Frederick Douglass In Concerted Cultivation And The Accomplishment Of Natural Growth

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Frederick Douglass, the famed 19th century abolitionist leader, once stated “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” (Douglass). As parenting style continues to bend around societal factors that are relatively unpredictable. The one value that has stood the test of time, is an unconditional love for the youth. Although I’ve yet to have kids of my own, I have experienced firsthand the triumphs, and struggles that my parents endured to raise me. Throughout Lareau’s work in Concerted Cultivation and the Accomplishment of Natural Growth, she touches on two parenting styles that are drastically different from one another. I was lucky enough to be raised in a home where both styles were on full display, and I found that …show more content…
My father embodied the natural growth parenting trait, while my mother saw the value in concerted cultivation. In my own humble opinion, I believe my parents raised four intuitive and respectful children. I received bits and pieces of each parenting style, but I was never fully enveloped in either of the two. I learned to question authority, but I also understood that I didn’t have to insert my opinion every time the situation presented itself. Social activities taught me how to interact with those of different backgrounds, while on the contrary, some of my middle class friends seemed to be encapsulated in a cultural bubble. In Lareau’s paragraph outlining the characteristics of concerted cultivation, one phrase truly caught my attention; “a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children” (Lareau 2). She speaks to the idea that this sense of entitlement gives children confidence when they approach those in authoritative positions, in which I agree. Conversely, she fails to mention the stigma surrounding middle class children who lack humility and work ethic. Which I believe, is the result of failed attempts at concerted cultivation. As a final point, while I agree that concerted cultivation has more upside than downside. I find it condescending to suggest that natural growth inhibits the development of a child, especially when Lareau fails to mention the limitations of concerted cultivation. While they aren’t equal, I see the benefits to both methods. Especially when used in conjunction with one

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