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Is coercive parenting practiced by African cultures the reason for the lack of innovative African youth?

i am an African and i am currently living in the U.S.A and so far what i find most moving and inspiring is the innovative spirit which the American youth have. .Every time i ask someone what they want to do with their lives i get interesting answers about these different profession where as back home all i hear is the same old things such as accountant, lawyer, teacher etc.i did some research as to why this is so and the one sticking point i found was the difference in the parenting style.i is the coercive parenting style practiced in many African homes the reason for the lack of innovation in Africa and the reason for the slow economic growth experienced by many African countries ?


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  • Sep 9 2013: Then again we mgiht ask is coersive or non-coercive parenting practiced by American parents the cause ofthe lack of innovative American youth.
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      Sep 9 2013: this is an interesting point George,

      It's what I found to be the main problem in terms of the scope of the question and I tried my best to address that in a post down below.

      But I wonder what kind of conversation we might be able to have when looking at something as specific as what the OP asked. How does a varying predisposition of a child impact his/her reaction to coercive or non-coercive parenting?...we might ask.
      We can consider the following situations:

      1) A child emotionally sensitive toward aggressive parenting with an non-coercive parent(s)
      2) A child unscathed/unemotional/neutral toward aggressive parenting with non-coercive parent(s)
      3) An child hostile toward aggressive parenting with non-coercive parent(s)

      1) A child emotionally sensitive toward aggressive parenting with coercive parent(s)
      2)A child neutral toward aggressive parenting with coercive parent(s)
      3) A Child hostile toward aggressive parenting with coercive parents(s)

      Considering only the variables of hostility, neutrality, and responsiveness to coercive and non-coercive parenting we can see how complex the situation really is. Which of the children with the right combination of predispostition and circumstance are most likely to flourish? Even at this point it's impossible to say. Enter in the multiplicity of variables that surely contribute to personality, socioeconomic values, and both ethnic and nationalistic cultural values and you have pretty cumbersome project on your hands. When considering the complexity of Human identity you can always expect a reductionistic argument to have problems
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        Sep 10 2013: Like many of the TED conversations, this one appears to be multi-faceted, and can be discussed on many levels.

        Generalizations, when it comes to issues such as this one, are usually not a good thing.

        As an educator, I have seen children flourish despite coercive parents. I also know parents who are coercive with one child and not another......almost like they feel a need to treat one child with threats in order to get them to act.........while the other child is left to their own device because they are independent and focused.

        This is a most interesting topic.
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          Sep 10 2013: Mary,

          It is very interesting indeed.

          As an educator, how do you approach teaching students that you have realized have issues at home?
      • Sep 10 2013: Good points while I don't know about parenting in Africa this certainly may be applicable to parenting in America, too.
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        Sep 10 2013: Hi Shawn, thank you for the interchange....

        You know, oftentimes a little bit of empathy goes a long way.

        Like adults, children may not know that their emotions and feelings are theirs to control.
        So, as an educator, at the elementary level, I have been trained and have been supplied with a lot of resources to help little ones who have issues.

        Children are very special. If a teacher provides them with a nurturing environment in the classroom, and respects their dignity, this little bit of encouragement and kindness may go a long way.

        Even for the 10 months we have a student, we are able to make an impact.............sometimes the child realizes the impact we have made on their lives many many years after the fact Shawn.

        One of the worst cases I have ever had to deal with was the child of a military dad.
        He treated the child with such severity, that each time we would be administering tests in school, the child would throw up. The child knew that anything less than an A would be unacceptable.
        After speaking with the mom, and attaining knowledge of what was causing the vomiting, I had to refer the situation to the school psychologist.

        Sometimes I am able to help, other times, in the child's best interest, I have had to pass the information further on down the line.
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        Sep 10 2013: Oh, here is a talk that kind of shows you what some of us do in the classroom.
        Have you seen it?

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          Sep 10 2013: Mary,

          Wow. Your example is heart-dropping. I have to thank you for being an educator who has a passion for both child-learning and child-well being. You are truly making an impact on the lives of others and I hope to someday follow in your footsteps.

          One of my main interests is education reform and I hope to apply my planned graduate work in Philosophy and cognitive science to the field.

          How do you balance your position as an educator to a large class and a nurturer to individuals? It's surely impossible to give every student the attention they deserve in light of the circumstances of our schools, but the effort is what matters. If I were to become a high school teacher, for example, and I had a class of 50 students who ranged from receptive to rebellious personality-wise, what advice would you give in establishing respect for the entire class without burning bridges by seeming authoritarian? Also, how to do you approach students who don't want your help or, probably more likely at the elementary level, parents who don't want your help?
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        Sep 12 2013: Hi Shawn,

        I 'm glad you are able to glean some sort of lesson from my experience.

        I will share this........being a teacher in an elementary school affords me the opportunity to work with the same group daily, for an entire 10 months. Unlike high school, where you teach several classes a day, elementary school teachers can have a really big impact on the young ones because of the enormous amount of hours we spend with them.

        As for establishing respect Shawn, it is really hard for me to put into words.
        I think that if you want respect, you have to give respect. Respect is something you earn, you don't demand it of anyone, especially students.

        It has been my experience that kids usually know who is deserving of their respect, and who isn't.....it's like they have a sixth sense......

        As for students who don't want help, or parents who don't want help, well, I have always respected other's free will. Tact is very important when dealing with children with issues.

        In the elementary school we deal with hygiene issues (lice, dirty finger nails, etc...), I have also had children who have had rotted teeth......from eating candy 24/7.......sometimes parents just don't realize their kid is eating candy at 8:00 in the morning......yes, believe it or not, I have been known to blow the whistle of candyholics.........being a teacher is a very wonderful career choice.........oftentimes, you learn as you go.........there are a lot of books out there Shawn. With time comes a wealth of experience, and a lot of it is trial and error. It's not one size fits all...........You have to be a people person, and take a personal interest in each individual, in order to really be effective. For the caring teacher, this is a labor of love.

        I hope I did not ramble.......I'm a very passionate educator.....I love what I do......I hope you are able to use some of what I have shared with you my young friend. :)

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