There’s a fine balance between confidence and humility. STUDIO GRAND WEB/Shutterstock
Parents today spend more time with their children than ever before. Yet, at the same time, they worry more than previous generations about doing enough – believing a lack of engagement may harm their child’s future success and wellbeing. This can have negative impacts. Increased social pressures on mothers to be engaged with their children, compared to fathers, is negatively affecting maternal wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic and home schooling intensified this. This raises an important question: how much attention is enough? Is it harmful to leave your child to their own devices? Should you ever ignore a child? Or conversely, can you overly engage with your child? As is usually the case with child development, the answer is somewhere in the middle (and most parents, reassuringly, are doing “enough”).
We know that a supportive parenting approach is important for child development. Attachment theory states that when a baby has its needs met by a parent or primary caregiver in an appropriate and consistent way, they are more likely to go on to develop a secure attachment to that person.
This helps them to feel more confident in themselves and the world, leading to more positive cognitive, social and emotional development. However, while secure attachment is important, ever rising levels of attention won’t necessarily increase it proportionally. Instead, it is important to carefully consider the degree of engagement and balance this with supporting children to reach appropriate stages of resilience and independence…..Continue reading…..
Children’s health includes the physical, mental and social well-being of children. Maintaining children’s health implies offering them healthy foods, insuring they get enough sleep and exercise, and protecting their safety. Children in certain parts of the world often suffer from malnutrition, which is often associated with other conditions, such diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.
Emergencies and conflicts pose detrimental risks to the health, safety, and well-being of children. There are many different kinds of conflicts and emergencies, e.g. wars and natural disasters. As of 2010 approximately 13 million children are displaced by armed conflicts and violence around the world. Where violent conflicts are the norm, the lives of young children are significantly disrupted and their families have great difficulty in offering the sensitive and consistent care that young children need for their healthy development.
Studies on the effect of emergencies and conflict on the physical and mental health of children between birth and 8 years old show that where the disaster is natural, the rate of PTSD occurs in anywhere from 3 to 87 percent of affected children. However, rates of PTSD for children living in chronic conflict conditions varies from 15 to 50 percent.
Children are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than adults. The World Health Organization estimated that 88% of the existing global burden of disease caused by climate change affects children under five years of age. A Lancet review on health and climate change lists children as the worst-affected category by climate change. Children under 14 are 44 percent more likely to die from environmental factors, and those in urban areas are disproportionately impacted by lower air quality and overcrowding.
Children are physically more vulnerable to climate change in all its forms. Climate change affects the physical health of children and their well-being. Prevailing inequalities, between and within countries, determine how climate change impacts children. Children often have no voice in terms of global responses to climate change.
People living in low-income countries experience a higher burden of disease and are less capable of coping with climate change-related threats. Nearly every child in the world is at risk from climate change and pollution, while almost half are at extreme risk.
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