Emerging Issues in Education
Quite often, the school is put to task when parents notice bad behaviour and poor academic performance.
The home and the school are interdependent and interconnected and a change in one affects the other.
The school can be seen as an extension of the home but the manner in which the child is raised can positively or negatively contribute to the child’s development.
The provision of the innate and social developmental demands is paramount for positive children development.
The family can support or fail to meet the needs of the children. It is clear in the light of academic research that family influence is behind children’s perfomance.
Welcome to the column Emerging Issues in Education, this week we focus on the impact of neglect as a parenting style on child development and learning.
Lets us remember the heritage passed from our forefathers, Gavi rakabva mumasvuuriro.
What is parenting?
Parenting entails the intricacies of raising a child and not exclusively in r a biological relationship.
The set of strategies used to raise the child are called parenting styles.
The ways include protecting the child form harm, providing basic needs as well as a sense of belonging.
The caregivers are therefore placed under great pressure due to the need to attend to the toddler’s needs.
In many cases, the caregiver may not be ready to respond to the demands placed by the toddler.
Neglecting parents are those that show very low level of involvement as well as unnecessary strictness with their child.
Neglect has physical, social, moral and emotional effects on the development of the child.
The relationship between the infant and caregiver is the context of development.
Impact of neglect on child development and education
Child development relates to the combination of processes, including physical, social, moral, emotional and cognitive.
Neglected children lack trust.
According to Erikson’s theory of personality development, mistrust in individuals is a result of lack of trust experienced in childhood.
Consistency brings about the trust, which is very important in the development of the sense of the self.
When the child develops trust, he or she feels secure and adequate.
For instance, when a baby has a sensitive caregiver for many hours a day over a long period of time, an emotional bond develops and this is crucial for the development of the sense of the self and trust.
Those from the neglected families lack emotional attachment, they are emotionally starved and they have a low self-esteem.
The same applies to those that are constantly criticized and abused.
The child’s personality is therefore nurtured at the earliest stages of human development.
The family plays a key role.
With a weak emotional development, confidence and the motivation to learn is negatively affected.
Achievement in education can be retarded, resulting in poor performance.
The caregiver needs to understand and regulate different emotions in children because this helps them develop the sense of the self.
Therefore, absence of the caregiver as a result of neglect affects the social and emotional development of the child, which may lead to poor performance in learning.
Nutrition is the process by which living organisms obtain food and use it for growth, metabolism and repair.
Children who are neglected may suffer from malnutrition, which leads to poor health.
Effects may include kwashiorkor, beri-beri and marasmas.
Excessive nutrition leads to poor health and obesity.
It can cause excessive hair loss, brittle nails, and diseases in children.
Physical and cognitive development
Physically, a child’s body is different from that of an adult, and it can be hard to understand that a child is not a miniature adult.
Because children are growing and developing, they have particular nutritional requirements.
They are still growing, often in ways adults cannot see.
Giving children nutritionally dense food options is important for proper overall growth and development.
Children lacking in their needs tend to be sickly and may not have the energy to take up activities done by other learners in the Early Childhood Centre.
There is no doubt that poor nutrition also affects the intellectual abilities in children.
An individual with poor nutritional status has a weakened immune system and thus decreased ability to fight any infection which then makes them more vulnerable to infections.
The moral development of the children who are neglected is often slow.
In the absence of an adult to nurture the child into agreed norms and values of the society, the child becomes vulnerable.
It is the duty of the caregiver or parent to be a role model for their child as well as to guide the child into correct ways.
The Early Childhood Development facilitator is also expected to promote moral competence among such children through use of guidance and counselling sessions.
Parenting styles differ and each of the parenting styles impacts differently on child development.
However, there is no best parenting style.
A good parent will adopt a multi-dimensional approach by synthesising the parenting styles in relation to the situation at hand.
It is the task of both the parents and the school to promote positive child development.