It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 933
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Introduction

Parenting is a complex process that may involve many different parties – parents, schools, family members, local governments, and employers. According to the stages of maturation during the children’s lifespan development, these parties can interact at social, economic, and educational levels, providing support to families. This project aims to present ideas about how schools, families, local governments, and employers contribute to children’s education.

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How Schools Can Help Raise a Child

In the middle childhood module, the textbook authors point out that 20% of middle school students in the US are obese, with an ongoing increasing tendency. The US schools support healthy eating habits among schoolchildren: 90% of the US schools increased by 16% vegetables and 23% fruit in school lunches to comply with the Federal Nutrition Guidelines (Overstreet, 2020).

Three ways schools can support parents by promoting the healthy development of children of working and non-working parents:

  • Schools can help parents by providing everyday hot meals for children with balanced nutritional composition, improving students’ eating habits.
  • Schools can provide an opportunity for children to participate in organized sports and other extra-curriculum classes.
  • Schools can develop professional orientation programs to determine the students’ spheres of interest with the highest potential for cognitive development.

Personal example: When I was in high school, hot meals were offered to students, which was very helpful for me. I studied intensively, and lunches helped me reduce fatigue and stress.

This service helped working parents who did not have enough time to prepare meals and parents who struggled to provide a decent level of life for their children. Meals included meat, porridge, vegetables, fruit juice, and milk, which could be considered a balanced diet.

How Families Can Help Raise a Child

In the early childhood module, the textbook refers to the development of the social sense of self in children 2-6 years old. This process is based on the ability to see oneself in the eyes of others and integrate the “I” and “me” personalities of self-focused, creative, spontaneous self and the self aimed at interaction with others (Overstreet, 2020).

Three ways relatives, friends, and neighbors can support parents:

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  • Friends of parents who have children can help children to socialize, supporting the development of “I” and “me” personalities.
  • Relatives can support parents by becoming role models if children cannot follow the role models of their parents.
  • Grandparents can serve as psychological support if parents often act as “bad cops.”

Personal example: My grandmother always encouraged me as an individual when I was at the age of 5-6 years old, which is recognized as the most rigid age. My brothers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents allowed me to participate in gender-inappropriate games and play with gender-inappropriate toys.

These positive attitudes fostered my self-esteem and supported my emotional development to a great extent.

How Local Governments Can Help Raise a Child

In the adolescence module, the textbook highlights the main tasks of the individual – identity formation, testing the limits, being committed to identity or the sense of self, and developing social identity (Overstreet, 2020). One important task is an adaptation to changes due to increased levels of dopamine and serotonin influencing adolescents’ emotions and sensitivity.

Three ways local governments can support children’s health and well-being:

  • Local governments can initiate programs to address teen pregnancy or substance use by providing nurse consultations, anonymous treatment programs, and medications.
  • Local governments may provide anonymous professional counseling to adolescents who live in challenging environments.
  • Local governments may distribute flash drives with audio and video recordings on issues of periods, pregnancy, and sex education.

Personal example: When I was an adolescent, our class was visited by a specialist who gave a lecture on sex education, the dangers of smoking, and drug use. This training was ill-conceived and received a mostly negative response due to its overdramatic descriptions of the effects of drug use and STDs.

Nonetheless, most of the students agreed that they were pleased with the arrival of the guest lecturer. Consequently, there was much less tension among my classmates in everyday conversations that featured the ‘girly’ problems like periods or the issues of smoking and drinking alcohol.

How Employers Can Help Raise a Child

In the early adulthood module, the textbook refers to the common trend when women who dedicate themselves to a career are perceived by men as irresponsible. Such attitudes undermine the realization of their career dreams for many females (Overstreet, 2020). No less important, young adults in their 30s and 40s are becoming increasingly focused on the present and appreciate real support which can be provided by employers.

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Three ways employers can support working parents:

  • Employers can allow work-from-home opportunities and maintain the work-life balance.
  • Employers can organize corporate events by inviting spouses and children of employees.
  • Employers provide maternity or paternity benefit packages and long-term parental leave.

Personal example: I got an internship at a company with a very good corporate image, where employees were provided with all sorts of support, including health insurance, gifts, and paid parental leave.

Respect for family values is an important component of workplace commitment and job satisfaction. Equally important, by helping their employees raise children, companies contribute to the development of communities.

Conclusion

Thus, family members, the community, employers, schools, and local governments provide great support to parents in raising children. Many practices have been developed to support children, offering care for their health and well-being, including adequate emotional development in younger children, good nutrition for middle schoolers, and psychological stability in adolescents. Working parents also receive support from their employers through the monetary packages of help and an established culture of work-life balance.

Reference

Overstreet, L. (2020). Lifespan development. Lumen learning.