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Please post 2 or more peer responses

In the response posts, remember to demonstrate you have read and understood the student's post by taking their discussion to the next level through your responses to the following:

· Commenting on your peer's choice of family exchange.

· Would you want to experience life in either of the discussed families for two weeks?

· Why or why not?

· Point out another similarity or difference between the two types of families.

· Compare your reflections on this exercise to those of your peers.

· Engage your peer(s) in a way that encourages them to respond to you, which keeps the conversation going.   

You will not need research in any of your response posts, but if you choose to,  remember to use credible sources and provide in-text citations along with reference entries in APA format .

My post this week is a bit long, I apologize. This topic is one that I think about constantly, but I tried to be as to the point as possible.

The family I was brought up in was varied a bit during my childhood, but for the sake of this discussion, I will be focusing on the portion of my childhood when I lived with my mother. It was my mom, my stepdad, and two brothers living at the home. Most other family was cities and states away, so I didn’t see much of them. We lived in a typical suburban HOA neighborhood on the edge of town. A combination of authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive parenting styles were utilized depending on the day, and which child(ren). With my brothers, they were more authoritarian but uninvolved unless it coincided with rule breaking. With myself, it was a mix of all three depending on the occasion or my behavior. When I got into trouble, it was straight authoritarian, with no wiggle room for other input.

The type of family I would like to experience for two weeks would be what I am trying to currently have for my children. I would choose a nuclear family, but with close extended family that is constantly involved. I would like to be in a more rural area, as homesteading is one of my goals currently, and I could learn so much from their first-hand knowledge and experience. I would choose a combination of authoritative and permissive parenting styles, as I feel the mix of the two would be balanced, with an emphasis on the child(ren) learning through their own supervised trial and error, which I think would be the most beneficial.

With the family I want to visit, extended family is more involved in life. Maybe not every day, in the household, but more so than mine was which I saw maybe a handful of times. It also would consist of both parents as opposed to mine, where I lived with a stepparent who was more hands off than a parent figure to us. The family I chose I feel would also be more geared toward helping mold the child supportively, as opposed to forcing them into a mold of the parent’s choosing. Most of the things covered for my family structure and the impact it has had on me I have already realized in time, as I tend to be overly self-aware and introspective, as well as already covering some of these topics in previous psychology courses at Herzing and previous schooling.

If I had the family I chose to visit throughout my entire childhood, I think a lot of my life would be different, as I constantly felt at odds with most adult figures growing up, so I didn’t take the guidance given by well-meaning family and was distrustful. I think I would have completed college the first time around, as I would have had support to fall back on and ask for advice when I was second guessing my choice in major. Because of how I was raised, I became a very headstrong person that is determined to figure out things, self-sufficient, and resourceful. But, if life didn’t happen the way it did, I wouldn’t have the amazing husband and children that I have (that I am raising with the ideals I learned were important to help them thrive from my experiences),  along with the lessons learned from the experiences I have had throughout my life so far.

The family structure that I grew up in was a two-parent household as the oldest child with a younger brother and sister. Beginning my life in Cleveland, the neighborhood seemed normal and worry-free to me, but was becoming too dangerous in my parent's opinion with our corner store getting robbed and the windows destroyed, so we eventually moved to the suburb. Due to how my parents grew up and the choices that they made as teenagers, they were authoritative. Looking back from where I am now, I do not think that authoritative parenting was bad, as they were trying to help us avoid making the same mistakes in neighborhoods that they could afford to live in at the time. As children, we did not realize how bad the neighborhood actually was, and felt that we were safe, when in fact we really were not.

The structure that I would be interested in experiencing for two weeks would be a single-parent home with children. Having the ability to experience the same environment (urban area) with a different family set-up, and a more permissive parenting style could give me some perspective on how life may have been different for myself and my siblings. Knowing that I would not be able to participate in this environment within the same time frame would be a little disheartening, as now the communication is much more advanced than it had been growing up for myself.

The similarities between the two families would be the area of where they lived, which would be an urban area. Differences would include the number of parents in the household and the type of parenting style. In a single parent home with a more permissive parenting style, the love would be present within the family dynamic, however there would not be as much structure with rules and guidelines for the children to follow. Living in an area like what I grew up in, this could have potential to engage the children in thinking for themselves and maturing quicker, but it could also negatively affect children to become involved in activity that they are not mature enough to understand. 

Ultimately, I have come to understand that it is both nature and nurture when it comes to raising children. A good foundation at home and encouraging growth is key to how a child can function in society, but they have the choice of right and wrong. Hopefully the individuals that are helping them to grow, teaching them, and engaging with them can instill enough thought-provoking perception to help them follow good conscious thought, choosing good over evil. Personal experiences will also change their behavior and thoughts leading them to choose their own path. A child can come from a good family, with any combination of factors to describe their family unit but can experience something outside of that inner circle that can change their own perception of the world and the people in it. 

Personally, if I had experienced the different family unit, I'm not sure how things would have changed for myself. I have always been a child that liked structure, so having a single parent that needed to support three children could have looked different. That parent could have needed to work two or more jobs to support three children, so the question would be, when would they have time to spend with each of us? Would they have been too tired after working all of that time to devote time for each of us children? Would I have been a latchkey kid; had I had a single parent? Would I have needed to go to a public school instead of a private school in Cleveland? I may have grown up learning to be more flexible due to the circumstances, versus what I am now, which could have been beneficial for me, but I am glad that I experienced life as I did. It made me who I am today, but understanding how others may have experienced childhood or how others have gone through life can have a significant impact on an individual's personality today.