Child rearing practices in families as one of the phenomena of family pedagogy regard methods of directing and encouraging the child's acceptable behaviour as well as methods of preventing and stopping the child's unacceptable behaviour. The aim of this research is to tackle child rearing practices as a whole and to classify them regarding essential pedagogical characteristics, proceeding from Wolfgang Sünkel’s general theory of education. This is a qualitative research thus it did not start with forming hypotheses but with research questions to which we give answers in the two parts of the thesis, namely, the theoretical and the empirical one. In the theoretical part we consider the relevance of Sünkel's theory for the description and classification of child rearing practices in families, namely, some of the research issues regard the relevance of Sünkel's theory key concepts, the possibility to establish classification in Sünkel's categories of pedagogical impact also the determination of the pedagogical essence of practices, that is, the criteria for their classification. The purpose of the theoretical part is to propose an initial classification of child rearing practices as a basis for the empirical part of the research. We interpret the parental perspective and propose a final classification of child rearing practices in the empirical part, starting from the initial classification. Some of the specific research issues in the empirical part regard the adequacy of the proposed criteria for the distinguishing of practices, the description of similarities and differences among them also the consideration of possible differences in the choice and application of practices regarding the age of the child and the family structure. The fundamental idea of the thesis is to offer a coherent picture whose theoretical concepts and empirical data provide a meaningful whole that can contribute towards a better understanding of the phenomenon of child rearing practices, also to present a basis for the future research of upbringing in families. The main reason for choosing Sünkel's general theory as the theoretical foothold is its pedagogical orientation manifested in the use of pedagogical concepts and their systematic correlation. We proceed from the assumption that the use of original pedagogical concepts can contribute to gaining distinctive pedagogical scientific knowledge (Palekčić, 2019) within the phenomenon of child rearing practices as well as contribute to a better correlation of general and differential pedagogies (Palekčić, 2015), i.e., family pedagogy in this case. Owing to the wide spectrum of concepts, comprehensiveness in tackling upbringing as well as to the systematic approach, the proposed theory has a marked potential for researching child rearing practices. Some of the concepts as mediation (Vermittlung/posredovanje), acquisition (Aneignung/prisvajanje), pedagogical situations, positions and upbringing relationships are particularly relevant for the analysis of the specific parental examples with the aim of describing individual practices and observing essential characteristics. Other concepts, such as the category of the upbringing impact (tendencies, modes, forms and means), are essential for the elaboration of the initial classification. We do not take Sünkel’s theory as the final framework for basing the research; based on considering tentative shortcomings of the theory, we propose certain modifications, both in defining some key concepts as well as in categories of impact. We take over some concepts in their original form, such as upbringing, mediation, acquisition as well as their definitions, while considering others we propose certain modifications. One of the most significant modifications regards one of the prerequisites of upbringing, which, in Sünkel’s terms, is the nonspecific spontaneity of the acquiring subject, among other things regarding the assessment of the quality of upbringing impact, child’s spontaneous choice and readiness to acquire. According to Sünkel, spontaneity is the indispensable prerequisite of upbringing, while the practices the child does not accept and choose cannot be analysed within the framework of upbringing. Contrary to his view, we have proposed a modification according to which the nonspecific spontaneity is not the indispensable prerequisite of upbringing. Rejecting the necessity of this prerequisite opens up the possibility within the framework of upbringing to research also those parental impacts that represent a form of parental forcing. Unlike the mentioned concepts, some concepts such as child rearing practices and discipline have been taken over from additional literature. The concept of child rearing practices in Sünkel’s categories of impact corresponds with the concept of forms of upbringing, though in our research we have given preference to the concept from the additional literature, while it is from Sünkel’s theory that we have taken the definition, referring to the relation of mediation against the acquisition of dispositions. We have also taken the concept of discipline from the additional literature, having defined it in its narrow sense in relation to upbringing, pointing out firm leadership and firm control as distinguishing characteristics in relation to other child rearing practices. The initial classification is based on Sünkel’s categories of impact, these being tendencies in upbringing (support and counteraction), modes of upbringing (enabling, encouraging, preventing