Hard Economic Times Affects Good Parenting Skills
Published: June 22, 2011 at 11:14 am
The hearts and minds of babies are delicate organs. Constant neediness can sometimes get the better of the parents, especially if the parents are under extreme financial stress due to sustained hard times..
When the baby has become meddlesome to the heart and mind of the parent, it complicates the relationship between the child and the parent. As the child becomes a toddler, these organs are easily galled and anguished by the most mundane things, putting pressure on the frustrated parents to deal with the combined stress of joblessness and an anguished child. It is at this point when the child is most vulnerable, and good parenting skills are essential to insure the child's future is not in jeopardy.
Several months ago I read an article in the US A Today titled, ”Study: Poverty dramatically affects children’s brains.” This article makes the argument that certain brain functions of low-income 9 and 10-year-olds pale in comparison with those of wealthy children, and that the difference is almost equivalent to the damage from a stroke. It goes on to conclude that there’s a growing body of evidence that malnutrition, stress, illiteracy and toxic environments in low-income children’s lives affects their brains.
Parents need to understand the effect their behavior can have upon their children. Surveys like the one mentioned above make it seem like these kids don’t have a chance no matter what, when all it takes is good parenting skills.
The USA Today Study is misleading. A parent’s income, or lack of income, may indeed be a problem for the parents, but it is should not become a problem for the child. A parent’s income does not hold back the opportunity of a child, but on the other hand, their lack of parenting skills can. Research conducted by the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC, shows that the overwhelming majority of the children in poverty will experience dramatic improvements in behavior, performance and test scores if they receive the proper mentoring. In other words, remove the negative influences and the child starts sprinting—independent of the parent’s income. Poverty alone can’t hold a child back, but on the other hand, poor parenting skills can.
Parental characteristics, such as those that employers value, like reliability, diligence, and honesty are far more important than income when it comes to good parenting skills—they are the critical factors, along with adoring love, which affects a child’s behavior. When parents are not reliable, when they fail in diligence, and lack character and honesty, when they resort to abuse and neglect of their child, then they can ruin that child’s life forever. In this sense the USA Today study has some relevancy.Continued on the next page