What Factors Affect a Parent's Philosophy on Child Rearing?

by Amber Keefer

    Parents raise their children in different ways. As such, different parenting philosophies may follow different ground rules. Although individuals acquire parenting wisdom and skills through various sources, a range of factors can play a role in child rearing. Since there is no single rule book when it comes to raising kids, child rearing practices take on many forms. In the end, it comes down to how effectively you communicate with your child.

    Attachment parenting is a parenting style that focuses on getting to know your child and her individual needs from the start. The assumption is that keeping your child physically close and responding to her needs helps the two of you to connect, building a stronger emotional bond between you. AskDrSears.com explains that as you get to know your child better, she begins to trust you more. Since what your child needs may be extremely different from what another child needs, attachment parenting involves doing what works best for you and your child.

    A child’s own personality and behaviors can set the tone for a parent’s child rearing philosophy. Both a parent’s temperament and that of a child can affect how they react to one another. While a child who needs to learn that there are limits to his behavior may require a firmer approach at times, a learning-disabled child who needs more patience and lots of positive reinforcement to succeed may do better with a more tolerant parenting style. Even children being raised in the same home have different needs; therefore, a parent may need to respond to each child differently.

    The stresses in your daily life can affect the way you parent. Money problems, unemployment, health issues, careers or single parenthood can interfere with parents developing bonds with their children. A disengaged parent is often emotionally, if not physically, neglectful. Not only do these parents fail to set boundaries and have expectations for their children, but they usually aren't as nurturing and supportive as parents who put family above all else. Lack of consistent parenting can be harmful to a child as well.

    A 2003 report published in the National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy points out that parenting is a learned skill you can improve through education and experience. The primary focus of formal parenting education programs is to help parents develop the skills, knowledge and abilities they need to contribute to their child’s healthy physical, emotional and cognitive development. Because many new parents believe that parenting comes naturally, they don’t always recognize the need for formal parenting education -- at least not at first. Whether education occurs on an individual basis, in a group program or even from reading books, the goal is to give you the knowledge and tools you need to contribute to your child’s overall development as he grows.

    About the Author

    Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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