Parenting

Parenting

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Encyclopedia
Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical
Physical
Physical may refer to:*Body, the physical structure of an organism**Human body, the physical structure of a human*Physical abuse, abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm...

, emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

al, social, and intellectual development of a child
Child
Biologically, a child is generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty. Some vernacular definitions of a child include the fetus, as being an unborn child. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority...

 from infancy
Infant
A newborn or baby is the very young offspring of a human or other mammal. A newborn is an infant who is within hours, days, or up to a few weeks from birth. In medical contexts, newborn or neonate refers to an infant in the first 28 days after birth...

 to adult
Adult
An adult is a human being or living organism that is of relatively mature age, typically associated with sexual maturity and the attainment of reproductive age....

hood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.

In the case of humans, it is usually done by the biological parents of the child in question, although government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s and society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 take a role as well. In many cases, orphaned or abandoned children receive parental care from non-parent blood relations. Others may be adopted
Adoption
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents...

, raised by foster care
Foster care
Foster care is the term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in the private home of a state certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent"....

, or be placed in an orphanage
Orphanage
An orphanage is a residential institution devoted to the care of orphans – children whose parents are deceased or otherwise unable or unwilling to care for them...

.

The goals of human parenting are debated. Usually, parental figures provide for a child's physical needs, protect them from harm, and impart in them skills and cultural values
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

 until they reach legal adulthood, usually after adolescence
Adolescence
Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood , but largely characterized as beginning and ending with the teenage stage...

.

Parenting models, tools, philosophies and practices


Although race may be a significant contributing factor, social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, wealth
Wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

, and income
Income
Income is the consumption and savings opportunity gained by an entity within a specified time frame, which is generally expressed in monetary terms. However, for households and individuals, "income is the sum of all the wages, salaries, profits, interests payments, rents and other forms of earnings...

 have the strongest impact on what methods of child rearing are used by parents. Lack of money is found to be the defining factor in the style of child rearing that is chosen, and minorities are more likely to have less wealth or assets available for use in their children's upbringing. Societal values and norms of a generation also have an effect, as in the United States where authoritarian parenting was the most popular until the 1960s when a backlash made permissive parenting the most popular in the 1970s. As times change so does the way parents parent their children. It becomes essential to understand parenting styles as well as how those styles contribute to the behaviour of the children.

Models of parenting


Developmental psychologist
Developmental psychology
Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes, emotional changes, and perception changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to...

 Diana Baumrind
Diana Baumrind
Diana Blumberg Baumrind is a clinical and developmental psychologist.Baumrind was born into a small Jewish community in New York City, the first of two daughters of Hyman and Mollie Blumberg. She completed her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy at Hunter College in 1948, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in...

 identified three main parenting styles
Parenting styles
A parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. There are many differing theories and opinions on the best ways to rear children, as well as differing levels of time and effort that parents are willing to invest.Many parents...

 in early child development
Child development
Child development stages describe theoretical milestones of child development. Many stage models of development have been proposed, used as working concepts and in some cases asserted as nativist theories....

: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Maccoby and Martin expanded the styles to four: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful. These four styles of parenting involve combinations of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand and demand and control on the other.

Styles


Each parenting style has a different impact on children. Although Diana Baumrind identified three main parenting styles and Maccoby and Martin added the fourth, the following authors talk indepth about each style and its impact.
  • Authoritarian parenting style can be very rigid and strict. It is mostly patriarchical in nature and everything is often decided by the father. Parents who use this style have a strict set of rules and expectations; if rules are not followed it ends up with punishment There is usually no explanation of giving the punishment just that the children are in trouble and should listen accordingly This parenting style and parents who use a more authoritarian approach with power assertion and the involvement of physical punishment with little emotions of comfort and affection are more likely to produce a child with deviant tendencies According to this style is subject to producing children that can internalize and externalize undesired behaviours as well as developing problems in social situations. Also the punishment aspect of this parenting style also contributed to problems in school for the youth, their behaviours were often deemed undesirable This contributed to the youth conducting themselves in a deviant manner in the school as well as toward other children

