Written by Sayani Kundu, (Intern, UPAY)

Healthy parenting and its impact on young minds is a concept that affects society at large. Parental involvement and support reception enhance a child’s educational performance and positively influence their attitude and behaviour. From encouraging class assignments and sports to shaping values, parents exert monumental influence over their children. Support from parents, however, relies on several factors. The issues around the economic conditions of the parents and the poignancy they exhibit towards their child are two of the essential aspects. 

A child’s first exposure to learning begins at home, with parents teaching them basic skills and values. This unwritten rule is crucial as it helps the young ones prosper in their adult lives. However, underprivileged families spend their days toiling away to provide their children with basic amenities like food, shelter, clothing and healthcare. They simply do not have the time to spend with their kids to teach them specific skills and values. They are caught between the dilemma of making ends meet and providing their children with education.

In fact, most families within these communities are devoid of conditions that fuel growth and support. The parents, demoralized by their own inadequacy and financial troubles, are unequipped to support their children efficiently. It is their commitment to schooling that keeps children in schools, even at the risk of further debts. However, more often than not, burdened with insurmountable odds, parents give up. While it is tempting to conclude from past analysis that these challenges are too intimidating, lessons from behavioural science offer hope. Policymakers can now facilitate the reduction of behavioural bottlenecks and inspire parents to support their children actively.

Every child looks up to their parents for direction on values, decisions and attitudes. The role of healthy parenting is all the more essential for underprivileged children — it is only through guidance and support, can they develop the confidence to thrive. 

A necessary action from our end is to ensure that these families receive assistance in every way possible. Policies geared towards children’s psychological development should also acknowledge the importance of the family. It is encouraging to see the education sector make great strides in this aspect. Several schools across the country focus on the circumstances of the students as well as the bonding with their parents. Teachers are in constant contact with the parents to ensure that the students are learning. The non-availability of a positive growth atmosphere can cause a lifetime of health and productivity issues, including a reduction in earnings by up to 25 per cent. 

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Simply put, the cumulative burden of poverty, neglect and violence is astronomically larger than what most children can overcome. However, it is essential that parents don’t give up, irrespective of the adversities. The children need support and guidance at a very early stage from their homes and communities. Our emphasis, therefore, should be on developing the capabilities of parents and providing a supportive environment for the kids.

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