mummiefbDr. Sarita Bhargava – Pediatrician.
Qualified PALS by Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
Author of a very popular book ‘Your Precious Gem & You’.

parenting-classParenting and development are very closely linked to each other. Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical , emotional , social and intellectual development of a child from conception to adulthood. It deals with the various aspects of raising a child in addition to the biological relationship of the child with the parents. The literal meaning of the word parens means parent, in Latin is a care taker of the offspring. In human race parents have been assigned the duty of taking care of their offspring . Biological parents include the mother and father, both of them are responsible for the upbringing of the child. At times the child is not related to the parents as is seen when he has been adopted by a couple who have now become the adoptive parents of the child. Children without biological or adoptive parents can be raised by the grandparents , a friend or other family members .This system of parenting in which individuals other than actual parents take up the parental role is called as Alloparenting .In orphanages and foster homes the children are being looked after by the caretakers who are not related to them in any way. With the growing popularity and usage of IVF technique the child can have two biological parents. Parenting skills vary for every child and a parent with good parenting skills may be referred to as a good parent .Parenting is tough and challenging , but if done with the right spirit is very enjoyable ,parents get to learn to live happily from their newborns who with advancing age involve the parents in their play activities . They teach them to leave their tension behind and enjoy the present moments wholly . Parents also teach the children a lot of things through play.

Factors affecting parenting decisions—

  1. Socio economic status of the parent—Children with parents having low income are reared poorly. The parents are hardly able to meet the basic requirements of the children , are unable to provide them the privileges which children in effluent families get. Children from upper class are sent to good schools having all modern amenities like the internet and computers. They have exposure to electronic toys and gadgets at home .The children from low socio economic families mostly go to government schools. In these schools only the basic facilities exist . At times in Indian villages till date the classes are held under a tree and there are no toilets for children in the school premises. The government of India is trying to improve the facilities in the schools by providing the basic facilities along with computers and has also arranged for mid day meals .Many welfare agencies are seen adopting the schools by providing uniform, books, bags and snacks to the children in school . It is not necessary that we find happy children in effluent families rather they are depressed for not being able to receive the desired attention from their parents . Inspite of the prevailing socio economic conditions children are more happy in the families where they have been responsively attended by the parents during their upbringing meaning a strong emotional bond between the mother and child makes him happy .
  2. Sex of the child—In Indian society there exists a difference in the upbringing of the male and female children .In some communities the birth of a female child is considered a curse to the family .She is not looked after properly by the mother as after her birth the mother has been demoralized by the family members for giving birth to a female child .The attitude of the community and family members has to be changed and this can be done by improving the literacy status of the members and explaining to them that all children male or female are their precious gems and should be treated and brought up respectfully .The decreasing female population ratio which has come up due to adoption of practices to destroy the female fetuses will be hazardous to the society .

Click to BuyThe male child is provided better food and sent to a good school .The parents are seen fulfilling the demands of their male children – a practice which should be disallowed . They have to be explained the importance of girls in the society who have to be looked after and brought up well by healthy practices so that the girls who would be the mothers are competent and confident .They will thus be capable of producing the generation of high esteemed , confident children in the forth coming years . The female children in poor families as a custom were not sent to school , they assisted the mother at home . Now due to incentives from the administration in form of free education and mid day meals girls too have started attending schools . The female child in poor homes is seen assisting the mother in the household chores or looking after the younger sibs while the female child from the effluent families does go to a good school but in these families also we can see differences between the rearing patterns of the son and the daughter .The male children are served food before the female sibs and they are offered food preparations of their choice .This differentiation has to be removed from the home environment then only the gender sensitivity issue between the male and female children will improve .

  1. Interpersonal relations of the parents—The parents of the lower class face the stress of meeting out the finances of the family and so frequently have interpersonal conflicts .These conflicts and discussions in front of the children impact the developing minds . The children start considering themselves to be the cause of these quarrels and start thinking negatively. At times the father comes home drunk and hits the wife blaming her for some or the other reason and such incidents adversely affect the children.
  2. Education status of the parents—The parents in the poor families who have received some education in their childhood have a desire to get their children educated .They work hard and arrange to send the children in private schools.The educated parents in effluent homes who through proper understanding and planning go to produce the next generation are committed to rearing the infants in a definitely better way than those who have conceived accidentally. Also it is seen that although the society is witnessing the disappearance of extended joint families still the educated new parents with good social values refer to the benefits of living together with their parents and grandparents. The elderly persons in these homes guide and provide all practical assistance to the new parents about the rearing practices. Later on when the mother joins the professional duty the grandparents are there to supervise the children and the maid. They receive them when they come from school , love them immensely and instill good moral values in them. The parents in the nuclear families worry about the security of the children in the hands of the maid , in contrast the grandparents are supervising the maids in joint families. Both working parents in nuclear families have to divide their work for looking after the child after the maid goes away . A child reared in a joint family has a high self esteem when he is compared to a child from a nuclear family. The love and affection provided by a family member cannot be compared to that given by a maid. The working mothers have to establish a balance between work and motherhood. A child on returning from school looks for his mother and at this time the maid cannot fit into the shoe of the mother. Children from joint families become socially competent very quickly as they interact with a number of persons in the house. Child who is been looked after by a maid may go in depression due to lack of love and affection.

The culture ,child’s temperament , family size ,personality and background of the parents all influence parenting.