Parental Roles and COVID-19
July 05, 2020 19:45|
By Tom Lepsky|
Covid-19 has affected how parents can execute there parenting roles. But there is a need to reinvent the roles parents play, and equally make children change tune on their expectations from parents. Arguably, the pandemic has not taken away any responsibility or right. Instead, parenting now calls for a paradigm shift.
Parenting has never been natural during a crisis. For most of the crises witnessed in world history, children became the worst victims; a case on point is the civil war in the DRC Congo where children are forced into the mining field and other forms of worst child labor. Fortunately, Covid-19 has not forced children into such rights infringement, at least for now, but the core of child growth and development has been shaken. Education and the school system shape not only the intellectual but also the social skills of children. As much as the home environment provides the first lessons for children, their time in school with peers and teachers builds an interactive system that can work for the best. During this period of crisis, parents should now assume the role the education system plays in their children's lives.
Firstly, it is vital to understand the role of a parent. To give a clearer picture, Greenberg, a renowned psychologist, provides a detailed description of what parents should and should do. He asserts that parents should teach; parents should execute their teacher-role to the best of their capacity. They should be their children's playmates; they should be a disciplinarian, perform caregiving roles, and serve as an attachment figure. Most of these roles are put in use in early childhood, but for some unknown reasons, some parents neglect or stop discharging the functions. By understanding these parenting roles, we can then outline a relationship on how parents can influence what their children do. Especially when parents become exact attachment figures in their children's lives, the child's emotional and social outcomes will tend to be an accurate reflection of what parents envisaged and hoped in their children.
Secondly, knowing the roles, we can then explore how such functions come handy during a crisis. With many businesses shut, most families now can barely get enough food. Children are now forced by the situation to eat little or go hungry, which only a few can understand. This situation pushes parents to try all means to afford the necessities; this may come with anxiety on parents. This situation itself creates an intricate scenario in which as much as parents would want to dedicate time with their children, supervise their online learning and content they access, or to seek employment and other engagements that may provide income. Of course, doing both the events may be possible, but it may not be practical and comfortable. And that brings us back to the forms of attachments that parents build with their children. Because when children develop a secure attachment with their parents, they will always be open on issues affecting them, they will consider their parents a source of safety. They will always make known their needs to the parents.
Lastly, having known how attachment can influence the relationship between children and their parents, we can construe the trend that is happening currently concerning teen pregnancy to be as a result of parents not getting close with their children to understand their worries. Or still, children do perceive their parents as incapable of addressing their demands. Since recent on sexual and reproductive health reports in Kenya have always pointed at family members or relatives as the culprits of sexual harassment of children, parents should not only strive to provide safety. Still, they should also be close to their children to spot and address these rights violations. Moreover, many problems face children and parents, for which the government and other stakeholders can step in. The crisis poses a great health risk to everyone, and so a working healthcare system can work for the advantage of everyone.
In conclusion, the Covid-19 will present surmountable challenges and cripple many systems, but parents should stand guard and protect children against situations that may interfere with their growth and development.
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