Friday, 25 July 2014

Parent Education - The Mantra for Parenting Success

The Current age parenting can be very demanding and competitive:

Some of us feel anxious that our child may be ‘lagging behind’ – “My child is scoring in 90s but she doesn’t understand that is not good enough”.

Some of us feel we are not providing sufficient opportunities – “I know my child is a genius I wish I could send her to a better school I am sure she would then outshine everybody”.

Some of us work long hours and struggle to fit in time with our children and this makes us feel guilty – “My son would have surely won the competition only if I had more time to help him”.

Some of us are overpowered by the intense nature of the attachment between parent and child. Anger, pride, frustration and love provide a powerful cocktail of emotions resulting in everyday power conflicts.

Some of us see our self worth in our children’s success

Some of us judge ourselves based on our children’s behaviours.

In the process of coping with these everyday parenting demands,

We have forgotten what it’s like to be the child and what it is like to be parent to the child.

We have lost the empathy for our own children and how it must feel for them to be dependent on us.

We have forgotten the art of listening to our children and being there for them.

We have forgotten that the children are constantly watching us and what we do really matters to them.

As per the experts the children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development is affected by not what parents desire but  

Who parents are - their intelligence, temperament, attitude, behaviour

What parents know - about child development and normative child behavior

What parents believe – their attitudes toward childrearing

What parents value - education, achievement, obedience, interpersonal relationships

What parent expect of their children – achievements, moral values, attitude, manners

What parents ultimately do - their parenting practices and overall parenting style

Research suggests that parenting styles have a tremendous influence on children:

Parenting based on warmth and firm discipline results in self-control, self-reliance, and exploration in children;

Parenting based on coercive and harsh discipline and lacking in warmth results in distrust and withdrawn behaviors in children;

Permissive, uninvolved and indulgent parenting results in worse self-control, self-reliance, and exploration in children.

Judgemental parenting can result in defiant children lacking in self confidence and self esteem

More recently, in a groundbreaking comprehensive study, researchers found that family characteristics and parenting (e.g., sensitive caregiving, cognitive stimulation, and positive involvement) in the first years of life predict pre-academic skills and socio-emotional development and behavior throughout the school years. In fact, the estimated effects of parenting are often larger than the estimated effects of early childhood education to foster positive child development. Family environments typically account for greater variance in children’s outcomes, reflecting the indisputable fact that parents remain their children’s first teachers, and what they do matters for children.
This puts a bigger responsibility on the parents and the big question is with the current age family structures and economic pressures “ARE THE PARENTS EQUIPPED TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN AS BALANCED PERSONALITIES”

As per most experts having authority on child development, parent education as ―a process that involves the expansion of insights, understanding and attitudes and the acquisition of knowledge and skills about the development of both parents and of their children and the relationship between them is becoming a key critical component of the success of children in this highly competitive age.‖
"The parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting social ties human beings establish," said Kira Birditt, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR). "This tie is often highly positive and supportive but it also commonly includes feelings of irritation, tension and ambivalence."

As parents it is our duty to rid our relationships with our children from irritation, tension and ambivalence and provide the right environment for the growth of their unlimited potential. Let’s not feel shy, let’s reach out and find support.

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