Parents are considered a blessing to man from God as they are responsible for who one grows up to be. It is a common belief that one’s behavior and demeanor is a reflection of their parent. In recent times, there has been an increase in number of cases relating to juvenile delinquency among youths. The society is said to be degenerate and morality is just a theoretical principle. The society has gone wild and there is an increase in nearly all forms of vices known to man: Prostitution, rape, violence, divorces, under age drinking and risky sexual behavior are at all time high.
Could it be that at some point parents just failed to note the magnitude of their role thus the development of a society where parents are themselves guided by immorality and therefore children have nothing positive to emulate or learn from their parents? If this is the case then the society is bound in a vicious cycle of immorality. Understanding the role played by the parents in a child life is of importance in determining the role played by parents in the problems and challenges that the society is faced with.
This research paper analyses existing literature to try and develop an understanding of the role played by parents in the development of a child to aid the development of a virtuous society. Research Findings One of the main reasons as to why parents have to ensure they are stable before having children is the obligations that come with parenting. Though physical maturity is of importance in child bearing, psychological readiness and financial stability have a bearing on the levels of efficiency that will be attained by a parent in rising up a child.
Parenting is a continuous process that starts from conception until the development of a child into early adolescence (Omer, & London-Sapir, 2004). Children who come from troubled families are said to be at risk of having traumatic lives due to the effects of poor parenting (Lyster, 2007). Parenting though a continuous process plays a considerable role in shaping ones conception of what life is and what the society expects. Parents who neglect their duties in parenting have themselves to blame when their children develop into delinquents and social outcasts.
The objectives and the role played by parents in the development of a child has a great bearing on the effect they will have on their children which affect the people they will grow up to be. One of the most important roles that a parents play in the development of a child is ensuring they are well taken care of. Humans like any other animal forms take care of their children to protect them from negativities that may be presented by the environment like harsh weather and disease. It is a parental obligation to ensure that a child is well breastfed and taken care of by providing clothing, ensuring immunization and housing (McGowan, 2007).
Doctors and medical specialists have advocated for breastfeeding for what they state as its relevance to the physical and mental development of a child. Levels of IQ have a close correlation to breastfeeding and so is proneness of a child to diseases (Berman, & Corwin, 2007). Research further shows that diseases that arise from malnutrition affect one not only at the point of occurrence but some conditions like rickets have an effect that may psychologically traumatize a child as he develops and relate to his peers in later stages of childhood.
Exposing a child to poor conditions in times of harsh weather and not immunizing them may affect not only the physical development of a child by making then prone to diseases but may also affect their natural development and therefore have an effect on the levels of interaction and creativity that a child will exhibit. Introducing children to their parents and ensuring a child interest with peers is another role that a parent plays in the development of a child (Pantley, 2005). Every parent’s dream is to ensure that their children get along with their peers and are well behaved among their peers.
It is worth noting that the behavior one displays at childhood is the basis upon which other environmental factors will impact on to develop a personality or demeanor. Basically the attitude and approach to life that one adopts in their childhood affects who they will grow up to be. When children grow up, they are in constant company of their parents due to the need to develop closeness with the parents and due to the role played by the parents in ensuring a child develops necessary social skills (Okagaki, & Luster, 2006).
The presence of parents in the initial stages of child development is important in the development of a child into a human person and determines their ability to relate feelings. Mothers who are absent from their children have themselves to blame when such children develop more close contacts to house helps and baby sitters which deny them of the joy of child upbringing (Boyd, 2003). Absent parents deny themselves of the chance to develop close contact with their children whom may develop into adolescence and childhood.
The development of a strong initial bond between parents and their children is central to the development of an understanding between parents and their children. Communication implements a media which in the case of parent-child communication are define by the bond that brings them together. Parents who complain that their children have a listening problem have themselves to blame for either implementing wrong approaches or poor development of a bond between them and their children which affect the levels of understanding that can be attained in their communication.
Wrong approaches may arise from poor or lack of knowledge on how to communicate with children or could be a manifestation of the poor understanding of either the parent or child on the other both of which may be developed by absentee parenting. Though the presence of the parents is of importance and is widely accepted as being central to the development of a child, there are differences in the approaches used in parenting which have a bearing on the effects they have on the child.
Some specialists are of the view that parents should be present and show their love and affection to their children by considering their feelings, desire and respect for their child’s viewpoints. The same high nurturance approach advocate for parental pride in accomplishments made by a child and encouraging them in times of stress. High nurturance approaches are associated with increased presence of parents in a child’s life and many children under this approach grow up knowing they are loved by their parents (Smith, 2005).
