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Lifestyle: Important link between achievement, motivation and warm parenting

Parents have an important role in identifying children's talent and guiding them. Mutual understanding and close relationship between parents and children therefore is recommended to stir up a strong achievement motive and a desire to perform task for intrinsic satisfaction.

Achievement motivation can be described as the need for success or the attainment of excellence. Individuals will satisfy their needs through different means, and are driven to succeed for varying reasons both internal and external.

Achievement Motivation

Motivational researchers share the view that achievement behavior is an interaction between situational variables and the individual subject's motivation to achieve. Two motives are directly involved in the prediction of behavior, implicit and explicit.

Implicit motives are spontaneous impulses to act, also known as task performances, and are aroused through incentives inherent to the task. Explicit motives are expressed through deliberate choices and more often stimulated for extrinsic reasons. Also, individuals with strong implicit needs to achieve goals set higher internal standards, whereas others tend to adhere to the societal norms. These two motives often work together to determine the behavior of the individual in direction and passion (Brunstein & Maier, 2005).

Explicit and implicit motivations have a compelling impact on behavior. Task behaviors are accelerated in the face of a challenge through implicit motivation, making performing a task in the most effective manner the primary goal. A person with a strong implicit drive will feel pleasure from achieving a goal in the most efficient way. The increase in effort and overcoming the challenge by mastering the task satisfies the individual.

However, the explicit motives are built around a person's self-image. This type of motivation shapes a person's behavior based on their own self-view and can influence their choices and responses from outside cues. The primary agent for this type of motivation is perception or perceived ability. Many theorists still can not agree whether achievement is based on mastering one's skills or striving to promote a better self-image (Brunstein & Maier, 2005).

Most research is still unable to determine whether these different types of motivation would result in different behaviors in the same environment.

Role of the Family

Family is the fundamental and important structure of the society that has an important role in one's life and in the society. The importance of the family as a social structure is something unmistakable.

Although affected by society and peers, children are more influenced by the family. The influence of the family on the child and its roles in the creativity, cultural, social, and moral aspects are very great and important. Correct and balanced relationship between parents and their children is one of the factors influencing both their physical and mental health. Research has shown that interaction between children and parents and how parents communicate with children are considered to be the most important and fundamental factors among the various factors that affect children’s fostering and healthy character.

The relationship of parents with children or parenting style serves multiple purposes. Moral and psychological training, identification, growth and development of children's talents, skills, familiarizing with the rules and norms of the society from the perspective of parents are among these purposes.

Baumrind's Study

Perhaps the best-known research on parenting styles is Diana Baumrind's (1967,1971) early studies of preschool children and their parents.

Each child in Baumrind's sample was observed on several occasions in nursery school and at home. The data gathered from these observations were used to rate the child on such behavioral dimensions as Sociability, self reliance, achievement, moodiness and self-control.

Parents were also interviewed and observed while interacting with their children at home and the results summarized under the following parenting styles;

1. Authoritative

2. Authoritarian

3. Permissive

It was realized after the study that children of authoritative parents were developing rather well, they were cheerful, socially responsible, self-reliant, achievement oriented and cooperative with adults and peers.

Children however of authoritarian parents were not doing so well. They tended to be moody and seemingly unhappy much of the time, easily annoyed and unfriendly.

Children of permissive parents finally were often impulsive and aggressive, especially boys. They tended to be bossy and self-centered.

Conclusion

The question that kept coming back to me while i researched deeper into Baumrind's work was "Do children of authoritarian or permissive parents eventually " outgrow" whatever shortcomings they displayed as preschoolers?"

It came to light that Baumrind followed up on her child participants when they were 8 to 9 yeas old. Children of authoritative parents were still relatively high in both cognitive competencies and social skills while those of authoritarian parents were generally average to below average in cognitive and social skills similar to those of permissive parents.

This study is very relevant to our society today as parents all over still battle to adopt the right strategies in properly raising their children and ensuring that they become the beat they can be.

Truth be said, some parents are really doing well but in a society that has an increasing unemployment rate not solely because of the lack of availability of jobs but also the lack of employable skills and competencies like ours, it is important for us to begin to look at the next generation and how we can put them in the best shape to fully exploit their potentials to be successful.

Indeed warm parenting is directly linked to the development of a strong achievement motive in children, something we have failed as a society to achieve in our kids because we never make time to talk to the child, we never make time to visit their schools and interact with their teachers, we are too busy to make time to read with them at night or during the weekends, we are busy and can only afford to get a taxi to take them back and fourth from school for the unfortunate their legs perform this task, we are to busy raising ill prepared and minimally motivated children, we are busy raising poorly motivated children and that is why i was not so surprised when i heard a child in a WhatsApp video say he wanted to become an armed robber in future when asked the question.

Source: Leslie Mba

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