Family is the first school and mother is the first teacher of a child. It is a generally accepted fact that a child growing in a loving and caring family thrive in every walk of life.
In India, traditionally the child was bought up in a joint family environment which helped the child to develop into a well rounded human being both physically and emotionally. Joint families typically consisted of three generations of a single family living together comprising of grandparents, parents, Uncles – aunts, cousins living together in a single home and using a common kitchen.
The children who were bought up in a joint family normally have very good INTER-PERSONAL SKILLS as they are learn sharing, co-operation, patience, adjustment etc while living in the joint family set up. Children were found to be more socially engaging and responsive as they are used to being around a lot of people who have different ideas, values and preferences. These children are also more accepting of the differences and uniqueness of the people around them.
In Today’s times, our children are predominantly bought up in the Nuclear family set up with parents and a sibling being their Inner circle. With both the parents working, the time spent with the child is reducing substantially. But it has also bought in more financial independence to parents which in turn has helped them to provide better opportunities in education for their children.
But irrespective of the Joint family or the Nuclear family set up, what a child requires is a nurturing environment. The family members – be it grandparents, uncles, cousins in a joint family or Just the parents in case of a nuclear family – must create an environment of love, trust, Comfort and empathy. The child’s understanding of the world is also influenced by the interactions and relationships within the family. A child, who observes positive communication around it, will learn how to communicate in the right manner and learns positive qualities. For example, in a joint family the concept of respecting the elders is taught through touching the feet of elders, not speaking loudly in front of elders etc. A child, who observes his family members doing this, will also follow them and continue the practice the same, which becomes one of the important corner stone’s of his emotional development.
A child who grows up in a loving and joyful environment are known to form closer bonds with family and friends, they are also more confident, out-going and popular among their peer groups. Parents who read to their children regularly help develop the child’s reading and writing skills. Children who engage in play activities with parents are also known to adapt easily to the school environment.
According to research conducted by Dr Robert Pollack – Olin business school – Washington University. “Family structure plays a vital role in the development of learning skills of a child. In the nuclear family system, mothers are responsible for sharpening the relationship skills and emotional response skills of their children, thus enabling them to have stronger relationship in their lives. Fathers on the other hand train children in general handiwork skills and other competitive and survival skills which eventually ensure success for kids from such nurturing backgrounds.”
90% of the brain development of a child happens below 5 years of age. This being a very crucial time, healthy and emotionally conducive family environment becomes imperative. Because of modern lifestyle and fast paced life, parents are unable to spend enough quality time with the children. The absence of the same is creating a big void in the emotional development of the child leading to temper tantrums, lack of patience, lack of listening skills etc.,
Parents of today are trying their level best to fulfill every need and demand of a child, trying to give them everything they couldn’t afford during their own childhood. This has made the children less appreciative and less thankful of the facilities they receive. The children equate their happiness with the material things they receive rather than the experiences and emotions of play , friendship and togetherness. Now the focus of the parents should be to install good values in the children rather than fulfilling their every materialistic wish.
The most common way children learn is through 0BSERVATION of everyday life. Today’s kids are born in the age of information and technology. Gadgets, phones and laptops have become an integral part of their lives now. Having said that excessive use of the same hampers the growth and creativity of the child. Kids are like mirrors who reflect the behavior of the parents. It is the duty and responsibility of every parent to stand as the role model, from which their children can learn and emulate.
The family has a very big role to play in the development of the child. The parents and other members of the family have to balance the overall activities of the child by teaching them the right values, discipline and empathy to grow up to be responsible and bright citizens of our country.