In a family, the task of raising and educating children from birth or even before birth to the time the time such children become of majority age rests on the parents (Ambert, 16). Similarly, in the animal kingdom the animals take care of their young ones, provide them with the physical needs, and protect them until they can take care of themselves. In the human race however, things are a little different. For instance, in the animal kingdom the young ones are only raised by their biological parents. It is rare to find an animal raising the young one of another. On the contrary, human beings can raise the children of another human being. This is possible through adoption or through guardian relationships following the poor financial status, poor health or death of the dependant’s biological parents. It is worth noting that even the government plays an important parenting role among the children. This paper seeks to explain the concept of parenting, the importance of parenting and the various styles of parenting.
Fundamentally, Parents are responsible for providing basic needs to the young ones. These are among the many physical needs that children need for both bare survival and for pleasurable lives (Golombok, 78). These needs include food which is a necessity. Other physical needs include such things as toys, clothes and shelter. The provision of these physical needs by parents is very important. The fact that orphaned children resort to the streets and engage in social evils such as theft and burglary explains the importance of parents in the children’s life. Those children that engage in social evils including prostitution do this for the lack of physical needs. This explains how influential parents are.
The second role of parenting is the provision of protection. The parents protect their children from harm they protect the kids from both physical and mental or psychological harm (Newman, P & Newman). When a child is growing up they usually do not know what is wrong and what is right. As such they cannot effectively differentiate what is good from that which is harmful. They view all things as being equal and having the same effects to the body and mind. For example, psychologists say that during the Id stage of a child’s development, they do not see the different between soil and food. For this reason, they tend to put anything they lay hands on into their mouths. Parents therefore have to be available to guide the child through such a stage. The parents remain in control of the child until he or she attains majority age.
The third role of parenting is the imparting of knowledge and cultural guidance. Commonly, children born of Islam parents will definitely grow up to be Muslims. Similarly Christian children grow up knowing that Christianity is the true religion. This happens simply because the parents brought them up in the Christian setting. Contemporary psychologists have compared the brain of a new born child to a new computer. A new computer is not programmed and it is upon the programmer to install he software and the instructions that he wants. Such instructions are the ones that define the computer. Similarly, the brain of a child is blank. So is follows that the children will always grow up with the knowledge and cultural practices imparted in them by their parents. This is why people say that, to some extent, the behavior of the child reflects the thoughts and beliefs of the parent.
Parenting may take various styles. The style of parenting adopted by a person depends to a great extent on their background and natural temperaments. The styles also depend on the dimensions of parenting that the parent values most. There are four dimensions of parenting. Namely, the disciplinary policy, the communication styles, tenderness and nurturance and the expectations of adulthood (Newman, P & Newman). Those parents that go by the disciplinary policies tend to go by the authoritarian and the authoritative styles. The authoritarian parent is one that governs and brings up his or her children under a system of strict regulations and unquestionable policies. Such parents expect their children to stick to their rules without questions or arguments. Psychologists discourage this method as it nurtures a sense of rebellion in the kids at later stages.
The authoritative parent is a little bit different from the authoritarian parent because this one is a little more liberal and democratic. He may involve the children in some decisions though he still remains the powerful figure of the house (Ambert, 16). While the authoritarian parent believes in punishments and strictness, the authoritative parent is more listening and forgiving. The third type of parenting is the permissive type. Permissive parents are those parents that are more of friends than parents to the children. These are the most popular parents among children. They are very liberal and do not demand much from the children. Communication between such a parent and the children is very good. The last and perhaps worst style of parenting is the uninvolved style of parenting. Uninvolved parents are those that are almost completely detached from their children. They provide them with the basic needs but are so unconcerned about their developments that they even break communication lines. This style of parenting is highly discouraged since in extreme cases, the children are neglected or abandoned.
Ambert, A. Parenting, Children and Adolescents: Interactive Relationships and Development in Context. New York. Haworth Press, Inc. 1997. Print
Golombok, S. Parenting: What Really Counts? New York. Routledge. 200. Print
Newman, P & Newman, B. Development through Life: A Psychological Approach. Belmont. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 2009. Print