  • The authoritative style consists of following the same rules as the authoritarian parents. With having strict rules and expectations however there is more open communication with parents and children in the authoritative style They listen more to the child and how they are When children have problems with rules and they are broken these parents tend to be more receptive They monitor instead of trying to rule the child’s life they are less restrictive parents but still assertive

  • Permissive parenting is often the style parents try to stay away from. There is not much structure here for children, and parents often do not set rules or have guidelines for the child They do not have many expectations for the children; they avoid conflict and are more nurturing to the child. They are more lenient when it comes to misbehaviour and often do not punish the children for wrongdoing Children under this parenting style have a hard time communicating with parents about things they found important to them Children with less communication with parents tended to have more negative behaviours at school than those who have had some open communication with their parents

  • Uninvolved parenting style is exactly how uninvolved is defined, parents are often absent emotionally and sometimes even They have no expectations of the child and regularly do not have communication or a nurturing feature to them. They provide everything the child needs for survival with little to no engagementThey are not interested in their schooling other than making sure they go and they are not interested in extracurricular activities they may be involved in. There is often a large gap between parents and children with this parenting style. Children with little or no communication with parents tended to more often be the victims of other children’s deviant behaviour and involved in some deviance themselves


There is no single or definitive model of parenting. What may be right for one family or one child may not be suitable for another. With authoritative and permissive (indulgent) parenting on opposite sides of the spectrum, most conventional and modern models of parenting fall somewhere in between.Parenting strategies as well as behaviours/ideals of what parents expect whether communicated verbally and/or non-verbally also play a significant role in a child’s development

Parenting Practices

  • Positive Parenting- unconditional support, guiding them and supporting them for healthy development.
  • Attachment Parenting- strengthen the intuitive, psychological and emotional bond between the primary caregiver
  • Unconditional Parenting- giving unconditional positive encouragement
  • Spiritual Parenting- respecting the child's individuality, making space for child to develop a sense of their own beliefs through their personality and their own potentials
  • Slow Parenting- allowing the child to develop their own interests and allowing them to grow into their own person, lots of family time, allowing children to make their own decisions, limit electronics, simplistic toys
  • Helicopter Parenting- over-parenting, parents are constantly involving themselves, interrupting the childs ability to function on their own
  • Narcissistic Parenting- parents are driven by their own needs, their children are an extension of their own identity, use their children to live out their dreams
  • Toxic Parenting- poor parenting, complete disruption of the child's ability to identify one's self and reduced self-esteem, neglecting the needs of the child and abuse is sometimes seen in this parenting style

Parenting Skills


Parents should remember that they are still individuals in a loving relationship, and adapt to parenthood. Parenting styles is a small part of being an effective parent. The skills parents bring also have a major role to play, and we now know that children benefit when their parents:
  • communicate honestly about events or discussions that have happened, also that parents explain clearly to children what happened and how they were involved if they were
  • stay consistent, children need structure, parents that have normal routines benefits children incredibly;
  • utilize that resources availabe to them, reaching out into the community;
  • taking more interest in their child's educational needs and early development; and
  • keeping open communication and staying educated on what their child is learning and doing and how it is effecting them

Effects of Parenting, Family and Family Structure on Child Behaviour


Families whether big or small, rich or poor, can be subject to producing children with different behaviours in some cases these behaviours are desired and sometimes they are not Researchers place particular importance on how parents parent as it impacts children on all levels of their development As well as parenting style can be a root cause in producing undesired behaviours in

Family Structure


Family structure also contributes greatly to child behaviour. When deviance is concerned many people will look at parents. This is important because parents are the primary socializing agents of children which means they greatly contribute to their child's behaviour. When children come from different familial structures it is essential to understand how that type of family affects their behaviour, especially in school.

