Effective parenting is the bedrock of rounded child development. This will touch every part of the child’s development and growth. Child is education health, morality, discipline, and others are to a large extent dependent on the quality of parenting. This is why stable family stands higher chance of guaranteeing effective parenting than unstable ones.
Unfortunately, a number of challenges are confronting families today that have compromised the ability of the parents in discharging their parenting functions. Some of these challenges are listed and discussed below.
The level of poverty in the land is so high. Most families are living on less than $3.00 / day. Interestingly, the inflation rate is very high. To meet the family needs under this constraining condition is a hard nut to crack. Consequently, the number of children out of school is increasing on daily basis. This also limits the access of most families to basic health care services. The combination of these limitations imposed on the parents is a source of friction among the parents on one hand, and children on the other hand. As a survival strategy, many parents are being forced to expose their children to all forms of abuses such as allowing them to serve as house maids before 18 years, using them as hawkers, giving them out at tender age, seeing and allowing them to go into prostitution to augment family income.
Strained relationship between the couples
Apart from the effects of economic arises, for several other reasons, the relationship between the parents may not be entirely smooth. This may take their attention away from what constitutes their common goal – their children. To the extent that this persist, the children’s welfare will be undermined. The negative consequences of this Iis that the children’s development will suffer substantially.
Increasing rate of separation and divorce
When the gulf of misunderstanding between the parents is allowed to fester for too long, this may lead to separation and eventually divorce. This is abnormal ordinarily. However the rate at which this is happening today is suggestive of the fact that this ugly situation is fast becoming normal. This is leaving many children unattended to by their parents who are following their different paths. This is a tragedy of immeasurable proportion that needs to be tamed before it gets out of hand.
Work / career related stress
Activities at work and those related to career and business pursuits require a great deal of attention and focus from most parents. The intra and inter personal conflicts being engendered through such activities drain a lot of energy and strength. This therefore reduces the amount of quality time the parents could share with their children. It is so much that many parents can hardly vouch for the true character of their children. Neither can the children say who truly their parents are. They are strangers to themselves.
Lack of family vision and mission
Many families and parents do not have properly articulated view of what they want their families, and family members should be and how to get to the destination they have to choose for themselves. They are just winking in the dark, it is like a driver that is driving a car to nowhere in particular. It is an open invitation to crisis.
Transfer / redeployment of either of the parents or both
This is one of the major challenges of their workplace exercise which informs why many employees are trying to resist it. Where one of the parents is involved, the family will have to decide what happens to the children, their education and other decisions. Even where the two parents are involved and it is not the same location, these decisions will still be taken. If it is the same location they are redeployed to schools will be changed. Health facility will also be changed. Diet may also be affected as well. All these are causes of disruption in parenting process that may have negative effects on the entire process. The effect of this on the development of the children is better imagined.
In some cases, a particular spouse may be cheating on another. At some other times, the cheating may be mutual. Whichever way it is, infidelity has serious impact on the development of the children. It has a way of taking out of time and attention that should be given to the children. This is because the third party is already sharing out of the resource. The friction this will introduce between the couples will cause additional distraction in parenting. Infidelity is avoidable and it should be avoided by couples.
This is a very strong influence on the children that could erode the impact of parenting on the children. Parents should therefore watch out for this if they want result for their effort on their children. Peer group influence could be positive and negative. Their efforts should be geared toward ensuring the positive impacts are harnessed while they tackle the negative influence head long to minimize its impacts or remove same totally.
Wrong influences from the mass and social media
Another important group that is competing with the attention of the parents on their children is mass and social media comprising television, radio, print media, social media (consisting of the twitter, facebook, youtube, instagram, whatsapp, telegram, e.t.c.) and others. Many of their contents are not regulated and controlled and children have unhindered access to these contents that are transmitted on daily basis. Parents must build a special relationship with their children to be able to monitor and control the impacts such contents will have on the children.
The ineffective role of government
As it is today, governments at various levels are standing aloof while the significant role of parenting is being eroded away. Government officials and politicians appear to lack the political will to put in place effective laws, establish and empower regulatory institutions for monitoring of the compliance with such laws and so on. As long as this is not being done, we should not be expecting drastic change any time soon.
Deaths of one or two parents
Death of one of the parents or the two of them automatically turns them (the children) to orphans. Consequently, all the supports and encouragements being given by such parents come to zero. Depending on the ages of the affected children, they may suffer serious setbacks in different aspects of their life pursuits. Some may not be able to continue their education, feeding may become a challenge. Accessing medical service may now be tall order. Experiences gathered in the course of weathering through the storm may make or mar them in life.
Prolong illness on the part of the parents
This may prevent the parents from performing this role effectively to the children. Physically he / she may not be able to do much and financially he/she may be incapacitated as the illness may have drained his / her meager resources.
Challenges facing parenting are many and varied. Each family has her particularities when it comes to these challenges. Since this is the case, parents are advised to factor into consideration their uniqueness in their desperate search for solutions to their specific parenting issues.