Period 3 – Family and Self Image

Family and Self Image

By: Andrew Rona

In early childhood, the child’s family and parents play a crucial role in the correct development of the child’s self image. The way the parents or guardians choose to project themselves onto their children makes the world of a difference. For instance, if the parental unit chooses to use physical violence to convey the message that the child did something wrong, the child’s self image will be GREATLY hurt.

First and foremost, lower class families make a significantly less amount of money than middle or upper class families, on average from $7,000 – $15,000. This means that many of the luxuries middle and upper class families get to indulge in are non-existent. Often struggling to pay the bills, lower class families will most likely be under more stress and will feel more pressured than the other socioeconomic classes.

Lower class families generally inherit “The Accomplishment of Natural Growth” teaching style. This is when parental figures are not present, or with the child enough to give their after-school activities any structure, leaving the child to play and learn from his/her peers. The absence of a behavioral figure head means values and other important lessons will be have to be learned by the child on his/her own. This means the child a greater chance of getting into trouble and experimenting with drugs.

The middle class is a very important socioeconomic class here in the United States, approximately 50% of Americans think of themselves as a part of the “middle class”. Studies show that on average, a middle class American makes anywhere from the National Average Median of $32,000, up to $70,000, just between the salaries of working and upper class counterparts.

Unlike lower class families, the middle class will often use the “Concerted Cultivation” teaching method. “Concerted Cultivation” is almost the exact opposite of “The Accomplishment of Natural Growth” teaching method. Where a lower class family will leave their own children to structure his/her after school activities, a middle class family will specifically arrange extra-curricular activities for their child. There is almost always an adult present to act as a role model for the child. This, in turn, means that the guardian will directly, or indirectly, introduce their views to their child. Middle class parents tend to have a college level education and will teach their child numerous things that will help the child be more prepared for college and a white collar job.

The upper class families represent a rather small portion of America, making up approximately 5%. An upper class household will easily make a 6 figure income, meaning $100,000 and up. These families will live in luxury, living in a large house and having multiple cars, unlike the working class. The upper class has money to participate in leisure activities that middle and lower class families do not get to have that often, like football games or trips to an amusement park.

Much like the middle class, upper class parents will use the “Concerted Cultivation” parenting method, meaning the parents will partake in scheduling after school/ weekend activities for their children. As the child is growing older, the parents will constantly reintroduce the fact that their son/daughter needs to work hard to be as successful as them.


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