Consider the following quote from an article entitled "How Will You Measure Your Life?" published in The Harvard Business Review in 2010:
"Ultimately, people don’t even think about whether their way of doing things yields success. They embrace priorities and follow procedures by instinct and assumption rather than by explicit decision—which means that they’ve created a culture. Culture, in compelling and unspoken ways, dictates the proven, acceptable methods by which members of the group address recurrent problems. And culture defines the priority given to different types of problems. …In using this model to address the question, How can I be sure that my family becomes an enduring source of happiness?, my students quickly see that the simplest tools that parents can wield to elicit cooperation from children are power tools. But there comes a point during the teen years when power tools no longer work. At that point parents start wishing that they had begun working with their children at a very young age to build a culture at home in which children instinctively behave respectfully toward one another, obey their parents, and choose the right thing to do. Families have cultures, just as companies do. Those cultures can be built consciously or evolve inadvertently. If you want your kids to have strong self-esteem and confidence that they can solve hard problems, those qualities won’t magically materialize in high school. You have to design them into your family’s culture—and you have to think about this very early on. Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.”
There's a lot to unpack in this quote, but I'll offer you a few questions to chew on. You may respond to any or all of them and offer any additional thoughts you have, as well.
1. What exactly do you think the author means by "power tools," and do you agree that their use may prevent other more strategic parenting techniques? Why or why not?
2. In what ways are these statements consistent or inconsistent with the available research on disciplinary tactics? What about general parenting style?
3. In what ways is this author's conceptualization of culture within a family consistent or inconsistent with the overarching concept of culture used by our textbook authors. Is this a useful idea? Why or why not?
chapter 6 of following book