The Parental Role in Children’s Development

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The Parental Role in Children’s Development There are several theories of child development including psychoanalytic, learning, cognitive, and socio-cultural that offer insights into the forces guiding child development. Most developmental scientists use multiple theories to guide their thinking about the growth of children. Most psychoanalytic theories depict development as a succession of stages through which all children advance. For Freud, child development consisted of five psychosexual stages in which a particular body region is the focus of bodily satisfactions. the center of pleasure shifts as children progress through different developmental stages. American psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson, proposed series of psychosocial stages of personality growth that more strongly emphasize social influences within the family. The cognitive theory was developed by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, who was interested in how children thought and constructed their own knowledge. Piaget theorized that children proceed through four distinct stages of cognitive development- the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete-operational stage, and the formal-operational stage. (Thompson, 2009) Learning theorists emphasize the role of environmental influences in shaping the way a person develops. In their view, child development is guided by both deliberate and unintended learning experiences in the home, peer group, school, and community. Therefore, childhood growth is significantly shaped by the efforts of parents, teachers, and others to socialize children in desirable ways. Mead proposed that infants and children mimicked adult/parental behavior and gradually adopted some of these behaviors as their own. Development and family The family determines a child’s race, class, religion, language etc. all of which contribute greatly to the child’s self-concept. Of the many different associations we form over the course of the life span, the bond between parent and child is among the most important. One of the most important tasks of childhood is to develop and maintain socially competent relationships within society. There are dramatic differences in the experiences children have within social situations. some are easily accepted and liked by peers, while others experience problems and have difficulty in assimilation within society. There are four main parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and disengaged. Authoritative parents are both nurturing and demanding. they are firm, but they control with love and affection, rather than power, and they are liable to explain rules and expectations to their offspring instead of just asserting them. Authoritarian parents are highly demanding, but they are less nurturing. authoritarian parents are usually strict disciplinarians, often relying on physical punishment and the withdrawal of love to shape their child’s behavior. Indulgent parents are nurturing, but not particularly demanding. they have few expectations of their children and enforce little discipline. Disengaged parents are neither nurturing nor demanding. They are usually neglectful or unaware of the child’s needs for both love and discipline (Steinberg 2001)Conclusion Parents have a definite role in influencing the development of children. Authoritative parenting is better than most other parenting styles in aiding the development of social competence in children at home and in society.Bibliography Steinberg, Laurence. (2001). Parent-child relationships Encyclopedia of PsychologyAccessed on: 4, July 2009