Cultured Cultivation and Accomplishment of Natural Growth

To understand the way that I was brought up you first have to understand where my parents came from socioeconomically. My Dad grew up in a family with a Dad who worked as a painter and a mother who worked at a campground as a maintenance lady. My Mother’s Dad was in the Navy and her Mother worked as a secretary at her school. They both grew up in families where everything that they wanted they were supposed to supply themselves, so theirs was a childhood of Accomplishment of Natural Growth. They both then went on to go and get their Bachelor’s degrees on their own dime and obtain the status of middle class, at least economically speaking. My Dad now works at Microsoft while my mother works at Boeing. Yet their upbringings relative to the ideas of Concerted Cultivation and Accomplishment of Natural Growth have indeed had an influence on the way that they taught
Understanding that lets one be able to look at my upbringing in a more enlightened manner. Due to their upbringing and their new ascribed social status I got a mixed upbringing. In my family, unlike in Garret’s family but similar to Tyrec’s family; we often talked about monetary issues. I was continuously aware of the strain that my activities put on the family budget, yet my parents continued to insist that I continue in my sporting endeavors. The similarity to Garret’s family in this matter is clear. Yet one experienced a childhood of Concerted Cultivation and the other the Accomplishment of Natural Growth. Therefore I must have, according to Annette Lareau’s definitions of the terms, experienced both of these different methods of upbringing.
Yet there is more than just monetary matters that make it so that I believe I have experienced both of these types of upbringing. There is also the way in which I was disciplined. Discipline in my parent’s household was significantly different from that in the household of my friends. While my parents would tend to use what was considered the converted cultivation methods for the big things that I did wrong, they would often revert to corporal punishment for the minor offenses saying “you’re lucky that you didn’t have my parents” as they spanked me.
Yet my parents did assist me in the real world in many ways. While Lareau described gender roles seen in many middle class households, my family was not split so evenly between the masculine and feminine tasks. My parents equally contributed to yard work and cleaning. I was also expected to be able to do anything around the house even if it was stereotypically considered women’s work. I was taught to do my laundry, sew, and countless other tasks. My Dad and I also would often cook dinner. In truth my Dad cooked dinner more often (and better) than my Mom most of the time. This mixed set of gender roles helped me to become somebody who was ready for a world where I would be independent and not able to rely on somebody more than a guy who had no experience doing simple tasks like these that my parents decided were necessary for me to learn regardless of my gender.
I believe that having such a mixed foundation really enabled me to better mingle with everybody and prepared me more thoroughly for life outside of the nest. I thank my parents for that and maybe someday I can do the same for my kids and allow them a mixed upbringing.

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