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What Kind of Challenges Can a Parent Face?

by Jenny White, studioD

Raising happy and healthy children in today’s society is every parent's main challenge. You have to figure out how to protect your children from all the bad things that can affect their development while negotiating through healthcare and educational challenges. As your kids grow into adolescence, your responsibilities increase and the challenges become greater. Accepting that there will be many changes and challenges in the future, and preparing to deal with them can help you build a stable family.

Understanding Child Development

Understanding every developmental aspect of your child is a challenge. You have to figure out the best parenting strategies to discipline your children, bearing in mind that each of them has a unique personality traits that remain consistent throughout life. Robert Myers, Ph.D., a child psychologist writing at Childdevelopmentinfo.com notes that responsible parenting is hard especially today when parents spend more time working rather than being with their kids Most parents don't know how hard it is to build and maintain close relationships with their children, until they are adolescents and want more freedom. Although you want to hold on to your kids and protect them from negative influences of friends, Internet and media, you have to give them space to make their own choices, as they grow older. Preschoolers need close supervision while adolescents need more time to socialize and make new friends. Take your time to talk to your children about their needs and learn about their development by observing how they eat, play and sleep.

Caring for Kids' Health

Parents are always concerned about their children's physical, mental and social well-being. You have to ensure that your kids are getting regular health checkups with their healthcare providers. It is a bigger challenge for parents who are raising children with a disability. "Children with special needs can drain enormous amounts of time, energy, and money," according to Kalman Heller, Ph.D, a retired psychologist. These parents often devote a lot of time attending to the disabled children, at the expense of other family members. This can lead to poor social and emotional relations within the family, as parents might disagree on what needs to be done to improve the disabled child’s welfare. Look out for the early warning signs for various health problems to help you take preventive measures. Enroll disabled children in support groups where they can find alternative help and spend special time with your partner to strengthen your marriage.

Negotiating Educational Challenges

Most parents have been conditioned to believe that scoring high marks in exams is all there is to school life and childhood, according to Shannon Willis, a parenting expert who writes at Familyanatomy.com. Ensuring your kids are doing well in school while helping them to exploit their co-curricular interests such as sports and art can be difficult. New digital age-challenges are also emerging. Parents are overwhelmed with the challenges and risks the Internet and mobile technology presents to their kids, according to a 2009 report published by the International Society for Technology in Education. The report notes that kids can post their personal information online, which can be used by Internet bullies to bully them. You need to be involved in the process of raising your children to be good digital citizens by keeping up with the new and ever-changing technologies in order to understand what they are up to. Educate your children about the negative effects of the Internet and teach them how to use it responsibly.

Providing Moral Guidance

Modeling good morals such as integrity, respect, patience, generosity, courtesy, and compassion can be challenging for parents. Overcoming potential negative effects of the Internet, peer pressure and mass media to provide moral guidance to your children might not be easy. Children are born with the capacity to act morally, though this ability can be lost if you don't use it provide moral guidance. Working parents have to ensure their young children's caregivers can be trusted to nurture quality traits. As kids grow older, they begin to make judgments about which models are worth emulating and incorporating into their personalities, and which ones need to be discarded. Karen Springen of the University of Illinois advises you to practice the values that you want your kids to acquire. For example, if you wish to model courtesy and politeness, always use words such as "please," "excuse me" and "thank you" when talking to your kids.

About the Author

Based in Orlando City, Jennifer White has been writing professionally on parenting topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “Diverse” magazine, “Tampa Pay Parenting” magazine and “Colorado Parent” magazine. White holds a Masters in educational psychology from Florida State University.

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