TODAY -

Parenting - A challenge in modern time

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *



Some of the most important issues facing our teenagers at this time include teen suicide, teen violence, cyber bullying( online bullying), Internet & online addiction, teens & sex, teens and substance abuse, teens anorexia and eating disorders, violent video games, teens watching porn, TV violence, violence at home, violent culture etc. at the same time most teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. Many experiment with cigarettes also.

Common reason behind teen drug use include, curiosity, developmental need for experimentation, peer pressure, stress, emotional issues and a desire to escape. Parents, teachers and communities across the country are concern with teen issues which are caused by a number of social, cultural, technological, communal, economic, familias and individual factors.

While it may be hard to change the nature of the internet, computers, cell phones and TV, there is always something that each one of us can do to reduce teen violence, the rate of teen suicide, teen cyber bullying, bullying at school and help develop a well-adjusted relationship to our technological and commercialized cultures and a creative and balanced use of the internet, online games etc. However, because of all these factors mentioned above parents are facing a grim problem in parenting.

Parenting is a challenging task in the modern times. Rapidly changing lifestyle, newer demands and requirements of life etc., put forward multiple challenges to parents. In the older times, fathers go out working and mother use to reserve their time in growing up the kids and looking after the household duties. But in the modern society both the parents need to work to accomplish the economic stability of the family and fewer mothers remain dedicated household moms.

Balancing between the work and parenting duties make them feel parenting is a stressful and challenging task. Parent need to manage several requirements of life along with the essential duties. There are many other aspects in parenting that erect challenges in parenting. The most important challenge that many parents face is the scarcity of time (Time, a scarce resource).

The twenty four hours in a day has to be juggled between home, office, children and self. It is quite difficult to reserve time for each of such requirements in the best possible way. Better planning management of time may help parents to meet the life with grace and accomplish all the demands and requirements of it.

Kids are to be considered to be important elements of life and solid share of time should be reserved for parenting. If parents are too busy most of the days, convince kids why parents canít make available for them always and need to teach them ways of being self-sufficient when parents are away.

Studies have shown that lack of moral principles( Failure in mending the moral life) is the reason why kids gets into unwanted activities and acquiring unaccepted behaviors patterns.Modern life style has opened ways for even kids to get familiar with computers, televisions, and internet and explore both goodand bad realities of life and many often they follow to so call bad or unaccepted path of life.

They learn to adore movie actor and also waste time watching games or the freely available porn in the internet. Parents do not recognized the changes in children as they get very less chance to interfere in childrenís life and communicate with him /her. Imbalanced life is another challenge the modern parentingfaces. Office, work, kids, personal requirements; nothing can be avoided or neglected in life.

Balancing between all of these requirements is a tiresome task, and as a result many parents become highly imbalanced in life. Balancing life by preplanning the ways of performing the required duties is essential key to facing the challenges in life and becoming effective parents. Realize the possible imbalances in life and be prepared to react to them in the best possible positive manner.

The lack of emotional bondage (Emotional dissolution) is a challenge many parents face in life. They may lose time and mind to spend with children to create the emotional bondage with them. Knowing the feelings of each other is essential to grow affectionately. When the emotional bond between parents and kids get broken, they go astray from parents and live in their own World.

Parenting is strictly a personal practice based on the mind and wishes of two people, namely the father and mother. It is foolishness to define rules for parenting and forcing parents to follow clear-cut paths of parenting. Parenting is not a single activity but the total of approaches to care and groom children. The parenting styles are based on the entire specific behavioral patterns that influence the mental developments of children.

Experts suggest four different styles of parenting generally known as the parenting patterns. They are: Authoritarian parenting; Authoritative parenting; Permissive parenting and uninvolved parenting. Authoritarian parenting is similar to monarchic administration. In this style, parents establish must to follow rules and regulations for children.

Minor failure to obey these guidelines will result in punishment. This is the most unproductive and closed way of parenting as in authoritarian parenting parents never explain the importance of following the rules, or they simply do not bother to understand the emotional or feeling level of kids who may wonder why to follow rules.

Authoritarian parents do not tolerate kids questioning their authority on kids. Kids are expected to follow blindly what is ordered by the parents. In authoritarian parenting, parents demand too much from the kids and at the same time they neglect the responsibilities towards kids. No explanation and no advice are given to children but only commands and punishments. Needless to say, this is a destructive parenting style, rather influence and creative.

Authoritative parenting is much lenient style compare to authoritarian parenting. It is more like the democratic style of administration and training. In authoritative parenting, parents still hold the authority, but are tolerant enough to the doubts and questions of the kids. They do not just insist the children to obey blindly but make them understand why to obey the rules and regulations.

It is a demanding and responsible type of parenting. It is not through punishments but through nurturing and advice parents influence the kids to follow the rules and form disciplinary lifestyle. Authoritarian parenting is restrictive while authoritative parenting is assertive. The mentality of parents change entirely in the pattern and the intention behind executing commands is not to establish authority over children but to groom them to be responsible social beings.

Permissive parenting also known as indulgent parenting is a pattern that follows strong intercommunication and self-control measures. In this pattern parents allow kids to be groomed himself /herself. They do not demand the kids to follow strict orders and punish them heavily for even minor mistakes. This is a give and take system. Parents nurture the kids and concern them properly and in return they expect mature and disciplined behavior from the kids.

The responsibility levels are greater than the demands. Permissive parents allow children to be self-regulated. More communication and friendly approach to kids is the exclusive feature of permissive parenting. A disadvantage of permissive parenting is that children may end up in troubles as they do not know the limits. All children may not responsibility react to the freedom given by parents.

Uninvolved parenting is considered to be the worst among parenting. As the name suggest, in uninvolved parenting, the involvement of parents in parenting process is zero. They do not communicate effectively with kids or get involved in their grooming. They leave the kids to grow their own. Uninvolved parenting doesnít mean that parents leave the kids to grow as orphans. But the responsibility level would be much lower than all other parenting styles. They care only to fulfill the basic needs of children.

There wonít be any attachment or affection practices between the kids and parents. It is said that many of the parents at the present time also forced to follow uninvolved Parenting style. The busy schedules at work and hustle and bustle of lifestyle, keep parents away from kids. They seldom find to spend with children.

Expert suggests not to follow uninvolved parenting patterns as it is highly destructive method of growing up kids. Parenting, as people often misconceive is not the same for all the parents and there are multiple parenting styles that can be adapted to grow up the kids. But most of the parents do not ponder over the ways to be followed to grow each of their kids. Parenting is a spontaneous outcome for many.

Behavioral psychologist says that parents can mold their kids as they wish by deliberate parenting styles. If any parent has more than one child the style found effective for one may not bring the same result with the second and others.Understanding kidís characters,mental attitudes, physical abilities etc., are essential to determine the style to be followed.

Positive parenting is the most appreciated style of parenting, which is found effective to mold the kids as mature and responsible social beings. Positive parenting simply means, developing the kids maintaining supportive and respective relationship with them. Before entering into the positive parenting style, parents have to be sure of the goals, values and strategies to be applied and followed.


* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Faculty at NIELIT Imphal and can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on June 18 2019.



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