The Role of Parents in the Development of young children

Publish: 8:22 PM, February 27, 2024 | Update: 8:22 PM, February 27, 2024

Dr P R Datta : A child’s morality begins to develop at a very young age. Thus, the individuals closest to them are essential to their Development and upbringing. Positive parenting is critical for a child’s cognitive, problem-solving, and social skills development during their developing years. Effective parenting influences a child’s receptivity and aids in the child’s Development. In the early phases of a child’s Development, stimulation and interaction are critical. When a child is born, they know nothing. Their basic views about everything they meet in their everyday life are dependent on their parents’ lessons. Suppose the child does not receive adequate parenting in the early phases of Development. In that case, it will impede their Development and growth and negatively damage their psychology as a good human beings.Parents have a significant influence on the behaviour of teenagers and youngsters. Numerous elements promote good parenting. Nonetheless, the factors that influence effective parenting are demonstrating love and warmth, being responsive, establishing explicit norms and routines, and other considerations. Love and warmth convey that the child is growing up in a caring atmosphere and that there are people who love and care for them. This assists them in becoming better people. If the child does not receive adequate affection and warmth, they may become estranged from their parents, which may negatively impact their developing psychology.

Setting expectations for children at an early age is critical. By establishing precise and clear rules and behaviours about what children can and cannot do, they will gain a better grasp of their actions and will be aware that there are some restrictions they must obey. Otherwise, without particular conduct, they will believe that they are free to do whatever they choose. This can have an impact on how they think. Parenting styles are defined by parents’ attitudes toward their children and interactions with them.Parental psychosocial functioning impacts parents’ abilities to provide affectively attuned communication during toddlerhood and infancy. This affects older children due to compromised parent psychosocial functioning influencing parenting behaviours and marital adjustment. Behavioural issues include hyperactivity, aggression, and rule-breaking behaviour, as externalising issues and internalising problems like withdrawal, anxiety, and depression are the most common mental health problems in early childhood. The behavioural problems in this stage predict negative mental health results in later life. Behavioural issues in early childhood hinder the Development of cognitive, emotional, and social competencies in young children. It is also related to maladaptation to society.

Permissive parenting possesses high responsiveness and low demands. Its attributes include a lack of control, monitoring, and discipline, yet it is nurturing and warm. It occurs when parents fail to set limits and the behaviour of children. It leads to the non-positive psychosocial Development of children and forms socially irresponsible, self-centred motivation and narcissistic tendencies in children. On the other hand, authoritarianism has low responsiveness and high demands and includes firmly enforced edicts and rules by parents and firm control of children’s autonomy. There is an attempt to control children’s behaviour per set conduct standards or absolute standards. There is the use of demands to make children disciplined with minimal autonomy. Moreover, there is low emotional warmth and affection in the child-parent relationship. The psychosocial Development of children is affected, causing low self-esteem, less security, and less satisfaction.

The Authoritarian parenting style comprises the highest level of strictness without considering the children’s opinions. Therefore, the parents enforce strict rules and regulations that force their kids to comply with or face punishments. It leads to the most restrictive relationships between parents and children, where the parents expect their kids to behave perfectly without errors. Therefore, this style leads to high parental expectations from their kids and blind obedience to any command that the parent might give the children. The characteristics of this parenting style are focused on implementing set laws decided unilaterally by the parents without consulting the children or considering their feedback. This is because the parents believe that their children are small and, therefore, lack the understanding and experience for their opinions to hold value to be considered. Consequently, it leads to the emotional neglect of the children and a sense of no worthiness.

Further, there is a common feature of lack of connection and improper bonding between the parents and the children. This parenting style has other characteristics, including the absence of a customised foundation of learning for the children and degradation in the day-to-day activities’ performance quality. It happens because the opinion of the kids, including their desires, are not considered by the parents, who solely decide the day’s activities of the children.

Another parenting style is the Authoritative style which focuses on providing a lenient version of the authoritarian parenting style. The authoritative parenting style involves the parents still deciding the rules and guidelines for the children but in a much more democratic manner. This is because these parents consider their childrens’ opinions, their desires and like to decide on various issues and options involving the children. These parents are characterised by their responsiveness towards their wards and their willingness to listen to the opinion of their children and discuss these with them. This parenting style creates much more satisfying and deep bonds between the children and the parents because of the enhanced interaction among them. Thisparenting style is focused on monitoring the children and giving them an upbringing that is focused on making them independent by letting them initiate things and encouraging them to do things by themselves. This parenting style tackles the children with love and affection instead of rigidity and scolding them for their errors. This is ensured through adequately engaging with them in a qualitative manner that accepts their existence as an individual instead of being youth that needs to be moulded according to the parent’s wishes.

