the cost to creativity. To my own view and opinion, I think this is not pleasing at all, to make it worse, it probably has some economical harm to the society.
Personally I feel sorry for the young upcoming children whose lives are overscheduled. Their talents may be realized yes, but these talents believe me or not will fail them if they don’t have skills that support those talents. Talent is natural. Skills are developed through hours and hours and hours of building on your craft. If no proper and active schedule is given to children when they are still young, the probability of those children to succeed in the future is limited. This is aptly captured in Lareau’s observation of middle-class parent and working-class parents.
In summary, it appears to me that giving children plenty of free time to play was the norm in the past. Of the 88 African American and white families studied by Lareau, race does not affect education and work of an individual .I think it is very important to separate completely the positive social effects associated with concerted cultivation from the negative effects.
It is important to bring up children to be confident, able to ask questions and not to fear those in authority. Although results from the second research by Lareau proved that the social class makes the difference in family life, it doesn’t mean that the situation is similar world wide. This introduces me to characters like Ben Carson, Steve Jobs and Martin Luther Jr. among others. They roused up from scratch to become self-actualized
I have made up my mind that when I have children, my children would know who their parents are. To bring out the best in them, support, motivate and above all, give them proper parenting. Not only provision of basic necessities but also making them realize their purpose in life. That is excellence.