Comparing child-rearing practices

(from Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods)

Child-rearing practices
‘Concerted cultivation’
‘Accomplishment of natural growth’
Key elements
Parent actively fosters and assesses child’s talents, opinions, and skills
Parent cares for child and allows child to grow
Organization of daily life
Multiple child leisure activities orchestrated by adults
Hanging out,’ particularly with kin, by child
Language use
Reasoning/directives
Child contestation of adult statements
Extended negotiations between parents and child
Directives
Rare questioning or challenging of adults by child
General acceptance by child of directives
Interventions in institutions
Criticisms and interventions on behalf of child
Training of child to take on this role
Dependence on (bureaucratic) institutions
Sense of powerlessness and frustration
Conflict between child-rearing practices at home and at school
Consequences
Emerging sense of entitlement on the part of the child
Emerging sense of constraint on the part of the child
Time and money
Money may rarely be discussed (but is usually available when needed);
Attending events parent/teacher conferences, etc., and getting off work
Constant discussions of finances, inability to pay for ‘extras‘;
The right job lets parents be more flexible to attend children’s events, participate/coach, etc.

Annette Lareau. 2012. Unequal Childhoods (2nd edition). Berkeley: University of California Press.