and stopping), forms of upbringing (which stand for the level of child rearing practices) and means of upbringing. Sünkel’s systematization stops with upbringing tendencies and modes, while forms of upbringing (i.e., child rearing practices, out of which Sünkel mentions a few) cannot be classified in more categories. According to Sünkel, the reason for this is the impossibility of unambiguous classification following from two substantial characteristics of upbringing, namely, from contingency and diffusion. To have a further elaboration of classification, we elaborate a few objections to Sünkel’s view on the impossibility of further systematization. We claim that it does not follow from the hypothesis on the impossibility of unambiguous classification that a further systematization is impossible. On the contrary, we claim that the classification of upbringing is possible, while acknowledging that child rearing practices cannot be classified in an exclusive way (due to the contingency and diffusion of the phenomenon), but as they most frequently appear, as forms, so that it is possible for a particular practice to show some characteristics of the two forms of upbringing. To elaborate the classification, we have defined the classification criteria (referring to the upbringing essence of the practice), that is, in terms of mediation and acquisition. Sünkel’s categorization of upbringing impacts presents the basis for the elaboration of the initial classification of child rearing practices. To develop it, we proposed a few changes in Sünkel’s categorization of upbringing, the most important being to include forcing as a mode of upbringing. Apart from the fact that forcing makes part of the upbringing reality, we proceed from the assumption that it shows some corresponding elements with other modes of upbringing. One of the correspondences is the possibility to develop valuable and useful dispositions under its impact, which supports the idea that the reach of forcing is not behaviour control only. This is associated with a possible discrepancy between the acquisition of dispositions and manifested behaviour, which, according to Sünkel, is the characteristic of stopping, the status of which as a mode of upbringing is not questioned. Contrary to Sünkel, who identifies forcing with manipulation, we propose their differentiation claiming that pedagogically legitimate forcing, unlike manipulation, aims at the realisation of child’s potential and the acquisition of valuable dispositions (the correspondences between forcing and manipulation amount to the violation of child’s spontaneity and major control). On the basis of the stated modifications, as a result of the theoretical part of the work, we propose the initial classification of child rearing practices that consists of five modes of upbringing (enabling, encouraging, forcing, preventing and stopping) with a total thirty-one upbringing practices having been made part of it (some of them, i.e., forms of impact, are mentioned by Sünkel, while we have added others on the basis of the additional literature on upbringing and parenting). Regarding the set aim of the research, namely, the description and classification of child rearing practices in families, we have chosen a qualitative, that is, phenomenological approach, endeavouring to understand the parental perspective. The method of collecting data is the semistructured interview with open-ended questions, with around twenty-three parents of children ranging from the new-born to eighteen years of age taking part in the research. When sampling, we used three strategies, namely, the strategy of maximum variation sampling, theoretical sampling and the snowball sampling strategy, carrying it out until the sufficient sampling had occurred also the conceptual saturation, i.e., until we had at our disposal a sufficient variation of data on the basis of which we could elaborate a systematic and coherent review of practices with prominent similarities, differences and contrariness. The research draft of child rearing practices is evolving and flexible, having had changes included in a number of research stages, so that, for example, during the research implementation, a partial change of the research issues took place while the research stages entwined. This is especially noticeable in the entwining of data collection and their analysis that brought about a partial change of the draft for the interview protocol we used when continuing to collect data. The interview protocol of the semistructured type was thematically divided in thirteen fields (some of them being: Time with children; Acceptable child’s behaviour; Unacceptable child’s behaviour; Aim of upbringing and family values, etc.), it being the initial framework that was changing during the research implementation. Some of the changes we made during the field research (e.g., rephrasing questions), while others during the data analysis stage (e.g., omitting and adding questions also changing their order). When analysing data we used the Creswell’s (2013) version of the data analysis spiral that brings together four steps, i.e., organising the data, reading and memoing, interpreting and representing the data. The basic assumption of the analysis spiral is that data collection and analysis are not distinct steps, but interrelated ones that often take place simultaneously (Creswell, 2013). In the key stage of the analysis, the interpretation whose aim was to enable the description of child