The stages of development of a child starts from infancy and terminates at adulthood and each stage requires many forms of supports that are necessary to make each of the stages a successful endeavor expected to lead to the emergence of a complete and a responsible adult.
The various forms of support needed are categorized into different areas of developments viz:
The perfect combination of all these should be confined in the nucleus of every child developmental curriculum.
WHAT IS PARENTING?
Parenting or child rearing is the process of promoting and supporting the physical,emotional,social,financial and intellectual developments of a child from infancy to adulthood.
Parenting entails caretakers and the most common caretaker among others in parenting is the biological parents of the child in question.
What makes child bearing successful is nothing but good child rearing methods,ideology and philosophy.
Other caretakers may include viz:
- Legal Guardians.
- Family Members.
- Family Friends.
- Government and Society
- Non-Parent blood relatives.
- Foster care givers through adoption of orphaned children.
In addition ,parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child from the biological relationship which requires parenting skills or styles and a parent with good parenting skills or style may be referred to as a GOOD PARENT.
THE CONCEPT OF “GOOD ENOUGH PARENTING”
The description and the explanation of the concept of “good enough” parenting can be traced to the English Pediatrician and Psychoanalyst–DONALD WINNICOTT.He submitted and asserted that the concept of ‘good enough” parenting is a concept in which minimum prerequisites for healthy child development are met.
Winnicott wrote,'”The good-enough mother…starts off with an almost complete adaptation for her infants needs, and as time proceeds,she adapts less and less completely,gradually according to the infants growing ability to deal with her failure”.
From culture to culture,characteristics that make one a good or a “good enough’ parent varies.Research has shown that parental history both in terms of attachments of varying quality as well as parental psychopathology particularly in the make of adverse experiences, can strongly influence parental sensitivity and child outcome.
The outcome of development of a child from infancy to adulthood is an arduous task which is greatly dependent to a large extent on the resources pulled together by the parent or foster parent in the course of parenting.The essence of parenting that centers around responsibility with its outcome is a function of any of the four essential parenting skills or styles or the combination of the four that is maximized by parents towards the development of a child from infancy to adulthood.
In view of this,it is pertinent to delve into the four different essential parenting skills or styles that can be applied in the course of child rearing.
ESSENTIAL PARENTING SKILLS.
Parenting Skills simply connotes the overall emotional climate in the home at a particular period of time.
According to Diana Baumrind,there are four essential styles that can simply be referred to as parenting skills viz:
- Authoritative Parenting.
- Authoritarian Parenting.
- Permissive Parenting.
- Uninvolved Parenting.
Parenting skills are significantly related to children’s subsequent mental,health and well-being.The four skills of parenting involve the combinations of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand and demand and control on the other.
While,authoritative parenting is positively related to mental health satisfaction with life,authoritarian parenting is negatively related to these variables.
- AUTHORITATIVE PARENTING.
Authoritative Parenting maintains a balance by combining a medium level demands on the child and a medium level responsiveness from the parents.According to Baumrind, authoritative parenting is simply described as “the just right” parenting style.The characteristics exhibited in authoritative parenting are viz:
- Positive reinforcement.
- Infrequent use of punishments.
- Awareness of child’s feelings and capabilities.
- Parents support the development of a child autonomy within a reasonable limits.
- In an authoritative parenting,there is a give-and -take atmosphere in parents to child communication.
- Research shows that authoritative parenting style is more beneficiary than the too-hard authoritarian style or the too soft permissive style.An example of authoritative parenting would be parents talking to their child about their emotions.
2. AUTHORITARIAN PARENTING.
Authoritarian parenting styles symbolizes rigidity and strictness with high demands being placed on the child but parents are not responsive to the child.
In authoritarian parenting styles, obedience, adjustment,compliance and conformity to laid down rules and regulations from parents to child is enforced by punishment.
There is usually no explanation of punishment except that the child is in trouble for breaking a rule.
This parenting style is usually more strongly associated with corporal punishment such as spanking.
This is common among the working class families.
Permissive parenting is also known as indulgent parenting which is very common among the middle-class families than in the working class families.
In permissive Parenting,parents exhibits some of these characteristics viz:
- No explicit rules involved in this style.
- Child’s freedom and autonomy are highly valued.
- Parents rely on reasoning and explanations.
- Parents are highly responsive to the child’s needs.
- Parents guarantees their child freedom from external constraints.
- Children are generally happy.
- Low level of control are shown by children.
- Low level of self -reliance are exhibited by children due to non-availability of structure and standard at home.
- Parents exhibits weakness in disciplining their children.
- Parents are undemanding.
This parenting style is also known as neglectful parenting.This kind of parenting style is often displayed and exhibited when parents are often emotionally and physically absent.
Some of the characteristics that defines an uninvolved parenting styles are viz:
1.Little or no expectations by parents from the child.
2.Little or no communication between parents and child.
3.No responsiveness to a child’s need.
4.No demand in behavioral expectation by parents from a child.