Intact families and single parent families often function differently from each other Many families show similarities, however who is in charge of the family is a key contributor to child behaviour. According to strain theory by Agnew (1985) it affects their development, how they relate to things and people and overall how they react to everyday situations. As transitions in families take place and as times evolve it becomes essential to understand how these transitions affect the family structure and those experiencing the transitions

Children coming from a non-intact family which is often considered single parent families show higher incidences of deviant behaviours That is not to say that children that come from families in which both parents are present are not delinquent, these families show lower rates than those who only have one parent present Schroeder et al. (2010) discovered that families in which the children resided with the father had high rates of behaviour and delinquency problems than those households led by the mother Although mother led households experienced less behaviour and delinquency problems their children were still having issues surrounding their deviant behaviours more than intact families

Another contributing factor of single parent families on children is time constraint Most single parents work hard to keep their family equipped with essential needs
Lack of supervision and lack of time spent with children deeply contributes and shapes their overall functioning and their behaviour especially surrounding delinquency issues
Intact families also face time constraints but this is levelled between two parents which usually will allow at least one parent to be available to children This helps with supervision and communication which can often lack in single parent households

Blended families also show some alarming findings, when single parent families transition into blended families, deviant behaviours, especially violent offending increases These types of families host a whole new set of experiences for children Accommodating a new parent as well as new siblings affect children deeply it can contribute to undesired behaviours These undesired behaviours can show up in the school setting as undesirable actions including verbal and physical components placing the child at risk for deviant behaviour in school

Children experiencing transitions in their families often experience high levels of stress because of the transition
The stress the children experience is closely related to strain theory. The strain that families experience because of transitions exposes children to negative stimuli, these negative exposures often put the child at risk to manifesting problems in other areas of their life because of the strain the family is experiencing

Structure of the family plays a key role in the development of the child and whether or not their behaviour is deviant because of the structure they reside in, it becomes important to examine relations between family members Whether a household consists of two members or five members it is important to look at how each member associates with one another. Relationships between brothers and sisters and mom and dad will each have their own unique form as well as some of the same attributes. Communication is important in any relationship, especially when it comes to parenting. It’s not only important between parents but also important with children Expectations should be clear and each member should understand their role How children react to situations with their siblings will give a parent an idea of how they will react around their peers

The bond between parents and a child is important for the child to form healthy relationships down the road Also the bond between parents and children becomes essential in reducing undesired deviant behaviours in youth When dealing with issues surrounding deviant behaviour of children it becomes important to analyse the relationship between child and Communication between parent and child is important not only for both the parent and child and their ability to cohabitate but to also understand what each other are going through

It is also important to keep the parent and child informed of their role When the child and parent experience positive open communication with each other it then gives the child a positive relationship to reference when conducting themselves at school with teachers and authority It also gives the child a well developed self esteem and better self concept which in turn allows the children to have high standards of conducting themselves positively to peers and in school

The parent-child positive relationship also becomes important when the child is in school, when positive relations form at home children will have an easier time forming positive relations in school Children with good communication and bonding in the home bring positive behaviours to school which allows for good communication with peers, teachers and authorities The child will also have a positive bonding to the school community and their education goals This also reduces the incidences of their participation in school violence and acting out on undesired behaviours If the relationship between family members suffers it can leave children with the inability to make good judges of character for those they choose to associate with Conflict in the home can be damaging for a child to experience, it has a very deep impact on how they will conduct their relationships at school and how they will continue to develop relationships in the future How families deal with situations that arise with family members as well as how situations outside the home are handled can also be a key factor when dealing with behaviours of children This directly links to social learning theory; children will model what they have observed from family members especially parents, this is important in understanding their behaviour at school If negative reactions occur in the home and the child observes this behaviour it is likely they will have the same reaction should a similar situation arise at school When relations between members have negative occurrences it puts children at risk

Planning and pre-pregnancy



Family planning
Family planning
Family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and...

 is the decision whether and when to become parents, including planning, preparing, and gathering resources. Parents should assess (amongst other matters) whether they have the required financial resources (the raising of a child costs around $16,198 yearly in the United States) and should also assess whether their family situation is stable enough and whether they themselves are responsible and qualified enough to raise a child. Reproductive health
Reproductive health
Within the framework of the World Health Organization's definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health, or sexual health/hygiene, addresses the reproductive processes, functions and system...

 and preconceptional care affect pregnancy, reproductive success and maternal and child physical and mental health.