rearing practices relying on parental perspective, we used a few analytical procedures, being the following: horizontalization, coding, categorising, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation and synthesis. In the interpretation according to Moustakas (1994), these procedures refer to three levels of describing the phenomenon: textural description, structural description, and the essence of the experience of the phenomenon. Other than in the analysis of child rearing practices, we also used the stated levels of description in the review of analysis results, i.e., in the description of child rearing practices (textural description, structural description and the definition of the child rearing practice that follows from the upbringing essence of the practice). We present the research results in two chapters, namely, in the sixth chapter we present the final classification and in the seventh chapter the description of practices. The analysis has shown that a priori defined upbringing tendencies as well as upbringing modes are an adequate framework for classifying, while in child rearing practices and lower impact categories it was necessary to make certain changes in relation to the initial classification. In accordance with the analysis results, we added some practices, some we omitted, some we classified under other practices or changed the order of presenting practices. The final classification has a total of twenty-four child rearing practices, and we present it in two variants: in the first table we present child rearing practices classified in the related modes of upbringing while in the second one those classified in the related modes and types of mediation. Comparing child rearing practices that belong to a particular mode, we concluded that it is possible to make a further grouping within that mode based on particular similarities in mediation, having named these differences in mediation as types of mediation. According to the research results, within each mode of upbringing it is possible to distinguish two, three or four types. Types of mediation are an additional research result that we did not expect in the initial draft, being a subcategory of the modes of upbringing; they are more specific than the modes and more general regarding child rearing practices. The comparison of types of mediation resulted with the additional insight during the analysis, namely, for each type of mediation there is a counterpart at the other end of classification, which, according to our view, is an additional contribution to the systematic and coherent quality of the proposed classification. According the modes of upbringing, we present the descriptions of child rearing practices in a separate chapter, first presenting enabling practices, followed by those of encouraging, forcing, preventing and stopping. Within each mode of upbringing, we single out and describe more specific types of mediation, after that the related child rearing practices. Describing child rearing practices we start from the original quotes of parents who have experience in applying a particular practice (textural description) trying to describe the context of application, tackle the relations in a particular situation and question their impact on the acquisition of dispositions, consider the actual mode of application also question additional possibilities in mediation (structural description). Besides that, we try to recognise and describe differences and opposites also similarities and correspondences among practices that belong to the opposite sides of classification, i.e., support and counteraction. By the synthesis of texture and structure we try to note the essential characteristic of the practice regarding the relation of mediation towards acquisition, then proposing the definition of the practice. It is especially important to point out that the research results justify the introduction of forcing as a mode of upbringing; the analysis having suggested that there are two types of forcing, namely, prescribing the rules and parental expectations, which we differentiated by the four criteria (prescribed, obligatory, control and explanation of reasons). The parental experience shows that pedagogical forcing has its role in developing work habits connected with household and school obligations, while one of the most prominent topics is the issue of safety and protection from danger. Besides the parental perspective, the inclusion of forcing can also be justified by its correlation, i.e., its being contrary regarding stopping, which shows stopping as the counterpart of forcing. We have also described the contrariness between forcing and stopping at the level of related types (prescribing – correcting; expectations – provoking changes of perspective), which additionally justifies the position of forcing. Our results confirm Sünkel’s hypothesis that modes of upbringing are interrelated and continuing each other. When it comes to opposites, Sünkel’s starting position is that preventing is the counterpart of enabling while stopping is the counterpart of encouraging. Apart from confirming the mentioned general contrariness, the results also point to some additional relations, i.e., contrariness that are not evident on the general and theoretical level. Additional insights partly follow from including forcing, which opens additional space for positioning and comparison. The empirical data suggest that preventing is the counterpart of enabling, also that of