5.Children of uninvolved parenting style tend to be a victim of another child’s deviance and may be involved in some deviance themselves.
6.Children of uninvolved parenting style suffer in social competence, academic performance,psychological development and problem behavior.
MEMOIR ON PARENTING.
Parenting is a role and a responsibility ordained by divinity for the entrenchment and enforcement of heavenly virtues and earthly virtues garnished with natural and cultural values that will birth the emergence of giants expected to be in-charge of the affairs of this world with preparations of legacies and code of conducts posterity will hold on to as a will and a constitution geared towards the enhancement, enactment and promotion of a balanced society that will trigger a social order which have human development being the focal point of each generation.
Without mincing words,the current waves of social disorder and the upsurge of torrential loss of values have been traced and linked to faulty background that is connected to weak parenting.
Weak Parenting can be seen being displayed at will and without any control and caution in the stratum of our society and is eaten deeply the fabrics of our society with virtues being dropped and mortgaged for vices.
Weak Parenting will simply birth the emergence of weak personality that lack self-confidence and self-esteem.According to the popular parlance:
“Self confidence makes a man,if you don’t have it,
You are twice defeated in the race of life”.
Self-confidence and self-esteem become real when the purpose of these two virtues are inculcated into the curriculum of the developmental stage of a child but it cannot be obtained through extreme pampering and cuddling being used by many parents nowadays.
Pampering kills the consciousness and sensitivity of a child to responsiveness and responsibility with such child being unable to operate under the consciousness of boldness because pampering makes self-confidence expected to be portrayed by a child being subjective to parental views and stand.
This can be submitted as a reason behind the situation when some couples get married,they still find it difficult separating or detaching themselves from the grip of parental care they have lived with for ages,making them trying to enforce some legacies in terms of dictates and demands that are originated from their parents.
“….this is how my dad used to do it or say it….”
“…my mum don’t say such…….”
These are some of the statements that are triggered by weak parenting or soft parental training that have been known to cause rift in many marriages.
Pampering a child might be thoughtful and meaningful but if it is done in excess or without a purpose,it will end up being a contributor and a facilitator of developing weaklings that has nothing to offer the larger society except fear and inferiority complex which will end up making such child a burden to the entire society.
The purpose of any approach to parenting should be channeled towards making a child better with the development of the child to be a complete human that has body,soul and spirit being developed but pampering a child might end up denying the child the opportunity of learning and knowing the essence of being a complete human being that is stable in all ways.
Pampering unjustly makes a child a liability.
It is quite appalling to observe the unpreparedness of many parents for the responsibility of parenting.They dazzled into parenting by acting on the spur of the moment and what is envogue which is obtainable and caused by demand,dictates and pressure from parents,peers and the society which end up forcing them to entered into marriage unprepared,thereby making them an unprepared parents.
An unprepared parents will offer nothing but an unprepared parental training that will end up producing unprepared offspring that are lacking and lagging behind in having the basic understanding of their roles and responsibilities to development of their immediate environment.
In the course of marriage,many married couples are guilty of having reference and respect for the lifestyle their parents trained them with,some are fond of preferring their mother-in-law and father-in-law staying with them attending to basic domestic chores in the course of their visit or stay.This is an aberration to what is expected in marriages but it becomes obtainable and visible due to the fact that many married couples are still reminiscing and basking in the euphoria of weak parenting they were brought up with.
Weak Parenting will build weak past,
Weak past will build weak future.
Thereby becoming a vicious cycle of weakness caused by weak parenting.
An unprepared parent will end up developing an unprepared wards or children that will not only be a burden to the parents but a concern to the entire society.
Pampering with all its excuses is not an evil in itself but it should be done with moderation and it should be done with a defined purpose so that its abuse will not lead to the emergence of children that lack the basic understanding of the essence of humanism and existentialism caused by their inability in knowing what is expected and expedient by them to offer as a contribution to the entire society.
On a lighter note,they end up becoming daddy’s pet and mummy’s puppet but our world needs giants that will be a trailblazers with strong hinds feet.
It is extremely pertinent for parents to raise up giants with less dependence on them by encouraging them to have a strong mind sensitive and accommodating to the challenges and vicissitude of life with accompany solutions to them one after the other.
Parents need to be firm in training and fierce in developing their children because our world needs giants and lion-hearted men with eagle-hearted women not chicken-hearted ones that will end up making our world unbearable.
Strong mind development and strong will power should be inculcated and enshrined on the wall of all our children’s mind at earlier developmental age not pampering that will lead to the emergence of weaklings and adult thumb-suckers.
There is no single or definitive model of parenting.
With an authoritarian and permissive(indulgent) parenting on opposite sides of the spectrum,most conventional and modern models of parenting fall somewhere in between.
Parenting strategies as well as behaviors and ideals of what parents expect,whether communicated and /non-verbally also play a significant role in child’s development.
On a final note:
Are you a “good enough parent”?
Which of the parenting styles suit your approach to child upbringing in the context of this article?
Which of the parenting style do you think is the best in bringing up a matured and a responsible child?