Pregnancy and prenatal parenting



During pregnancy
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

 the unborn child is affected by many decisions his or her parents make, particularly choices linked to their lifestyle. The health and diet decisions of the mother can have either a positive or negative impact on the child during prenatal parenting
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

. In addition to physical management of the pregnancy, medical knowledge of your physician, hospital, and birthing options are important. Here are some key items of advice:
  • Ask your prospective obstetrician how often he or she is in the hospital and who covers for them when they’re not available.
  • Learn all you can about your backup physician as well as your primary doctor.
  • Choose a hospital with a 24-hour, in-house anesthesia team.

Many people believe that parenting begins with birth, but the mother begins raising and nurturing a child well before birth.
Scientific evidence indicates that from the fifth month on, the unborn baby is able to hear sound, be aware of motion, and possibly exhibit short-term memory
Short-term memory
Short-term memory is the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time. The duration of short-term memory is believed to be in the order of seconds. A commonly cited capacity is 7 ± 2 elements...

. Several studies (e.g. Kissilevsky et al., 2003) show evidence that the unborn baby can become familiar with his or her parents' voices. Other research indicates that by the seventh month, external schedule cues influence the unborn baby's sleep habits. Based on this evidence, parenting actually begins well before birth.

Depending on how many children the mother carries also determines the amount of care needed during prenatal and post-natal periods.

Newborns and Infants



Newborn parenting, up to one month of age, is where the responsibilities of parenthood begins. A newborn's basic needs are food, sleep, comfort and cleaning which the parent provides. An infant's only form of communication is crying, and attentive parents will begin to recognize different types of crying
Crying
Crying is shedding tears as a response to an emotional state in humans. The act of crying has been defined as "a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures"...

 which represent different needs such as hunger, discomfort, boredom, or loneliness. Newborns and young infants require feedings every few hours which is disruptive to adult sleep cycles. They respond enthusiastically to soft stroking, cuddling and caressing. Gentle rocking back and forth often calms a crying infant, as do massages and warm baths. Newborns may comfort themselves by sucking their thumb or a pacifier
Pacifier
A pacifier is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple given to an infant or other young child to suck upon. In its standard appearance it has a teat, mouth shield, and handle...

. The need to suckle is instinctive and allows newborns to feed. Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant or young child with breast milk directly from female human breasts rather than from a baby bottle or other container. Babies have a sucking reflex that enables them to suck and swallow milk. It is recommended that mothers breastfeed for six months or...

 is the recommended method of feeding by all major infant health organizations. If breastfeeding is not possible or desired, bottle feeding is a common alternative. Other alternatives include feeding breastmilk or formula with a cup, spoon, feeding syringe, or nursing supplementer.

The forming of attachments
Attachment in children
Newborn humans infants cannot survive without a caregiver to provide food and protection, and will not thrive without other types of support as well. While infants have relatively few inborn behaviors—such as crying, rooting, and sucking—they also come with many behavioral systems ready to be...

 is considered to be the foundation of the infant/child's capacity to form and conduct relationships throughout life. Attachment is not the same as love and/or affection although they often go together. Attachment and attachment behavior
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

s tend to develop between the age of 6 months and 3 years. A lack of attachment or a seriously disrupted capacity for attachment could potentially amount to serious disorders.

Until infants learn to walk, between 10 and 14 months, they are carried in the arms, held in slings
Baby sling
A baby sling is a piece of cloth that supports an infant or other small child from a carer's body. The use of a baby sling is called babywearing.- Ring slings :...

 or baby carriers, or transported in baby carriages
Baby transport
Baby transport consists of devices for transporting and carrying infants. A "child carrier" or "baby carrier" is a device used to carry an infant or small child on the body of an adult...

 or strollers. Upon learning to walk the child is then known as a toddler
Toddler
A toddler is a young child, usually defined as being between the ages of one and three. Registered nurse, midwife and author, Robin Barker, states 'Any time from eight months onwards your baby will begin to realise he is a separate person from you...

