As an expert on parenting, how might one's view on parenting affect those who one is trying to support?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People tend to lean on their own experiences and observations when attempting to guide others.  When those experiences and observations involve the raising of one's children, the applicability of those experiences can be of questionable utility, depending upon the receptivity of the other parents and the similarities or dissimilarities between one family's children and those of another family.  Family therapists or social workers are generally taught and trainined to remove the lens from their own experiences and to view the families in their charge through the prism of those families own unique idiosyncracies.  Certainly, to the extent that the "expert" identifies certian indicators of a particular, and problematic, behavioral pattern on the part of the children of the indigent family in question, and can relate those observations to the options generically prescribed for those particular indicators, then the social worker or parenting expert can provide helpful guidance on how to attempt to correct problematic behavior.  The more experienced the social worker or parenting expert, the more dysfuncational families he or she has observed, and the more directly relevant the corrective prescriptions that can be offered.  

Telling, or providing suggestions on how other parents should raise their children can be tricky proposition.  Parents tend to respond defensively and resent the implication that they are not good parents themselves.  To the extent, therefore, that the parenting expert can provide background and help the family place its situation into a broader context wherein suggestions of inadequacy are presented as more environmental and common and reversable, then the expert or social worker can harbor hopes of making inroads into the underlying causes of dysfunction within a particular family.  Of course, in those cases, and they are many, when the parenting expert is assigned to work with a particular family as a result of court order, then the "expert" or social worker enjoys a certain degree of leverage that helps to hold the aggrieved parents' attention better than when the advise being proferred is voluntary and can be disposed of with consequences.  That is why counties and other local jurisdications have family courts in which corrective measures can be legally imposed from the bench.  

One's personal view on parenting is often a product of one's personal experiences.  Those personal experiences can be brought to bear in certain circumstances.  Social workers who are the product of functional environments, however, have to be taught about the cultures of moral and practical corruption that permeate the communities in which they work.  Their parenting skills may be laudable and presented as a model for others to emulate; absent resolution of underlying problems that have contributed to the dysfunctional environment in which the indigent children exist, however, no amoung of exposure to positive models will provide long-term assistance.

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