Parenting is a phenomenon that aims at developing a child psychologically, intellectually, physically and socially. The various stages of child development which encompass infancy, toddlerhood, middle childhood/preadolescence and adolescence call for changing parenting roles, stressors and needs (George W. Holden, 2009). At infancy, the child’s requirements are limited to food, sleep, comfort and cleanliness. Crying is the only form of communication available for the child and is used to express feelings of hunger, loneliness, uneasiness etc.
Parents learn to respond to these various requirements and fulfill the infant’s desire. Parenting at this time requires time, effort and patience. When a child starts to crawl and walk, the stage is called toddlerhood. This stage requires parents to help develop the child’s skills and show them how to do things. The toddler starts building a vocabulary to communicate effectively, manage his/her emotions and understand social etiquette. Parenting at this stage requires parents to teach and guide the child.
The early, middle childhood and pre-adolescence stages are when children become more independent. At this stage, a child makes most of his/her own decisions. Parents at this stage of development are required to develop the health, hygiene and eating habits of the child, implement disciplinary measures and make decisions regarding the child’s education. Lastly, adolescence is the stage where children are now forming their own identity and are wholly responsible for their own decisions. Children develop their interpersonal skills and build relationships.
Parenting has a limited role here; however, children might occasionally turn to parents for support, advice, consultation and guidance. This stage is of most interest to me since it reflects how well the early stages of parenting were undertaken. For further reading regarding parenting in adolescents refer to http://www. parentingadolescents. com/archivpa. html.
References 1. George W. Holden. (2009). Parenting: A Dynamic Perspective. Illustrated. SAGE. 2. Parenting Adolescents. Independent at 18? Retrieved March23, 2010, from http://www. parentingadolescents. com/indepat18. html