Child rearing is an important aspect of parenthood. Rearing is a combination of teaching and modeling behaviors that ensure the well-being of children. It also involves ensuring a child’s basic needs are met and developing and building the child’s self-image, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Parents play an integral part in the early growth of their child as they shape the child’s identity and establish a basis for his/her interactions with others. Thus, parents who are involved in child rearing provide the basic nurturing they need to help the child grow into a healthy, productive adult.
What Is Child Rearing Practices
The term child rearing can be used to refer to child rearing practices and approaches, such as fundamental child rearing, family formation, primary education, and pre-school instruction. Parental care or parental rearing encourages and supports a child’s physical, mental, social, emotional, and educational development from birth to adulthood. Parental care refers to the many nuances of parental guidance and not just for a familial relationship. In other words, it encompasses all areas of child rearing from conception to adolescence.
Task Involved In Child Rearing
The practice of child rearing involves the critical task of establishing a secure attachment with infants and toddlers. Most studies show that children often do better with their parents or other direct caregivers until they reach their first years of school. At this point, most children often have significantly fewer problems with their caregivers than with their parents or other peers.
The advantages of early childhood child-rearing practices include a boost to the child’s immune system and the promotion of healthy self-esteem and well-being. Studies also indicate that parental care and the quality and quantity of parental care provide significant advantages to children in numerous areas, including reducing the risk of childhood asthma, hay fever, and eczema. Other research indicates that child-rearing practices, such as early diagnosis, consistent bedtimes, positive parenting, and responsive teaching, play an important role in reducing the chances that children will experience emotional disorders and behavioral difficulties as adults. It is also indicated that these practices strengthen family ties and contribute to healthy marriage relationships.
The practice of child rearing can be complicated by differing opinions about how parents should interact with their children. Many American parents are still unfamiliar with many of the practices and beliefs regarding child rearing. Research indicates that a strong parent-child bond is most beneficial in early childhood development. Early childhood development encompasses development from birth through adolescence. The National Center for Health Statistics suggests that American families with a higher percentage of blended children (i.e., two or more adopted children living with the same biological parent or other non-adopted child living with the same biological parent) are more likely to have a child with a stable, well-adjusted and happy family history. A child with a history of multiple foster care experiences, neglect, or emotional abuse is at greater risk for negative outcomes, including serious delinquency and criminal behavior.
Different Approaches For Child Rearing
Child rearing can involve different approaches. Most parents advocate a hands-on approach with the child, focusing on daily interactions. Many parents, however, believe that certain child rearing practices can lead to negative behaviors and feelings of sadness, anxiety and insecurity. Research indicates that children of divorced parents, single parents and unmarried mothers (a common social scenario in the United States) report higher rates of depression and lower self-esteem.
Socialization, which is the process of shaping a child’s social interaction skills, is an essential component of child rearing. Socialization allows children to develop a sense of who they are and how they fit in the world. A number of research studies indicate that children of diverse socialization experiences fare better academically, socially and emotionally. The best way to ensure that a child has the greatest chance for healthy socialization is to provide opportunities for parents to socialize, such as by encouraging parents to enroll in family activities, neighborhood child-care and school trips.
The benefits of early child rearing are well documented. Children learn essential life skills from their caregivers and gain an emotional foundation that is essential for child development and behavioral patterns. Effective child rearing practices, such as establishing clear expectations, setting limits and setting rules and consequences, will have a profound impact on children’s self-image and confidence and the quality of their lives down the road.