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The science and practice of parenting: Implications for peace building

Patrick Sibanda, Mandlenkosi Moyo

Abstract


This article discusses the science and practice of parenting. It unravels the system and process of parenting through exploration of various theories and strategies that are involved in the definition of ideal parenting. The article explores how parenting can either contribute to peace building or to violent behaviour in later life. The article critically considers the theories of parenting, which include the attachment and the social learning theories. In that context, various parenting styles are examined to establish best practices of parenting. Ideal parenting is perceived as one of the strategic factors in minimizing or promoting the prevalence of violence in community settings. This article implores how imperative it is for communities to deliberately invest in the natural and strategic institution of family by empowering contemporary parents and young people who are future parents in the science and practice of parenting. This leads to the conclusion that if the parenting processes are by and large positive, then they will automatically lead to a healthy living of the child in his or her later adult life. Such would manifest in a non-violent peace loving personality as a function of good, positive parenting. On the contrary, negative parenting is the major source of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) which can be a barrier to peace building initiatives. In the ultimate, the article recommends the adoption of a holistic approach to parenting, that is, the merging of multiple theoretical approaches and practices. This recommendation is premised on the hypothetical notion that the ideal parenting style is one which draws from the various styles and theoretical models utilising the strengths of each as a way of coming up with the ideal strategy. It is further recommended therefore that for parenting to be improved, it is important that a special academic discipline on parenting is created.


References


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