Sunday, October 30, 2011

Parenting Options In Rearing The Child

By Gina Parks

If you are a parent, choosing your parenting style will be your exclusive privilege an will be determined by your personal circumstance and values. Basically, your options will be either the child-centered parenting or the family-centered parenting, which will be individually discussed below.

The Child-centered Parenting In this option, the child occupies the center stage, the focus of attention, and ensuring that the child will not feel any emotional and physical deprivation. He gets what he wants when he wants it and he dictates all the terms and conditions. These concepts might not sound too bad, but what happens when Mom is sick? Or when Mom & Dad want to leave the baby with a sitter? The risk is that the child will grow up with a parochial look of his own world and will be consumed with the idea that the world is not fair every time things will not turn out according to his way thinking. Psychologist have coined the term of "me-ism" for such an attitude, where the person thinks in terms of me first and mine alone. His character and temperament of being the favored child and thus will always expect to have his way will preclude him from being a team player.

Family-centered Parenting The concept is that the child's needs are satisfied along with, and not at the expense of, other family members. The child gets used to being treated as an important and valued part of the group but not as the superstar.

These concepts might not seem very different from the child-centered approach to parenting, but the results of the two methods are starkly different. Providing for the child's needs without accommodating his every indulgence, the parent is able to mold the character of the child according to his code of ethics and values. Sitters are okay for the family, as the parents will take time out to "date" and be intentional with each other. Part of the preconditioning will be the team concept that will inculcate in the child the "we-ism" rather than the "me-ism" way of thinking. Brought up within the context of the family-centered parenting style, the child will soon come to terms with the fact that he is born in a world where all things are created equal.

You may know people on either side of these parenting styles who go overboard. That's not what I'm advocating here; a balance must be achieved. Remember these things:

That the arrival of a baby is a beginning and not an end. Your spouse. That your spouse's needs do not diminish with the arrival of your baby. Invite some friends over for food and fellowship. Spend a few minutes alone with your spouse just talking about anything, what matters is that you are talking things over.

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