.

Toddlers



Toddlers are much more active than infants and are challenged with learning how to do simple tasks by themselves. At this stage, parents are heavily involved in showing the child how to do things rather than just doing things for them, and the child will often mimic the parents. Toddlers need help to build their vocabulary, increase their communications skills, and manage their emotions. Toddlers will also begin to understand social etiquette such as being polite and taking turns.

Toddlers are very curious about the world around them and eager to explore it. They seek greater independence and responsibility and may become frustrated when things do not go the way they want or expect. Tantrum
Tantrum
A tantrum is an emotional outburst, usually associated with children or those in emotional distress, that is typically characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, yelling, shrieking, defiance, angry ranting, a resistance to attempts at pacification and, in some cases, violence...

s begin at this stage, which is sometimes referred to as the 'Terrible Twos'. Tantrums are often caused by the child's frustration over the particular situation, sometimes simply not being able to communicate properly. Parents of toddlers are expected to help guide and teach the child, establish basic routines (such as washing hands before meals or brushing teeth before bed), and increase the child's responsibilities.

Child



Younger children are becoming more independent and are beginning to build friendships. They are able to reason and can make their own decisions given hypothetical situations. Young children demand constant attention, but will learn how to deal with boredom and be able to play independently. They also enjoy helping and feeling useful and able. Parents may assist their child by encouraging social interactions and modelling proper social behaviors. A large part of learning in the early years comes from being involved in activities and household duties. Parents who observe their children in play or join with them in child-driven play have the opportunity to glimpse into their children’s world, learn to communicate more effectively with their children and are given another setting to offer gentle, nurturing guidance. Parents are also teaching their children health, hygiene, and eating habits through instruction and by example.

Parents are expected to make decisions about their child's education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

. Parenting styles in this area diverge greatly at this stage with some parents becoming heavily involved in arranging organized activities and early learning programs. Other parents choose to let the child develop with few organized activities.

Children begin to learn responsibility, and consequences of their actions, with parental assistance. Some parents provide a small allowance that increases with age to help teach children the value of money and how to be responsible with it.

Parents who are consistent and fair with their discipline
Child discipline
Child discipline is the set of rules, rewards and punishments administered to teach self control, increase desirable behaviors and decrease undesirable behaviors in children. In its most general sense, discipline refers to systematic instruction given to a disciple. To discipline thus means to...

, who openly communicate and offer explanations to their children, and who do not neglect the needs of their children in some way often find they have fewer problems with their children as they mature.

Adolescents



During adolescence
Adolescence
Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood , but largely characterized as beginning and ending with the teenage stage...

 children are beginning to form their identity
Identity (social science)
Identity is a term used to describe a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations . The term is used more specifically in psychology and sociology, and is given a great deal of attention in social psychology...

 and are testing and developing the interpersonal and occupational roles that they will assume as adults. Although adolescents look to peer
Peer group
A peer group is a social group consisting of humans. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate Members of a particular peer group often have...

s and adults outside of the family for guidance and models for how to behave, parents remain influential in their development. Parents often feel isolated and alone in parenting adolescents, but they should still make efforts to be aware of their adolescents' activities, provide guidance, direction, and consultation. Adolescence can be a time of high risk
Risk
Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity will lead to a loss . The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome exists . Potential losses themselves may also be called "risks"...

 for children, where newfound freedoms can result in decisions that drastically open up or close off life opportunities. Parental issues at this stage of parenting include dealing with "rebellious" teenagers, who didn't know freedom while they were smaller.

