What you need to know:
- As much as better education, material providence and other motivations are important within a child’s lifetime, the most generous gift parents can give to their children is holistic availability.
- Surveys suggest that most families rate time together as their number one priority.
The bridge between parents and children may be one that is often burned and never rebuilt. Parental absence is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
The present-day demands of life have necessitated parental absence due to their strain, thus reducing the standard of the quality and quantity of time parents spend with their children. Over the years, this phenomenon has affected the emotional well-being of children.
Parenting has been delegated to house helps, schoolteachers, and Sunday school teachers. While these caregivers may try their best to guide the children, the absence of a parent in a child’s life is irreplaceable. Caregivers only come in to complement what the parent is already doing.
A parent should not surrender or transfer parenting to another person. However, a parent may arrange for some of the responsibilities to be undertaken. This is called delegating authority and should be for a specific event or arrangement.
As much as better education, material providence and other motivations are important within a child’s lifetime, the most generous gift parents can give to their children is holistic availability. Surveys suggest that most families rate time together as their number one priority. It is important for parents to understand that parenting is a full-time job and should never be delegated.
Although the child’s availability in the child’s life is important, parenting styles are also critical. I want to demystify four types of parenting and their effects on the life of a child. This is borrowed from Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Strong and Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do:
Permissive parenting: The parent is very supportive but makes few rules and trusts instead of monitoring. These types of parents are very lenient but good at firefighting. They step in when there’s a significant issue. They often encourage their children to speak with them about their problems, but they typically don’t put much effort into discouraging poor choices or bad behaviour. This parent takes more of the friend role instead of playing the parent role. This child may grow with a behavioural problem because they do not appreciate the authority or rules set. The child may also develop with physical issues like obesity and cavities because of being pampered.
ii. Uninvolved parenting- This is majorly common to parents with substance abuse or mental health problems. The parent is often neglectful. This type of parent may not be able to take care of the child’s emotional well-being because they are overwhelmed by other problems that pertain to the household. There are no rules in that kind of a family. Thus, the child may not receive guidance, nurturing, and much-needed parental attention. As a result, they grow with esteem issues and regularly exhibit frequent behavioural problems and withdrawal.
iii. Authoritarian parenting- This is the “do as I say.” It a kind of rigid parenting that ignores the element of a dynamic and changing world. These parents set many rules, monitor them but offer little or no support. The parent uses punishment rather than discipline. Instead of teaching the child to make better choices, the parent focuses more on the child's mistakes. On the other hand, the child’s focus is on being obedient rather than negotiating. Rebellion and esteem issues manifest this type of parenting, especially at the later stages of a child’s life. These children may become chronic liars to avoid punishment.
iv. Authoritative parenting- The parent establishes clear rules and follows them to the letter. The parent is very supportive and reinforces good behaviour. Positive discipline is employed to prevent behavioural problems. The child is given a safe space to express their opinion, but the parent will guide at the end of the day. This type of child ends up being happy and successful in life. The product is a responsible adult.
I urge all parents to be intentional in their parenting. Raise your children but do not let them grow. Take note, Children are like seeds in the hands of a farmer, if a seed is thrown in the forest it will still grow but as a week seedling due to lack of basic nutrients. On the other hand, a seed raised by a farmer is well taken care of. All the nutrients are provided, and growth is inevitable.