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Rachel Williams
FACS 494
Western Kentucky University



There is little to none research on the different parenting strategies for parents affiliated
with a religious work place. So this paper was a challenge in itself. Comparing to
Christian parenting and military work force is how this paper is constructed. I hope to
encourage further research and would love to see how someday I will be affecting my
own children.


Research Over Parents who Work in Religious Backgrounds

Parents who work in different work forces have different ways of parenting their
children. Yes, a lot of work forces carry similar parenting strategies, so this research is
finding if parents in a religious work force have a different parenting strategy. How does
a parent in the ministry differ from other parenting styles? How are they similar to other
parents who are defined by their work? Is life more complicated for children with parents
in ministry?

Not Your Average Parent

Research shows that the children are able to make their own decisions referring to
religion, but they are normally turned to still pursue a religious lifestyle. The children
when grown want for their children what they were privileged of know and deciding. One
research study suggested that children with unaffiliated parents of a religion grow up to
raise their children in the same matter. Thats seems very obvious to raise your child
positivity over someone who modeled that type of parenting strategy for you. A person
parenting with a religious background will involve their child in a religious culture and
would openly share what they believe. One article suggests that peoples values and
beliefs come from interaction with their families. You are who you are today because of
your past experiences.

Related to Others
Religious affiliated parents have very similar life styles such as a military
personal or a professor. Each profession defines the character of the person and they each


have something to stand for. It was found that most college students would describe their
parents categorized in three categories: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. No
one has ever distinguished a certain type of parent, such as a religious affiliated parent to
be a certain parenting style. Although parents with a religious affiliation are seen with a
more authoritative parenting style. This reasoning is because as this article says
authoritative parents have high nurturing techniques and high control or strictness in the
household. (Bassett, 2013 p448) This is seen with religious affiliated and military career
path parents. Both of these working parents have a unique relationship with their
children. The military based parent has to give nurturing in different ways than just a
normal parent. This parent may be away awhile from their child at an early age or for an
extended time period. Their nurturing styles have to be distanced and extensive without
being able to be a presence. In an article dealing with young children and how they grew
up with having a parent in the military it suggests that children as young as three to five
years of age experience behavioral problems because of the absent parent. That is why it
suggests the parents to be authoritative because it allows that distanced parent to have a
relationship with their child where the parent is strict and nurturing. A parent who is strict
and distanced would still have authority and purpose in their childs life. The child would
know there would still be consequences even with that parent distanced from them.
This is comparable to a parent in the ministry because like as both parents are
committed to their work and the have purpose behind everything they do. They carry that
on to their children and encourage their children in that way. As stated previously
children follow their parents footsteps. So if a child is parented with a love for a certain


religion or a deep connection with the country, that child would carry that on into their
own families.
Link Between Child and Parent
Parents in the ministry are shown in research to have a more open relationship
with their children. This is because the parent is very concerned on the path of life for
their child. Research shows that belief in children is prospered by the support from their
parents. (Bunge, 2008 p349) A child needs a parent who also is supportive in a religion
for the child to be able to grow in a church. For a child to carry on in the ministry after
being out of the house they needs to be prospered in reading the bible with their child,
praying and worshipping, and introducing the child into good examples. The parent is a
source for the child to prosper in these techniques. If the parent puts in times with reading
and studying the bible with the child, the child will see an importance and want to
explore their own beliefs. If a child is shown good examples, that is how the child will act
out in public and how they will in the future parent their children.
More research was done on the parent to child relationship while in the ministry.
It shows that the discussion of religion can strengthen the relationship or weaken the
relationship if the parent does not approach the topic with an understanding mind.
(Dollahite, 2008 p611) This article also suggests that parents need to have these certain
conversations with their children because all different resources in this world are
influencing teens today. If a parent wants their child to follow in the footsteps of a
religious background or a home they need to pour into them through communication. If a
parent takes the time to discuss problems the teen may be going through and relate it to a
religious background, that child will be more than likely running towards that religion


when problem strikes or a crisis emerges. It is also found to strengthen a relationship

when communication is key. So for a parent and child to have a relationship
communication is needed.
Is it just a Parent?
While researching the topic of parenting in ministry there was an article related to
how grandparents affect their grandchildren. Most understand how a child will look up to
their own parents and want to follow their footsteps, but does the same mentality come
when it is a grandparent? This longitudinal study performed by Bengston showed a slight
decrease in the generation gap. Even though you can tell neither of these statistics are
members involved in a religious work force. Sixty-six grandmothers categorized
themselves as protestant compared to the forty-five granddaughters who did. This shows
a slight decrease and that may be because of the parents doing. As generations dwindle
the patterns and values and beliefs also dwindle. Each generation finds something about
the other generation that chose to change and in this case it was their religion. The
grandparents influence the parent and the parent is responsible to influence the children.
It is becoming a part of the culture for when you leave your household to discover your
own religion. So this data is very accurate with todays society. This study suggests that
the grandparents still have a great influence on their grandchildren. This is because the
grandparents determine their influence on their children, like suggested before.
Does a Parent Really Have an Impact?
A parent does have an impact on their child rather that be positively or negatively.
A research study done to provide information on rather or not parents has an impact on
their childs friendships shows that the parents do influence their child in this matter. This


can be illustrated in a religious family as well. If parents are seen positively influencing
their children with a healthy religious background, that would help the child look at
religion positively. This is similar to choosing friendships as well. If your parents allow
you to hang around certain individuals and discourage you around others that would
influence who your friends would be. The research suggests that adolescents choose their
friends based on the type of relationships they are surrounded by at home. At home for
example in this research is suggests if your around a hostile and controlling relationship,
you tend to not have confidence that you can start a relationship with someone with full
trust. (Cook, 2012 p462) It also provides that higher parent hostility, leads to their
children having low quality friendships, which can be related to parents in the ministry.
For a parent who is in the ministry they may see it as important to influence their child
into certain friendships. This could lead to the child not having a certain friendship they
may need in certain situations. Yes this could be the case for any parenting relationship
with their child, but it could be seen in religious families. These families are held to
higher standards in this culture, for reasons that should not be.
So as you read there is not enough research to make a definite answer to if parents in
ministry affect their childrens religious paths. You can see that different ideas and beliefs
influence each child, but none points to how the parent parents different with a religious
background. People can give their own opinion but there is not enough research to
support an opinion. Further research needs to be conducted to see how exactly a parent
with a ministry background parents and how that influences that child when they leave
their household. Having to divide the question into parts to illustrate this research was


beneficial, but not what was intended when choosing this research topic. It is defined in
this paper that they way a parent parents leads to how the child will develop in this
culture and how they will parent in the future. It is believed that a parent in the ministry
who healthily talks with their child about religious matters will have a healthy
relationship with their child. In return this will leave a positive experience on how the
feel about a certain religion. This research paper was not what was intended when finding
the research.



Bassett, J. & Snyder, T. (2013). Parenting in the Classroom: University Students

Evaluations of Hypothetical Instructors as a Function of Teaching Styles and
Parenting Styles. North American Journal of Psychology, 15(3), 447-462.
Bengston, V., Copen C., Putney, N., & Silverstein, M. (2009) A Longitudinal Study of
the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion. International Sociology, 24(3),
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Best Practices for Faith Formation: Resources for Child, Youth, and Family
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