Studies in children have confirmed that there are a number of advantages that come with a high nurturance relationship that may affect their development even in their childhood. Alderian approaches in psychological analysis are based on the premise that individuals are affected by their experiences childhood which affect their perception of events. High nurturance approaches are associated with the development of a more positively assured child which increase the likelihood that the child will spend more time with her parents and therefore the transmission of values from the parents to the child.
The key assumption is that there are no negative values being transmitted; this is not often the case for negative morals may be transmitted to children if they are closely attached (Hybels, Harney, & Harney, 2005). It’s often said that the high contact approaches are also characterized by increased strife by children so as to continuously please their parents and gain their affection. Some are however of the view that though this may be true it manifest itself negatively where there are other sibling competing for the same affection and is therefore central to sibling rivalry which may be negative.
Critics of increased presence of a parent in the activities and lives of their children are of the view that parents who adopt this approach have a propensity for being lax in challenging their children to adopt standards of behaviour that measure up to what is expected by the society. The child becomes more inclined to gaining attention of their parents that there is little transmission of values expected of the child by the society. Supporters to authoritative parenting to so due to the levels of nurture it permits (Hildebrand, 2006).
However, the army like approach to dealing with children is not friendly and is often associated with the development of poor relationship between parents and their children. Authoritative parenting characterized by minimal contact between parents and their children is generally aimed at ensuring children gain knowledge on socially accepted ways. Contact only exist when a child is being admonished or punished which effectively develops a negative image of a parent while ensuring positive transmission of social values (Long,& Hoghughi, 2004).
Permissive parenting is on the other hand characterized by the philosophy of freeness where the children are free to explore her options. Parents are loved under this approach though they are rarely present and the child develops values depending on who they interact with. Experts are of the view that permissive parenting is central to development of brats and social delinquents and should never be allowed in the modern vicious society. Opinions An analysis of research in parenting leaves one wondering what is expected of parents.
The effects and characteristics of the different levels of proximity that can be attained by the parent on a child have been analyzed by specialists of all calibers. The material role played by the parent in the development of a child is not in question, differential views however arise in the role played by the parent and his presence in the moral and social development of a child. All approaches have failures and pros and there are few researchers who develop a clear understanding of the levels of proximity that is good for the development of a child.
Psychological and developmental theories are founded on the basis of the role played by the environment in molding ones perception and therefore its effect on an individual. The parent and the society are both part of the environment that a child has to interact with to be aware of what is expected of him by the society and parents. It should be noted that a parent is a member of the society and therefore what she expects of her child should be a depiction of what the society expects. Moreover, most people in the current generation were raised up without references to written parenting guides and rules.
The art aspect has been forgotten in trying to quantify the levels of closeness and contact those parents and their children should exhibit. Personal perception irrespective of the levels of development is affected by individual traits. Some children just want to be close while others were born independent; this quantification puts no consideration on individual characteristics, the art aspect of parenting and what parents gain from continued parenting. Conclusion There is no doubt that the parent plays a considerable role in the material development of a child.
Provision of basic needs and other requirement that are central to child development must be ensured by parents. Though there is no guide of how present or close a parent should be it has a bearing on the social development of a child. Sparing the rod is a definite child spoiling recipe and being a dictators may lead to a situation that any parent dreads; being subject to hate by the child. Creation of a balance that ensures love between a parent and a child and transmission of social values which must also put into consideration the nature of the environment and the child should define the levels of proximity.
References Berman, J. , & Corwin, D. (2007). The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. Boston, MA: New World Library. Boyd, B. (2003). Parenting a Child with Asperger Syndrome: 200 Tips and Strategies. Boston, MA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Hildebrand, V. (2006). Parenting: Rewards & Responsibilities. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Hybels, B. , Harney, S. , & Harney, K. (2005). Parenting: How to Raise Spiritually Healthy Kids. London: Zondervan. Long, N. , & Hoghughi, M. (2004). Handbook of Parenting: Theory and Research for Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004
Lyster, M. E. (2007). Building a Parenting Agreement That Works: How to Put Your Kids First When Your Marriage Doesn’t Last. New York, NY: Nolo. McGowan, D. (2007). Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion. New York, NY: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. Okagaki, L. , & Luster, T. (2006). Parenting: An Ecological Perspective. San Diego, CA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Incorporated. Omer, H. , & London-Sapir, H. (2004). Nonviolent Resistance: A New Approach to Violent and Self-destructive Children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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