25th, February 2013
Part 1 – Observation
Parenting is highly influenced by the interactions between children and their parents. Different parents interact differently with their children. In most cases, this is dependent on the culture and norms of the society about parenting. Nonetheless, most communities consider parenting important; hence, this should be done in a protective manner toward the child. However, some parents will interact positively with their children, while others will interact in a more negative way with their children.
In my local park, I did made observations of how different parents interacted with their children. Some did this really well, while others did this poorly. There were two major incidences of parent-child interactions, which struck me the most. One was a case of good parent-child interaction, and the other was one of a poor parent-child interaction. In the first instance in my local park, there was a mother and his son. This was a boy, who was close to seven years of age, while his mother seemed to be in her early thirties. These two were relaxing, lying down, after having had some fun in the park.
At some point, the young boy saw another family eating ice cream, so he asked his mother to buy ice cream for the two of them too. The mother ignored, but the boy persisted to ask her. This angered his mother, and she started yelling at the young boy. “You want ice cream, you are already fat, and ugly like your daddy. You want to get fatter and uglier? Do not be a loser, like your daddy. And please, leave your mommy alone, she needs some peace.” The boy covered his face immediately, and started crying, calling her mother. This gave me the impression that the mother was interacting inappropriately with her son. Yelling at the young boy, calling him fat and ugly, and comparing the young boy to his father, was so wrong for a mother to do to her young son.
In the second scenario, I observed a father and his daughter, having some good father-daughter time. The daughter was about five years of age, beautiful and playful. The father appeared to be in his late twenties. These two were playing around, laughing, and generally having fun. Suddenly, the young girl saw an airplane up in the sky. She stopped running and told her dad how much she loved planes, and that she wanted to fly one in future. The father smiled at her broadly, and told her that she was as smart as him and her mother, and that he will support her fully, to ensure she achieves her dream of being a pilot. “You are a smart girl, and nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams in life” the father told his daughter. The little girl was impressed, and hugged her father, thanking him, and telling him how he is the best father in the world. This was a beautiful thing to me, and I thought that this was a perfect father-daughter interaction.
When I become a parent, I will interact with my child on different levels and in various situations. The people, who will observe me interacting with my child, will judge me differently. I am thinking of a scenario where I am at the mall with my child, doing some shopping. Maybe I have bought my baby some candy, but she insists on having more. I refuse to grant her her wish by not buying her more candy. When she starts crying in the mall, I calm her down, and explain to her why too much candy is not healthy for her. I give her the health risks of too much candy and other sweet snacks, and junk food in general. She then cools down, and we get out of the mall, without her having the number of candies she wanted.
In this case, people who would have observed us would have different views and judgment of how I treated my daughter. Some would think that as a parent, I did the right thing by denying my daughter more candy, because of its health risks. To them, this means I want the best for my daughter, and that I care much about her health, and well-being. On the other hand, some would consider me a mean parent. To them, a parent should not make their babies to cry, because I made my daughter cry when I refused to buy her more candy. In addition, such people will think that I am a mean parent, because I refuse to offer my daughter what she wants. To them, maybe a parent should provide their children with whatever they ask for. Nonetheless, I will consider myself as a responsible parent, because I was protecting my daughter from ill health. In addition, I explained to her why I denied her more candy. Therefore, the people who will have observed me and thought that this was an appropriate parent-child interaction will be right.
Part 2 – Hypothetical
My hypothetical daughter is four-years old. At this age, my daughter needs to be provided the best environment for both physical and psychological growth, since this is among the prime years of her growth and development. She needs to eat healthy for a healthy growth, considering her age. She also needs social skills, since at this age, she has started to be friendly to people and occasionally enthusiastic. Social skills will therefore, help her interact well with other people. We have a strong bond and I like taking her with me to most places I go. This time, we are in Wall-Mart, doing some family shopping. This baby also needs cognitive skills. This is especially in language, since by this age, she can articulate words well, and is learning to be good in language. Cognitive skills will make her learn and adapt faster to language.
While at the retail store, my daughter and I will enjoy walking around the store, comparing prices, and looking at the variety of products on display in the store. In undertaking all these activities, as a parent, I will look for ways of making my daughter learn one or two things out of the whole experience. I would teach her different skills and lessons, while in the store, and on our way back home. First, I would ensure that I teach my daughter how to compare things, for instance height, tone of colors, size, and shape. This will be important to her, since at her age, she needs to develop in that area, learning about things and being able to describe them, using their physical appearances, in terms of height, color, shape, and size, among others.
Secondly, I will teach my daughter about being kind and friendly to people. This is essential at her developmental stage, because at this stage, she is more outgoing and more open to strangers than the way she was during her former developmental stages. In this stage, she interacts with other children of her age in school and at social events, for instance during our family day out, she gets to meet more children of her age, whom she plays with sometimes. Teaching her to be friendly at this stage will also help her become a social adult, who is kind and good with people.
During our shopping experience, I will also teach my daughter some language skills. For instance, I will teach her new vocabulary, and help her with her grammar. This will also include polite use of language. This will be important to my daughter; since at this stage of development, she is probably, still having a few flaws in her language use, and therefore, more practice will help her catch up faster with her language proficiency.
The fourth skill I will teach my daughter during our shopping experience will be mathematical counting. At this stage, she will probably be in a position to count from one to seven. Therefore, playing with numbers with her, might help her be in a better position to count correctly, and master a few mathematical numbers. Finally, I will teach my daughter healthy eating habits. This will be important for her to learn at an early age about the benefits of eating healthily, and how this influences her physical development. Learning this at an early age will make my daughter grow up into a responsible young adult, who has knowledge about healthy eating.
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