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Parenting

Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the activity of raising a child rather than the biological relationship.

In the case of humans, it is usually done by the biological parents of the child in question, although governments and society take a role as well. In many cases, orphaned or abandoned children receive parental care from non-parent blood relations. Others may be adopted, raised by foster care, or be placed in an orphanage.

Parenting Styles
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Parenting Effectively
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How to be a good father
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How to be a good mother
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Good Parenting Tips
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Parenting Young Children
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Teaching your child about Budgeting
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Handling your child 's Temper Tantrums


The goals of human parenting are debated. Usually, parental figures provide for a child's physical needs, protect them from harm, and impart in them skills and cultural values until they reach legal adulthood, usually after adolescence.

Parenting models, tools, philosophies and practices

Although race may be a significant contributing factor, social class, wealth, and income have the strongest impact on what methods of child rearing are used by parents. Lack of money is found to be the defining factor in the style of child rearing that is chosen, and minorities are more likely to have less wealth or assets available for use in their children's upbringing. Societal values and norms of a generation also have an effect, as in the United States where authoritarian parenting was the most popular until the 1960s when a backlash made permissive parenting the most popular in the 1970s.


Models of parenting

Developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind identified three main parenting styles in early child development: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Maccoby and Martin expanded the styles to four: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful. These four styles of parenting involve combinations of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand and demand and control on the other.

There is no single or definitive model of parenting. What may be right for one family or one child may not be suitable for another. With authoritative and permissive (indulgent) parenting on opposite sides of the spectrum, most conventional and modern models of parenting fall somewhere in between.

• Attachment parenting – Seeks to create strong emotional bonds, avoiding physical punishment and accomplishing discipline through interactions recognizing a child's emotional needs all while focusing on holistic understanding of the child.

• Historic Developmental (Child as Apprentice) Skill Based Model – As a child's independent capacities emerge, ever more complex opportunities for parental instruction in or modeling of the widest possible number of essential skills and knowledge are presented. The child gains self-worth simultaneous to the emergence of various physical and mental competencies in an ever-growing number of essential venues, as adulthood is approached. From the initial highly dependent relationship with parents and direct community support, high levels of independence are attained seamlessly while special skills and abilities of the child have emerged in a manner relevant to successful adult vocational choices, leisure pursuits, expanded life interests, and contributions to the community.

• Nurturant parent model – A family model where children are expected to explore their surroundings with protection from their parents.

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Single Parent Model – The percentage of children being raised by single parents has been flat for the last 20 years but it remains nearly double the rate of 1970. Obstacles which create difficulty for single parents relate primarily to a halving of the numerous resources fundamental to parenting: income is often reduced dramatically; opportunities to present and process adult male and female roles, responsibilities, and skills to children is reduced; sharing of household maintenance with another adult is reduced; opportunities to see parents display affection and cooperation despite differences is reduced; both boys and girls will lack the cooperative presentation of adult male and adult female points of view regarding socialization fundamentals.

• Slow parenting – Encourages parents to plan and organise less for their children, instead allowing them to enjoy their childhood and explore the world at their own pace.

• Strict father model – An authoritarian approach, places a strong value on discipline as a means to survive and thrive in a harsh world. Many traditional Asian fathers tend to adopt a stoic demeanour in the family, leaving the mother to communicate and interact with the child. This can often inhibit the bond-building process between father and child.


Parenting practices

• Rules of traffic – an instructional approach to discipline where parents explain to their children how to behave, teaching the rules of behavior as they would the rules of traffic, with little explanation or deeper moral and social implications.

• Fine gardening – parents believe that children have positive and negative qualities, the latter of which parents should "weed out" or "prune" into an appropriate shape.

• Rewards and punishments – a method of discipline based on logic: for a good behavior the child receives a reward or praise, and for a bad or unwanted behavior the child receives a punishment or reprimand. To teach a child by this logic may be very effective if it is done consistently.

• Concerted cultivation – fostering children's talents through organized leisure activities. Parents challenge their children to think critically and to speak properly and frequently, especially with other adults.

 

Parenting across the child's lifespan

Planning and pre-pregnancy
Family planning is the decision whether and when to become parents, including planning, preparing, and gathering resources. Parents should assess (amongst other matters) whether they have the required financial resources (the raising of a child costs around $16,198 yearly in the United States) and should also assess whether their family situation is stable enough and whether they themselves are responsible and qualified enough to raise a child. Reproductive health and pre - conception care affects pregnancy, reproductive success and maternal and child physical and mental health.

Pregnancy and prenatal parenting
During pregnancy the unborn child is affected by many decisions his or her parents make, particularly choices linked to their lifestyle. The health and diet decisions of the mother can have either a positive or negative impact on the child during prenatal parenting. In addition to physical management of the pregnancy, medical knowledge of your physician, hospital, and birthing options are important. Here are some key items of advice:

  • Ask your prospective obstetrician how often he or she is in the hospital and who covers for them when they’re not available.

  • Learn all you can about your backup physician as well as your primary doctor.

