Parents play an important role in the overall development of their child. Developmentally, the first six years of life are the most critical. Children develop 85% of their core brain structure by the time they are five years old. Our best child psychologist in Pune can help you understand that the quality of the environment during these early years has a direct impact on the thinking, reasoning, language, physical ability, and social and emotional behavior of the child. 

Importance of the role of parents in child development

Parenting and child development go hand in hand. The role of parents in child development is responsive, responsible and never-ending. 

Here are a few areas in which the parenting affects the child’s development

  • Cognitive development
    When children are growing up, positive parenting improves their cognitive, social and problem-solving skills. Parent-child interaction and stimulation can help them recognize problems, time management, traits of discipline, and effective problem-solving skills.

  • Socio-cultural development
    Children are observational learners. They understand how to handle relationships, how to behave in social situations and cultural values by seeing the way their parents act. The child learns how to behave with others, playing to a common goal, team spirit, picking the right friends and a lot more.

  • Physical development
    Along with reaching the developmental milestones, children learn about being healthy, exercising regularly, being a team player, having the right diet and growing in a conducive environment through play-and-learn. The right guidance from parents can help inculcate a good regimen of exercise and diet.
  • Mental development
    Parenting styles help the child learn innovatively, accepting failures and overcoming them, understanding discipline, accepting feedback and the award-and-punishment concept. This in turn helps them navigate through their future school, college and adult life.

Center for Mental Health child therapists can help you understand these developments in a personalized manner to you and your child.

Naturally, there is a lot of pressure and expectation on the parents. Which is why parents genuinely want to understand their child’s development as well as how to parent effectively but do not know where to get the accurate information from. Child development and parenting research articles and scientific papers are a great place to start with. 

Here are a few pointers that child development and parenting research can help us understand

  • Every parent’s experience is different
    Each of us has our own experience with our children that may be very different from someone else’s experience. If we try to understand everyone’s experience, we would not have a generalized view. Research studies can help us look at the “average” child looks and behaves at a particular age. This also helps us understand what strategy or treatment would work for most children for particular difficulties. So this is a great place to start with.
  • Anything could be true
    We, as humans, like to make sense of information and to make it fit in neat little categories in our minds. So the first thing we go to is the internet and anything remotely related to our situation can be termed as true. But just because something sounds like common sense doesn’t mean it really is. This is another reason why it is important for parents to understand child development. Research helps us test out ideas in a logical, scientific way so that we won’t be easily swayed by ideas that sound good.
  • Kids (and Parents) vary, but usually within a range
    Research related to child development (Bijou, 1996) helps us by giving “typical” or “average” pointers for each age group which helps us to know the context for understanding the child. When you see a behavior of your child, and you find that this behavior is “normal”, you probably wouldn’t worry too much, because other kids (and parents) have gone through this too.
  • Neurodiversity

    Neurodiversity refers to those with varying neurological differences as well as neurotypical individuals (individuals with typical neurological development or functioning). Being neurodiverse simply means having a brain that is differently wired. Individuals considered as neurodiverse include

    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Depression
    • Dyslexia
    • Intellectual disabilities

    It can be beneficial for the parents to recognise these differences and approach our child psychologist for a formal evaluation. This formal evaluation can offer recommendations based on your child’s strengths as well as offer suggestions for diverse parenting.

We, at the Center for Mental Health, are here to help you!