Poor Parenting Techniques Displayed in Maurice Sen Essay

This essay has a total of 3374 words and 13 pages.

Poor Parenting Techniques Displayed in Maurice Sendaks "Where The Wild Things Are"

Poor Parenting can cause poorly behaved children

'Where The Wild Things Are' was first published in 1963 and is the first part of a trilogy
of award - winning books by American author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. 'Where The
Wild Things Are' is haunting and imaginative and describes how a young child, called Max,
creates a fictitious fantasy world in order to deal with the terrifying reality of anger.


Poor parenting is a lack of parenting techniques and skills in relation to the
responsibilities and obligations, which need to be fulfilled in order to accomplish
prominent problems within the family relationship. Poor parenting is most likely to come
from an absence of cooperation from both child and parent, satisfying both needs and wants
so that they both reach common ground. Depending on the age of the child, a lack of
parenting techniques and skills affects a child differently psychologically, mentally,
physically, socially and emotionally. However, it is manipulated by the events happening
outside the home environment, which can include a divorce or war. The role of the parent
in a child's life is very influential and possible outcomes of inadequate parenting
techniques and skills can result in the child becoming poorly behaved. This is represented
in the children's picture book, ' Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak. While Max
battles for authority, his mother demonstrates many parenting techniques, which have led
to severe consequences in relation to his poor behaviour. Bad behaviour influences a
child's long-term growth as a human being and stunts their journey from child to mature
adult.


Children develop a sense of acceptable behaviour based on the methods employed by their
parents. Negative behaviour comes as a result of the child feeling insecure, becoming
aggressive, angry, antisocial, demanding, dependant, undisciplined and also developing a
hateful desire to ‘get back at the world.' These bad behavioural aspects are outcomes
reached as the parent has reacted to become over-controlling with orders, reminders of
poor behaviour and warnings. With the parent being the unquestioned boss, it is common for
the child with an authoritarian in the household to feel irritable, and get angry and
temperamental quite quickly. As a result of being given orders and constant reminders on
their behaviour it is no wonder why some children experience behavioural problems and why
many parents seek help in order to constrain their child and try to straighten them out.


As Max interprets the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in the
picture book 'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak, it is clearly evident that the
ways in which he and his mother are portrayed influence the depiction of characters by the
implied reader. Max's mother is represented in the text as the authoritarian. She has the
dominating position in the family and is likely to be the family decision maker. In the
1960's, women were the housekeepers and wives and were the sole minder of the children as
the father was a workingman who supplied the bread and water. It should come as no
surprise to the implied reader that Max's mother was therefore the dominant authoritarian
as her main job was to care for the children.


Max is represented as an adventurous but monstrous 6 to 8 year old child with destructive
behaviour. He is wearing a wolf suit as a disguise; it symbolizes a sense of development
and privacy. Max's behaviour is represented in the monster picture he drew. It suggests
the adventure he is about to enter is not something that is new. He could have been
thinking of a fantasy world, far away from the reality of his anger at his mother, and
that he has a history of destructive behaviour. Max's poor behaviour and characteristics
are influenced by his mother's parenting skills and techniques. In a time of great
development and growth in this phase of his childhood, Max's social development
characteristics included defying his mother - which is evident at the start of the book
when he was sent to bed but instead embarked on an adventurous journey. Max also doesn't
have a definite of right and wrong and it is clear from the development of Max and his
character in the children's book that he would have had a clearer idea of right and wrong
if his mother had enhanced her duties to accommodate for his poor behaviour. This
misrepresentation influences Max's overall behaviour and personality traits, if his mother
had better parenting skills she may have been able to avoid such a situation and prepare
him for the many obstacles he would face as he went through the process of maturity.


The ' wild things ' are represented as friendly and kindly creatures that are almost
human. It is clear that Max is fed up with them when he arrives at the place where the
wild things are. This is a result of a role reversal. Max is now the authoritarian rather
than his mother and the wild things are now the cowering 'child.' It is evident in the
illustrations and text that Max is the person with the power as the monsters are cowering
with their claws over their heads. The illustrations reinforce the fact that Max is boss,
especially when he is crowned King of all wild things. The wild things are praising him as
he has courage and bravery that they do not, which is not stereotypical as monsters are
usually considered frightening creatures. If Max's mother had not acted as an
authoritarian so often, Max would not have employed her ideas of solving conflict and
would have been able to show different qualities without making commands and reminders.

If Max had been bought up to be aware of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour,
and his mother had helped to define the concept of right from wrong without Max having to
figure it all out for himself, then Max may not have had to resort to living the fantasy
of a dream world where he could escape the anger in reality and for once have the
authority rather than being the one who is controlled.


It is important to examine the happenings of the time of publishing in order to be able to
effectively deconstruct and appreciate the text. Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn in
1928. He was the youngest out of three children and his family was Jewish. They immigrated
to America from Poland before World War 1 and lost many of their relatives to the
Holocaust during World War 2. His father was a unique storyteller, and so Sendak grew up
enjoying and appreciating books. While he was still at high school, he became an
illustrator for the All - American Comics and as a result, he became known for his
illustrations quite early in life.


The creation of Maurice Sendak's 'Where The Wild Things Are' in 1963 impacted the views
and beliefs circulating society around that era relating to appropriate literature for
children. Sendak not only landscaped a completely new way of writing and illustrating for
children, he broke through the relatively unperturbed surface of post-war American
children's literature. In 1963 the USA's focus was on the Vietnam War so you can just
imagine the type of wartime hero children's books written for children during this era.
The literature of this time was based on what was really happening and it wasn't until
Sendak started writing and illustrating for children that this soon changed. Sendak's
inventions created the forefront of an era where children's book's transformed so that
they were highly inventive. 'Where The Wild Things Are' won both acclaim and controversy
from the general public. There seemed to be two points of view; some people thought that
Sendak's stories were to dark and disturbing for children to read, however, the majority
of people believed he had pioneered and entirely new way of writing and illustrating.
However, since he published his first book in 1951, Sendak has illustrated and written and
illustrated over 90 books. He received many awards including the Caldecott Medal for
'Where The Wild Things Are' and the Hans Christian Andersen International Medal in 1970,
and was also a recipient for the American Book Award in 1982 for 'Outside There.' He also
received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his contributions to children's literature and
received the National Medal of Arts from the President of the United States. Through this
lifetime achievement in illustrating and writing children's book, it should come as no
surprise that Sendak's works are still widely appreciated by all ages.


The alternative reading of the text is used to examine how various aspects of society and
its culture in a particular time and place can shape and impact on how the text is
produced. Around the time of publishing 'Where The Wild Things Are,' in 1963, there were
several events that were happening to Australia and the USA. In Australia, there was a
large boom in the divorce industry. More and more Australians were filing for divorce.
From the 1960's until 1975, married Australians were only allowed to divorce if they had
special circumstances. These special circumstances included if your spouse was abusing you
or if your spouse was cheating on you. These circumstances favoured women more than men,
as it was more common for a woman to be cheated on and abused rather than a man.

In Australia, several new laws were passed to satisfy the changes occurring in society. These included the
The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1959 (Cth) was primarily a 'divorce act.' It included and
set out the proceedings for the custody, property and maintenance of children, but was
Continues for 7 more pages >>