Parenting refers to the process of nurturing, socializing and providing for the children during the stage of growth and development, inclusive of antenatal care to infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence.
In today’s era of technology, some parents have abdicated their role of raising their children and left mandate at the hands of maids. This has led to children embracing the internet and specifically social media to access information while unknowing in pursuit if feeling the void of their absent parents.
The Covid_19 pandemic period sets for unfortunate developments, now that people are working from home, it’s an opportunity for parents to be directly involved in the nurturing of their children and having conversations with them to better understand them.
Here are some of the ways to bridge the parenting gap.
Loving and caring. Expressing love and physical affection to the children right from infancy unconditionally creates a good environment for growth to the children. This contributes to both emotional, physical growth and psychologically, the child develops a sense of belonging, trust, and security.
Effective communication. Parents should openly promote honest, candid and consistent communication with their children and the entire family. Communicating with a child develops their logic and reasoning skills. For example; talking and listening to the child, and respecting their point of view while giving them constructive feedback.
Quality time with the children. Spending quality time enables children to feel the connection and sense of being loved and valued. The common way parents can understand their children is by actively discussing and spending leisure time together such as playing games and music. Being available when the children express a desire to share moments with the parents.
Self-Esteem and Confidence. Parents should avail time and share with their children on how to live in a society and always avoid comparing a child unfavorably with another. Avail time to discuss family situations so that they appreciate it.
Cultural Values. Parents should instill cultural and religious values for identity, moral and spiritual development. This teaches the child to appreciate and accommodate everyone in the community with respect and values.
Sharing about their sexuality. Parents should interact with their children, concerning their SRH because the Ugandan culture prohibits parents to openly talk about sex and sexuality with the children. In doing this it introduces the children on how to manage their early adolescence for example the body changes.
Instilling a saving culture. Introducing saving culture to the children in early childhood helps in nurturing and financial discipline in the future. Parents should involve the children in the family resource making, planning, handling, and spending. This introduces the children to how they can manage their pocket money in the schools.
Monitoring the children. Parents should get involved in the daily life of their children by actively interacting with the child to enhance their self-esteem and academic achievement. In doing this it helps them to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the child right from infancy.
Prepared by Ongom Francis Program Assistant at Reach A Hand Uganda