Parenting challenges of the new century

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Parenting Challenges of the New Century
The complex ways in which different social agents interact on a child’s education is an unsolved puzzle. Although a few generations ago this was not aconcern, in the 21st century it is easy to appreciate how the traditional supremacy of parental roles has been changing. We have witnessed the emergence of a new social agent which became a major factor inchildren’s education: the mass media. In the United States, the average preschooler spends twenty-one hours per week in front of the TV. While most parents attempt to implement the values and normsof their culture in their offspring, the mass media entertains the young generations for profit with little responsibility. Because in many prominent psychological theories the foundation of identityis formed during the childhood years, the experiences and lessons learned during this period influence one’s judgment later in life. Therefore, the cognitive processes taking place during preschoolyears and middle childhood are crucial in human development. Unfortunately, what children learn from their parents is often at odds with what they learn from the media, and this negatively affectsthe healthy development of a child’s sense of morality, behavior, and self-perception.
The moral development that takes places while a child is exposed to behaviors portrayed by the mass media oftencontradicts and harms the parental education taking place at home. Moral development refers to people’s sense of what is right and what is wrong. Most experts agree on that moral development takesplace during the preschool years to middle childhood, from three to eleven years of age. According to social learning approaches to morality children determine a behavior’s appropriateness by observingothers, (Bandura, 1997). With this in mind, if a child observes someone who is being positively reinforced for certain behavior, the child is likely to consider such behavior acceptable and moral....
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