The permissive parenting style is even more lenient than the traditional approach to parenting children. This parenting style is characterised by the parents enforcing few restrictions on their kids and offering enhanced freedom to them so that they can do things that they like and complete things in their time. This style is characterised by the parents’ relative lack of disciplining actions towards the children, leading to a relationship between them that is much more responsive than demanding. Therefore, this relationship between the kids and parents is filled with enhanced communication. The parents can profoundly understand their kids, leading to animproved attachment. These parents are characterised by their children as more friends than a parent, indicating the ease of access and the considerate manner in which these parents behave with their kids.However, these children tend to have negative interactions, too, due to the permissive parenting style, as this enables kids to have egoistic tendencies that may supersede the parent’s decision-making process. This leads to the Development of a relationship among them where the children may be completely unwilling to listen to the parents and has a high tendency to initiate a negative verbal interaction with them upon any disagreement.

The uninvolved parenting style is where the end of the spectrum is reached, and the parents do not impose rules or regulations on their children or guide them. This parenting style poses a disastrous situation for children upon reaching the adolescent stage due to the complete non-involvement of the parents in their child’s lives. This parenting style is characterised mainly by the parents not even knowing the status of their children, whether it be at school, their current locations, their interests, passions, or their dislikes. It leads to a sense of abandonment within the children’s mental frame,leading to a restrained and unsatisfactory relationship with their parents. This parenting style is highly influential in developing an egoistic persona within the children, leading to frequent altercations with their parents and peers.

In the overall Development of a child, parenting plays a significant role in the cognitive, physical, socio-cultural, mental, and spiritual Development. In growing up of a child, positive parenting helps improve social, cognitive, and problem-solving skills. The parental touch, interactions and the child’s stimulation are crucial during early growth. These are all about understanding the situations, problem recognition, and solving the problems correctly. Proper parenting positively impacts the child and helps them develop as a good human being by teaching the basic disciplines of life, effective time management and the ability to solve one’s problems. Children tend to observe everything inside or outside the home. They keenly observe the spousal interactions between the parents and their ways of settling an issue in the family. Studies have shown that the relationship between parents and their stress affects the child’s behaviour.

The parenting style includes engaging the children in regular physical exercises, taking them to the playground, teaching them about a healthy and balanced diet and all the other qualities that are required for the proper physical Development of the children. Teaching the child to accept failures, accept feedback and overcome them patiently and successfully are also some of the qualities of positive parenting styles. It moulds the children’s minds and helps them think positively and accept every challenge that life throws. Inculcating the values and beliefs in the children strengthens the morality and ethics within them, and this comes under the spiritual Development of the children that are highly influenced by the parenting style.

Research has shown that incorporating strategies and guidelines into parenting styles make it healthy and results in the healthy Development of children.Boosting a child’s self-esteem is one of the powerful strategies of an upbeat parenting style, as this is highly responsible for the growth and Development of a child. Praising their achievements, no matter how small, will motivate them to do better the next time. The parents must guide their children to teach them, but sometimes the child must be left alone to do a specific task. That will let them face the problems and challenges of life and the possible methods to solve them. Proper communication between the children and the parents is crucial in parenting style. Children have questions about almost everything, and the parents must answer them logically so that the children do not doubt the motives and values of the situations. This allows the kids to think, understand and learn in non-judgemental ways.

The authoritative parenting style is the most effective one that helps in a child’s mental upliftment. Teaching basic manners, disciplines, rules, and regulations is the primary part of a parenting style; hence, the parents need to stick to the rules. This helps the kids to build trust and respect towards their parents. Parents need to be good role models for their children because parents have a more influential role in their children than any other person. If there is certain behaviour that the parents do not want to inculcate in their children, they should strictly avoid that behaviour in front of their children as they tend to mimic almost everything their parents do. Children observe everything from managing the daily household chores, preparing dinner paying bills and handling other responsibilities. It is thus highly crucial for parents to behave correctly in front of their children. Controlling emotions is also an essential strategy for parents because it helps build the children’s emotional stability.


The writer is educator, author, and researcher