I grew up in a high conformity low conversation household or as Carter refers to it as order without freedom (Carter, 2005, p.7). Carter discusses that two types of children emerge from this parenting style the blindly compliant child and the rebellious child (Carter, 2005, p.7). While interviewing my mother Naomi Hernandez and aunt Betsy Giraldo I realized that they had high conformity low conversation parenting styles. I have always considered myself to balance between these two tensions, but have noticed a feeling of insecurity in my decision making at times. My cousin Angelika on the other hand is far more rebellious, and often does the opposite of what is expected of her. Now she is an expectant mother beginning her second trimester. Therefore, I interviewed all three of these women, and examined the parenting styles and conformity orientations. I believe in this case that the generational gap impacts parenting styles out of the desire to not replicate the styles of our own parents, but that certain style traits inevitably carry over.
The first interview I conducted was with my mother Naomi Hernandez. Therefore knew she fit Arnold’s description of a protective parent (Arnold, 2008, p.19). So, I framed my questions around conformity and conservation orientation. Conservation orientation is how much the climate of the family encourages or discourages members to participation in communication about many different topics. The first question I posed was, Do you believe that it is more important to have conversation with your child or to have your obey you? Her response denoted that it was more important to obey. Her response also reflected as sense of guilt, “What I say is for your own good not to be bad” (Appendix A, p.6) I realized that she had some sense that I resented her parenting style, and she felt guilt for causing that resentment.
When I posed the same question on conversation orientation to my aunt Betsy she also showed a tendency towards high conformity. Conformity orientation is how much family members’ communication indicates the same beliefs and values (Arnold, 2008, p.18). Betsy stated, “Obey, definitely more important to obey” (Appendix A, p.7). Her confident demeanor did not reveal the same signs of guilt that I saw in my mother. I inferred that because she was still raising two children she did not have the time and distance that my mother had to reflect on her parenting style.
When I posed the same question to Betsy’s daughter, an expectant mother, her answer differed greatly. Angelika answered, “It is more important to talk than it will be for them to obey. If they feel they can talk to me and understand the rules they’ll be more likely to obey” (Appendix B, p.9). She defined her identity through differentiation from her mother, and told me during the interview, “I don’t want to be the kind of parent my mom was.” I posed the question on children following advice, and her answer differed from her mother’s again. Angelika...