Parental influence on children

Published : 28 Apr 2019 06:49 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 11:58 AM

Faiaz is a standard three student studying at an English medium school in the capital. His father is a businessman and mother is a doctor. His mother Subrina often has to stay overnight at the clinic because of the archetypical nature of her profession. On the other hand, Faiaz’s father stays at home only after the evening and thus, Faiaz hardly gets any opportunity to spend some real time with his parents. Since his childhood, Faiaz has been growing up in the company of housemaids and, phones and tabs. The result is very well reflected in Faiaz’s behavioural pattern. The truth is that despite being a student of an esteemed school he has not learned how to behave the way a normal third grader should behave. Complaints of fighting with other child, bullying and using slangs in class often come against him from school. This is such a problem which every working parent has to encounter not only in Bangladesh but also in most of the South Asian countries. 

However, the above anecdote can be considered as a good example of millennial parenting. Millennial parenting is a kind of parenting which is unique to the times in which we live. Such parenting reflects the complexity of modern life where both parents work full-time jobs and are compelled to find unconventional  ways  (in context of developing countries) to raise children. Millennial parenting incorporates a number of dogmatic characteristics that are overwhelming the process of raising our children in modern time: the absentee parents who spend all their time outside and away from home; the age of internet where children are not monitored regarding what they are watching, and so they grow up living like false creations of a virtual world. The result is that today’s children are growing increasingly rude. The environment and culture in which they are growing up is compelling them to be more and more self-oriented. 

While rudeness may be a subtle way of expression of suppressed anger or over compensation for a deep rooted insecurity, researchers have pointed fingers at two things: Excessive use of technology and ignorant parenting to be a cause for such mis-patterning to take place in a child. In fact, many parents hardly realize that children adopt things, as a way of life, by watching what their parents do. Other than this, a dysfunctional family set up, a divorcee, parents’ depression, inconsistent behaviors and wrong disciplinary approaches, all of these factors interfere with the children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.  

Over the last decade throughout the South Asian countries, more and more emphasis is being placed on early education and care. In spite of a lot of investment in education by governments in the region, children in these countries are not growing up properly. For a healthy cognitive, social, physical, and educational and emotional development, the importance of psychological stability of children is unavoidable. And, the psychological stability of the children is very much influenced by proper parenting. With growing awareness, parenting is increasingly being considered as a skill that needs to be honed through experience, training and love. The proper role of the parents is to provide encouragement, support, and access to activities that enable the child to master key developmental tasks.

Meeting children’s needs, soothing

 them with our voice and touch,

 inspiring them to read books, play 

outdoor games or any activity that

involves nurturing, will do much to

 enhance children’s emotional 

well-being, temperament, 

personality, and ability to 

cope with stress

Study shows that harsh behaviour of parents can hamper the mental growth of the children and adolescent to a great extent.  This in the long run can hamper their intellectual development. Hence, each and every parent should engage and intervene into the life of their children, with great carefulness, for their proper growth. It is observed that the negative attitude of parents makes children lose confidence and self-esteem. It also makes them feel less-important and unwanted, as a result they lose attention in study and do avoid social gathering. A large number of children in the country are leading a critical life due to the harsh behaviour of parents. In this regard, experts blame parents’ scolding, yelling, and hostility towards their children.

No matter whether it is home or school, in our society children often have to face pessimistic approaches in different ways. With the increasing population, competition among children for better results has risen to a great extent. It is needless to say that parents and teachers scold and punish children for breaking simple rules and failing in exams. Critical attitude of teachers also play a crucial role in building children’s low self-esteem. Hence, teachers too should deal with them softly and be assertive instead of being strict and abusive.

A parent is their children’s first teacher and should remain their best teacher throughout life. Functioning as a coach, the parent exposes a child to age-appropriate challenges to encourage development as well as to experience that allows the child to explore on their own and learn from interacting with their environment. Policymakers need to facilitate change in parents’ behaviours, taking into consideration factors such as parent beliefs, social support, and mental health status. We believe a little understanding of a child’s psyche, love, support and a lot of patience can change the life of children in a positive manner.

Our children do not need special teachers, lessons, or flashcards. But what they need is a supporting, stimulating environment: objects for manipulation and observation such as books, balls, pens, pencils, art paper, Baroque music and so on and, above all, specific bonding experiences with their parents. Why are these important? Because of an environment that is deliberately filled with warmth and stimulation fosters the neural connections in his brain responsible for thought, emotion, and behavior.

Meeting our child’s needs, soothing them with our voice and touch, inspiring them to read book, play outdoor games or any activity that involves nurturing, will do much to enhance your baby’s emotional well-being, temperament, personality, and ability to cope with stress, and whether he reaches his overall potential.  We are practicing a culture which has taken away spiritualities from the school. Today’s children grow up without developing the moral values in them. They are no parents at home teaching them cultural and spiritual values. They have to realize lying, stealing, early sexual involvement, bulling, lack of respect to your elders, etc are not accepted in life; but nobody is teaching these kids. These values begin to be inculcated in a child when he or she is born.

Sayeed  Hossain Shuvro  is  Editorial Assistant  Bangladesh Post