Parental influences in child development

How a mother, father and extended family will look after their babies will depend on the educational level of the parents, economic resources and place one is living. Race and religion also have an important place to play if one is going to have a well balanced productive citizen for the country and the world.

So it is the parent’s responsibility to look after their children, educate them and try to be a super mother rather than a zoo keeper mother. Super mothers and fathers will go out their way to provide educational experiences for children and let them initiate activities. Children of this type of mothers will be competent in most areas of development.

At the other end of the scale mothers give good materialistic support to the children but interaction with them will be very low because she is busy. These children may be looked after in a very rigid and structured manner but they will learn to be inflexible.

Optimal caregiving means spending quality time and providing them warm affectionate care and educational interactions and make sure that the child is able to learn, reproduce and practice the skills that are useful and meaningful to the society. Children like to explore the environment but they are unable to understand whatever they see or hear or smell without parental guidance and explanation. By this way child’s mental growth will develop and child will learn to look in the environment for further stimuli.

Children learn the many things from their surroundings but the rate of learning depend on child’s rate of brain development.

Some children are slow to warm up  and in such cases parents should not be impatient and criticize the child about his/her slowness.

Parental responsiveness to child’s feelings , needs, rhythms and signals are also important things that parents should understand. Touching, holding, feeding and stimulation of the child should be done by both parents , grandparents, and other relations.

A child should be taught to enhance give and take interaction early thus discouraging typical childhood feeling of selfishness. Effective mothers adjust their behaviour to meet children’s’ needs.

Mother and father have unique type of responsibilities in the rearing of a child. Though we talk mainly about maternal society paternal influences in our influences are also very important for both male and female children. Generally fathers will be busy with earning money but the care given by both parents are very important . A father’s involvement from the time of birth is encouraged in our practice and father is allowed to be with the mother at the time of child birth (in the private sector), antenatal care  and post natal care. Just as the mothers spend much more time feeding , dressing, grooming , disciplining , teaching, and caring for children, fathers role as a play mate make them (the children) very happy.

From birth onward fathers pay more visual attention to children than mothers do. Fathers are much more tactile and lift, tickle and handle the baby as well as guide the child when they are walking or crossing the road . This type of physical arousing which may be rough and little aggressive at time will teach the child how to develop in a hardness of a male compared to softness of the female.

Children who spend a lot of time playing with their fathers tend to be more competent in many ways and can be affectionate sensitive and responsive as mothers are. Female stimulation of the children includes comfort, nurturing and verbal stimulation. Males are generally show actions, explorations and risk taking to the children. So care giving styles of mother and father have a major impact on child’s sex role development.

This was a opinion piece submitted by a parent and medical professional in Sri Lanka, and not entirely views by If you would like to send your comments and view please contact us.