CHFD 331 AMU week 1 lesson The Process of Parenting in the 21 st Century American Military University
Several reasons exist as to why people want to become parents. When asked of both parents and non parents why people want to have children, in general, the responses were similar (Brooks, 2011). Some of those reasons include: to love and feel close to the child; to feel excitement as the child learns and grows, and to satisfy society’s expectations of adulthood.
Parenting is an all-encompassing process that has withstood the test of time. According to Brooks (2013), parents are, “individuals who nourish, protect, and guide new life to maturity. This long-term commitment is a huge investment in time, money, and emotional energy. A parent must provide for the child’s physical needs with nutrition, clothing, shelter, and health as well as their intellectual, emotional, and moral needs.” (p. 6)
Topics to be covered include:
- Life events and their influence on parenting
- Cultural impacts and their effects on parenting (including society, religion, and race)
- Parenting techniques
Roles and Responsibilities
The child, the parent, and society all influence the process of parenting, and, in turn, are changed by it. Let us look at the contributions of each.
- Role of the Child
- Role of Parents
- Role of Society
At birth, and for several years beyond, children’s physical development and maturity is dependent on both parents and society. Babies’ physical needs include: feeding, diaper changing, nurturing, shelter, clothing, and warmth. This may look different across cultures, depending on the environment and cultural norms and expectations.
Psychological needs for children are more complex than physical needs. Research, conducted by Bronfenbrenner and Morris (2016) concluded that babies have these basic psychological needs: an ongoing relationship with at least one caregiver who is committed to taking care of and nurturing the child; a secondary caregiver who encourages the primary caregiver; stable, consistent, and positive interactions with others, including other caregivers, who provide means of learning about and developing within the world
In addition to physical and psychological needs, babies have other needs that are unique to their individuality, gender, temperament, and physical health. These affect the way parents treat their children. For example,
genetic or birth complications can interfere with a child’s basic habits of eating and sleeping. This is an added stress on the parents and/or caregivers of this child, because they are likely more worried about the child’s
ability to develop in a healthy way. The “goodness of fit” is another factor in the parenting process that may impact the ways parents respond to their children. For example, a child with an outgoing, boisterous personality may not fit in well with a family whose temperament or nature is typically quiet, relaxed, and easygoing. While children need parents and other caregivers, likewise, parents also need children to fulfill their basic needs of closeness and accomplishment.
Society also has a need for children, because children continue on traditions and rituals, passing them on from one generation to the next.
Because it is assumed that parents have their children’s best interests at heart, society has naturally given parents authority over children. While the basic role of parenting is to provide for the needs of children, we
all know, parenting is much more than that. Parents bring a complex set of needs and qualities to the parenting process because they come with a history of relationships and past experiences that contribute to their parenting style. They bring attributes like their personal qualities, like self-esteem and sociability; their level of physical health and psychological stability; their problem-solving skills; the relationships that they have created with others. Parents meet society’s needs in the role of parenting, as they prepare their children who are going to grow up to be future parents.
Children live in families; families live in neighborhoods and communities that contribute to the greater societal world. Society has and provides standards for conduct for all three parties in the parenting process: the child, the parent, and society. Society is a dynamic, complex force, that changes often, depending on the situations with the economy and societal ways.