The importance of parents in a child's life cannot be emphasized enough. Since the moment we are born, we need parents to take care of us, provide for us and teach us everything we need to know about the world, keeping us safe and protected in all situations.
Therefore, being a parent is not something biological. Rather, it is something physical, emotional and intellectual, providing all these forms of support for your child, whenever and wherever he/she needs it, from infancy all the way into adulthood.
Healthy Child growth with Healthy Parenting
Parenting is not your mere presence in your child's life. It is the endless and selfless support you provide, regardless of the situation, helping your child overcome all problems he/she may encounter during his/her life. Thus, if a child does not have parents, the governmental apparatus of many countries in the word gives its best to provide these forms of support through social assistance, foster care and many other ways.
All this takes place due to the need of the child to have a healthy communication with his/her parent. In fact, this communication factor is one of the most important characteristics of parenting. When a child has this healthy communication with his/her parent, he/she develops a healthy, necessary level of self-esteem, being motivated by the worlds of encouragement and appraisal. Moreover, once you have this healthy form of relationship with your child, you are bound to maintain this bond throughout both of your lives.
The benefits of healthy parent-child communication are founded on child's capability to deal with stress caused by everyday problems he/she encounters. Keep in mind that the self-recognition of the child takes place between the age of 2 and 6. So, this is the time when the child needs his/her parents very much.
In order to be there for your child during all the important times in his/her life, make sure that you are a good listener. Pay attention to the kid's problems and words in general, respecting everything he/she says and expressing this state of mind with your body language and tone.
Remember that your child needs to have his/her attitude and opinion expressed, regardless whether it is wrong or right. Therefore, during discussions of some touchy issues, be careful not to be prone to criticizing too much or blaming the child for his/her lack of proper judgment or adequate attitudes.
In order to put this into action, dedicate a specific part of your every day to talking to your child, practicing this positive aspect of communication. Do not finish your child's sentences or try to correct any grammatical errors he/she makes. This will put off the conversation. Rather, give your best to understand the message conveyed in the discourse.
Keep in mind that your child deserves appraisal for everything positive he/she has done. Often, parents forget to say “thank you” when their child does some minor chores, or even some serious work. Do not be afraid to put your trust in your child when it come to certain tasks and refrain from giving too many unnecessary instructions.
Furthermore, do not blame the child, but blame the actions which are inappropriate. Finally, do not forget to show your love towards your child openly and freely, through words, actions, cuddling, gentle voice, patience and a caring eye contact.
Different Models of Parenting
According to the scientific researches of Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, there are three major types of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian and permissive. Later on, this list was expanded through Maccoby and Marting adding indulgent and neglectful instead of permissive.
Nevertheless, there are no set distinctions between the type of parenting, since every parent does his/her “thing” in a unique manner.
Still, there are general groups of parents which can undergo this classification. For example, attachment parenting encompasses parents who need to stay in contact with their children, creating strong emotional bonds through recognizing their children's emotional needs and providing every form of support.
Other than that, there is the historic developmental skill based model, which puts the child in the place of an apprentice for the parent, learning all the skills he/she needs for life by giving his/her best to reach the level his/her parents are at. This model allows the child to expand his/her knowledge more and more, according to the current level the child is at. Later on, once the child surpasses the expectations of the parents, he/she can pursue his/her own goals and dreams.
Nurturant parent model is yet another type of parenting, manifesting through the child exploring the world on his/her own, with the passive protection of his/her parents. Slow parenting is a similar model, signifying parents who do not organize their children's lives, allowing them to learn about life at their own pace.
Additionally, the single parent model depicts a parent who raises the child on his/her own, allowing him/her to get both female and male perspectives of living from just a single parent. Finally, a strict father model represents an authoritarian approach, where the father is the disciplinarian, teaching the child obedience and punishment, leaving all the rest to the mother.
To conclude, there are many different models of parenting and many individual ways of being a parent and being there for your child. Nevertheless, parenting is incredibly important for a child, since it is something that allows the child to develop his or her personality, self-esteem and ability to lead a normal life sometime in the future, when he/she sets off on his/her own, becoming a good parent him/herself.