“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” – Abraham Lincoln
Parents play an irreplaceable role in the lives of their children. This relationship has a profound impact on a child’s mental, physical, social and emotional development as well as their overall well-being and happiness. Parents help us in every step of our life. “Even when young children spend most of their waking hours in child-care, parents remain the most influential adults in their lives,” writes Jack Shonkoff, a board-certified pediatrician who sits on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “The hallmark of the parental relationship is the readily observable fact that this special adult is not interchangeable with others,“ he notes. “A child may not care about who cuts his hair or takes money at the store, but he cares a great deal about who is holding him when he is unsure, comforts him when he is hurt, and shares special moments in his life.” The relationship between parents and their children impacts children not just in childhood but throughout their entire lifetime. It affects all areas of a child’s life, including health and development, educational progress and professional opportunities as well as life choices.
One of the main roles of parents is providing encouragement, support and access to activities that enable a child to master key developmental tasks. A child’s learning and socialization are most influenced by their family since the family is the child’s primary social group. Providing and supporting a child with education is one of the landmarks in a child’s development. A good education will help provide a rewarding career to the person and thereby they will positively contribute to society. Parents are also their children’s biggest cheerleaders and give them unconditional love.
Some of the facts about the importance of parent involvement are:
- Children who have parental support are likely to have better health as adults
- Students with involved parents tend to earn higher grades, have better social skills, and are more likely to graduate and go on to post-secondary education
- Children are more likely to be socially competent and have better communication skills when they have parents who are sensitive to their needs and emotions
- Teens who are monitored by their parents are less likely than teens with “hands-off” parents to smoke, drink and use drugs.
Maintaining a good parent-child relationship is crucial to wise parenting. Starting right from the birth of a child, parents should always be aware of the enormous impact they have on their children’s lives. Their impact sets the stage for raising a confident, educated and secure young adult who is ready to face the challenges of life.