Specialists have said it and said it repeatedly. The maturity of a parent is his or her ability to readjust to the biological evolution of his or her children. They equally describe child rearing or better still parenting as the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.
In the face of the complexity of child growth, specialists in child upbringing have identified four types of styles: authoritative, neglectful, permissive, and authoritarian.
They recognise that each one of the styles carries different characteristics and brings about different reactions in the children. These are certainly conclusions drawn from scientific studies in different communities in the World.
How practicable these have been is another issue considering the complexities of each society. The behavioral pattern of human beings is tailored by a medley of factors including culture, environment and natural gene. This explains why the same method in child upbringing applied in Asian countries will certainly not hold water in Africa.
In the same vein, elements that make up child upbringing in Africa like introducing children into house chores and other human activities are usually considered in the western world as child labour.
The complexity of bringing up the child notwithstanding, elements of poor parenting in each society can easily be identified. That should be the case with the recent emblematic cases in some regions of Cameroon where parents exerted capital punishment on their kids to death for whatever wrong doing they were involved in. In many African countries, child beating is a normal practice. As the saying goes, if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. How far this is true, is another debate.
But what is important to note however is the fact that child beating is an instrument of correction aimed at educating the child and making him grow responsibly. That is why in some communities in Cameroon, the advise is: beat the child out of the house but leave the door open or lock the door with a weak bamboo.
Children, one must remark, are intelligent and generally know what is wrong. That is why, when they are punished for what they know they did wrong, they keep their anger at bare.
Parents, it must be admitted have their own share of the blame. Irresponsible parents will certainly not bring up good children. The case abound of a son who told his parents who are constantly fighting in the house he wouldn't get married. ”If marriage is what I see in you, then I see no need", he said.
Again, specialists identify some few methods of disciplining a child: decide on family rules. A good place to start is with 4-5 family rules, teach your child what behaviour is expected of him. Children learn by watching what you do, praise your child for good behaviour, set clear limits and consequences.