encouraging, while stopping is the counterpart of encouraging, also that of forcing. The first mode of upbringing, namely enabling, which Sünkel principally analyses as the counterpart of preventing, has a much wider role in the whole of upbringing according to the results of our research as it shows to be the starting basis for the adaptation of practices that belong to other modes of upbringing. Among the results of the research, we can especially point out the proposal of positioning discipline regarding upbringing. One of the key research issues is the consideration of the phenomenon of discipline and its positioning regarding upbringing. The concept of discipline prevails in researches dealing with child rearing practices; it implies a wide understanding (such as Wissow, 2002; Dobbs, Smith and Taylor, 2006) according to which discipline regards the totality of parental practices that guide the child’s development, being researched in the terms of proactive and reactive discipline (Socolar, 1997; Socolar et al, 1999) as well as preventive and corrective discipline (Straus & Fauchier, 2007). Starting from the assumption that understanding discipline from the pedagogical perspective must be narrower regarding understanding upbringing, it is in the theoretical part of the thesis that we propose the criterion of distinguishing discipline from other child rearing practices (the criterion does not refer to identification but positioning towards upbringing), i.e., firm leadership and firm control. In the empirical part we show how, according the stated characteristics, three child rearing practices can be assigned to the discipline ones, that is, prescribing rules, forbidding and punishing (prescribing rules belongs to forcing, while forbidding and punishing belong to stopping). At the level of types of mediation, discipline consequently refers to only two types of mediation, to prescribing and correcting. The analysis shows how we cannot connect single child rearing practices or more general modes of upbringing with specific family structures as they are equally present in families of different structures. Although we do not make a difference in the choice and mode of applying practices at the level of single practices, it is still possible to observe differences regarding the structure of the family in the descriptions of parents, referring to the context of their application. Divorced parents show a greater readiness for providing open and sincere insights into the conditions of upbringing, relations with the other parent and they are also more ready to tackle possible differences in the mode of upbringing. Almost all divorced parents mention problems in the communication with the other parent, which result with not sharing information on children and not talking about upbringing issues, while some families face a total non-inclusion of the other parent in upbringing, also giving up the responsibility for the child. Topics of the relationship prevail in the interviews with divorced parents, while parents who are married or live with a partner tend to concentrate on concrete practices, tackling relationships only superficially. With regard to the age of the child, the results show that single child rearing practices and modes of upbringing cannot be ascribed to a particular age only. Despite this, the interpretation suggests there are certain differences regarding children’s age, namely, in the descriptions of certain practices prevail statements by parents who have children of a certain age. This implies the conclusion that certain practices are particularly prominent in a certain period, i.e., are typical for that period. Unlike the first upbringing modes (enabling, encouraging, forcing and preventing) that have not shown to be typical for a certain age, stopping shows to be typical for the preschool period according to our results. At the level of single practices, descriptions from the preschool period prevail in the practice of forbidding, supporting alternative acquisitions and in the description of the two forms of punishment, namely, physical punishment as well as social and emotional isolation. As regards the practices of encouragement, prominent are the practices of modelling actions as well as instructions and corrections in the context of the initial acquisition of skills but also the development of will. Unlike the preschool period, for the period of primary school junior classes we almost do not find examples of stopping and preventing, and the described upbringing situations mostly refer to the support by enabling and encouraging, in which processes reassurance is of special prominence in the context of mastering skills and knowledge in school. In the period of higher classes of primary school also of secondary school classes, a broader spectrum of encouragement practices can be observed; mediation becomes more prominent through examples and models while privileges and awarded associating are typical forms of compensation. A difference can also be observed in practices of preventing and stopping, namely, while in primary school lower classes there are no examples of preventing and stopping, we find examples of preventing in later periods, mostly by warning of the consequences of unacceptable behaviour and by giving frightening examples; also the examples of stopping, and that is through practices of forbidding and practices of punishing that mainly occur in two forms, by taking away privileges and by social and emotional isolation.