Perception of Parenthood

Honoring one’s role as a parent is the foundational truth that sets the groundwork for all other essential parenting skills. When the adult acknowledges, accepts, and commits to serving within his parental role, he will automatically provide the love, protection, guidance, and shelter needed for the proper growth and development of the child.

Having a positive perception of being a parent creates a stable framework-socially, emotionally, mentally, and morally-whereby the child can grow and develop into a responsible and successful adult. A parent’s awareness of her ability to be a good parent has a direct impact on how she will parent (Coleman & Karraker. 1998).

However, one can only honor her role or be obligated to fulfilling the role of a parent if her perception of being a parent is anticipated and welcomed before the birth of the child.  According to Bryan (2002), when an individual’s perception of self shifts into the arena of parenthood, especially during pregnancy, there is a higher degree of sensitivity towards the child. The parent is more engaged in the everyday responsibilities of caregiving and also experiences an increased level of parent/child relationship satisfaction.

According to Ardelt and Eccles (2001), parental self-efficacy has a direct impact on a child’s success through the modeling of attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, when children begin to emulate their parent’s positive attitudes and firmly held opinions, they incorporate these behaviors and mental schemas, which then increase their level of success (Ardelt & Eccles, 2001). The activities provided in chapter 8 and the instructions contained enhances the skills needed for parental self-efficacy.

Social-Emotional Development

Social-emotional development is the heartbeat of any family system. 

According to (Cohen, Onunaku, Clothier & Poppe, 2005), social-emotional development is composed of an individual’s life experiences, non-verbal expressions, management of emotions, and aptness to build positive and gratifying relationships both on an intrapersonal and interpersonal level.

A child’s social-emotional skills are an extension of her parent’s; therefore, the success of a child to effectively maneuver at home and in various public setting, both socially and emotionally, is dependent on the parent’s ability to appropriately model how to respond (verbally and non-verbally) and interact with others.

Parents who practice and model healthy social-emotional skills during the early stages of their child’s life prepare the way for the development of social-emotional skills outside of the home environment and, therefore, lay the foundation for establishing relationships (Rubin, Bukowski, Parker, Eisenberg, Damon & Lemer, 2006).

A child’s early emotional development takes place within the dynamic parent-child relationship within the home environment (Stack, Serbin, Enns, Ruttle, & Barrieau).

Children who are consistently exposed to solid social-emotional skills at an early age are not only better equipped for transitioning to kindergarten, but they also have a higher academic outcome than those whose social-emotional skills are less developed (Rimm-Kauffman, Pianta & Cox, 2000).

Cognitive Development

Mother teaching child to use a tablet
Father reading a book to his child

The force and the genuineness of the relationship between parent and child is the underlying core of the development of the child’s brain structure, functions, and capacity (Fogel King, & Shanker, 2009). The quality of interaction between a mother and her child forecasts the mental and verbal development of the child (Bornstein, 1985).

Parents who invest in the cognitive development of their child by reading books, introducing words, and employing positive feedback strengthen the child literacy, language comprehension, and higher order thinking skills, thereby preparing him for academic success.  

A child’s academic performance, mental perception of his external and internal environment, memory, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and even his thoughts regarding self are all the reflection of his thought process and, therefore, should be properly shaped at an early age by allowing the child to explore his surroundings while being monitored (Cherry, 2016).

Several cognitive theorists propose that the parent-child relationship provides the structure and scaffolding for the child’s emerging cognitive abilities (Rogoff and lave, 1984). Parents who are sensitive to their child will provide the best learning environment possible, thereby igniting the child’s desire to gain knowledge as he explores his surroundings. The activities/techniques provided in this curriculum will supply the tools needed optimal cognitive development.