  • Choose a hospital with a 24-hour, in-house anesthesia team.[15]
Many people believe that parenting begins with birth, but the mother begins raising and nurturing a child well before birth. Scientific evidence indicates that from the fifth month on, the unborn baby is able to hear sound, be aware of motion, and possibly exhibit short-term memory. Several studies show evidence that the unborn baby can become familiar with his or her parents' voices. Other research indicates that by the seventh month, external schedule cues influence the unborn baby's sleep habits. Based on this evidence, parenting actually begins well before birth.

Depending on how many children the mother carries also determines the amount of care needed during prenatal and post-natal periods.

Newborns and Infants

Newborn parenting, up to one month of age, is where the responsibilities of parenthood begins. A newborn's basic needs are food, sleep, comfort and cleaning which the parent provides. An infant's only form of communication is crying, and attentive parents will begin to recognize different types of crying which represent different needs such as hunger, discomfort, boredom, or loneliness. Newborns and young infants require feedings every few hours which is disruptive to adult sleep cycles. They respond enthusiastically to soft stroking, cuddling and caressing. Gentle rocking back and forth often calms a crying infant, as do massages and warm baths. Newborns may comfort themselves by sucking their thumb or a pacifier. The need to suckle is instinctive and allows newborns to feed. Breastfeeding is the recommended method of feeding by all major infant health organizations. If breastfeeding is not possible or desired, bottle feeding is a common alternative. Other alternatives include feeding breastmilk or formula with a cup, spoon, feeding syringe, or nursing supplementer.

The forming of attachments is considered to be the foundation of the infant/child's capacity to form and conduct relationships throughout life. Attachment is not the same as love and/or affection although they often go together. Attachment and attachment behaviors tend to develop between the age of 6 months and 3 years. A lack of attachment or a seriously disrupted capacity for attachment could potentially amount to serious disorders.

Until infants learn to walk, between 10 and 14 months, they are carried in the arms, held in slings or baby carriers, or transported in baby carriages or strollers. Upon learning to walk the child is then known as a toddler.

Toddlers
Toddlers are much more active than infants and are challenged with learning how to do simple tasks by themselves. At this stage, parents are heavily involved in showing the child how to do things rather than just doing things for them, and the child will often mimic the parents. Toddlers need help to build their vocabulary, increase their communications skills, and manage their emotions. Toddlers will also begin to understand social etiquette such as being polite and taking turns.
Toddlers are very curious about the world around them and eager to explore it. They seek greater independence and responsibility and may become frustrated when things do not go the way they want or expect. Tantrums begin at this stage, which is sometimes referred to as the 'Terrible Twos'. Tantrums are often caused by the child's frustration over the particular situation, sometimes simply not being able to communicate properly. Parents of toddlers are expected to help guide and teach the child, establish basic routines (such as washing hands before meals or brushing teeth before bed), and increase the child's responsibilities.

Child
Younger children are becoming more independent and are beginning to build friendships. They are able to reason and can make their own decisions given hypothetical situations. Young children demand constant attention, but will learn how to deal with boredom and be able to play independently. They also enjoy helping and feeling useful and able. Parents may assist their child by encouraging social interactions and modeling proper social behaviors. A large part of learning in the early years comes from being involved in activities and household duties. Parents who observe their children in play or join with them in child-driven play have the opportunity to glimpse into their children’s world, learn to communicate more effectively with their children and are given another setting to offer gentle, nurturing guidance. Parents are also teaching their children health, hygiene, and eating habits through instruction and by example.

Parents are expected to make decisions about their child's education. Parenting styles in this area diverge greatly at this stage with some parents becoming heavily involved in arranging organized activities and early learning programs. Other parents choose to let the child develop with few organized activities.

Children begin to learn responsibility, and consequences of their actions, with parental assistance. Some parents provide a small allowance that increases with age to help teach children the value of money and how to be responsible with it.

Parents who are consistent and fair with their discipline, who openly communicate and offer explanations to their children, and who do not neglect the needs of their children in some way often find they have fewer problems with their children as they mature.


Adolescents
During adolescence children are beginning to form their identity and are testing and developing the interpersonal and occupational roles that they will assume as adults. Although adolescents look to peers and adults outside of the family for guidance and models for how to behave, parents remain influential in their development. Parents often feel isolated and alone in parenting adolescents, but they should still make efforts to be aware of their adolescents' activities, provide guidance, direction, and consultation. Adolescence can be a time of high risk for children, where newfound freedoms can result in decisions that drastically open up or close off life opportunities. Parental issues at this stage of parenting include dealing with "rebellious" teenagers, who didn't know freedom while they were smaller.


Adults
• Young adults – as children become young adults their personalities show the result of successful or unsuccessful parenting. Especially it is noticeable when young adults make their independent life decisions about their education, work and choosing mates for friendship or marriage.

• Middle age and old age – Parenting doesn't stop when children grow up and age. Parents always remain to be parents for old children. Their relationship continues developing if both parties want to keep it or improve. The parenting issues may include the relationship with grandchildren and stepchildren.

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