Adults

  • Young adults – as children become young adults
    Youth
    Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

     their personalities show the result
    Result
    A result is the final consequence of a sequence of actions or events expressed qualitatively or quantitatively. Possible results include advantage, disadvantage, gain, injury, loss, value and victory. There may be a range of possible outcomes associated with an event depending on the point of...

     of successful or unsuccessful parenting. Especially it is noticeable when young adults make their independent life decisions about their education
    Education
    Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

    , work
    Wage labour
    Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour under a formal or informal employment contract. These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined...

     and choosing mates for friendship
    Friendship
    Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum...

     or marriage
    Marriage
    Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

    .

  • Middle age and old age – Parenting doesn't stop when children grow up and age. Parents always remain to be parents for old children. Their relationship continues developing if both parties want to keep it or improve. The parenting issues may include the relationship with grandchildren and stepchildren
    Stepfamily
    A stepfamily, also known as a blended family or reconstituted family, is a family in which one or both members of the couple have children from a previous relationship...

    .

Care


Develop a good relationship. Family relationships are built over time with loving care and concern for other people's feelings. Talk over family problems in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Focus on solutions rather than blaming the problem on each other. If either one of you are too busy or upset to communicate well at a certain time, say so. Then agree on a better time and commit to it. Laugh together with your family, be appreciative of each other and give lots of compliments that would make others happy more often. It may be very hard to schedule time to spend with your family and doing things that everyone would enjoy, but it is the best time you will ever invest.

It is important that parents and children spend one-to-one time together. Whether yours is a one or two-parent family, each parent should try to find a little time to spend alone with each child. You could read a bedtime story, play a game, or go for a walk together.

Advice


Traditionally, new mothers and fathers have received advice from older family members and other, experienced parents. Parents often ask pediatricians for advice about child development. In addition, informal mother's groups, playgroups
Pre-school playgroup
A pre-school playgroup, or in everyday usage just a playgroup, is an organised group providing care and socialisation for children under five. The term is widely used in the United Kingdom. Playgroups are less formal than the pre-school education of nursery schools...

, and online parenting communities provide new parents with opportunities for sharing advice and information.

Parenting books, magazines, and websites offer a wide range of advice and ideas. Parents magazine
Parents (magazine)
Parents, published by Meredith Corporation, is the oldest parenting publication in the U.S. It was first published in October 1926.Its editorial focus is on the daily needs and concerns of mothers with young children. The glossy monthly features information about child health, safety, behavior,...

 was started by George J. Hecht in 1926 and is the oldest parenting publication in the United States. Dr. Benjamin Spock's
Benjamin Spock
Benjamin McLane Spock was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Its message to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do."Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand...

 book The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
-External links:...

, became a bestseller in 1946, and by 1998 it had sold more than 50 million copies. Hundreds of books have been written on the topic, each with the author's own philosophy on how best to raise a child. Television documentaries such as The Trouble with Evan and programs such as Bringing Up Baby
Bringing Up Baby (TV programme)
Bringing Up Baby is a four-part British television documentary series which compares three different childcare methods for babies: the Truby King method , the Benjamin Spock approach , and the Continuum concept Bringing Up Baby is a four-part British television documentary series which compares...

 and Supernanny
Supernanny
Supernanny is a reality TV programme which originated in the United Kingdom about parents struggling with their children's behaviour. The UK version has aired on Channel 4 with E4 showing repeats since 2004. The program returned in 2010...

 offer glimpses into the lives of other families and the effects of their parenting methods.

Financial assistance


Parents may receive assistance from a variety of individuals and organizations. Employers may offer specific benefits or programs for parents such as parental leave
Parental leave
Parental leave is an employee benefit that provides paid or unpaid time off work to care for a child or make arrangements for the child's welfare. Often, the term parental leave includes maternity, paternity, and adoption leave...

 when a child a born. In Canada parents receive the Child Tax Benefit when they have their children. This comes in the form of a cheque each month for children 18 and under. Certain eligibility applies and parents must submit an application to apply.The government takes into consideration if you are the sole provider for the child/children, how many children are in the family and income of the parent(s)

See also