Advances in Science and Technology
Advances in science and technology have shown the importance of effective parenting techniques and strategies that help children to grow. These advances have helped to understand the parents’ critical role as sensitive caregivers who not only promote children’s growth but buffer children from the effects of negative genes and negative life experiences. They also help to understand the complexity of the growth process and the need for parental involvement in more areas and for longer times than previously thought.
A parent’s daily interactions with a child can foster positive self-esteem, intellectual growth, and self-regulation behaviors that will help the child reach his or her full potential. Sensitive parents who are observant and flexible to the innate needs of the child’s temperament can help the child develop essential life skills and qualities. Knowledge of genetics, neurobiology, temperament, and cognitive development help parents understand their child’s development better and help them foster positive behaviors and self-esteem within the child.
To illustrate these points, let us look at advances in genetics, neurobiology, and temperament.
Genetic research has revealed that each human has up to 25,000 genes and each gene is more versatile than previously thought. Genes can produce several proteins depending on messages they receive from other cells, other genes, and hormones triggered by the environment. Genes not only produce chemical changes in their environment, the environment triggers changes in the ways genes function and the proteins they produce. The focus now is on the operations of the gene, and the dynamic interplay between DNA and its environment (Brooks, 2013).
Scientists discovered that there are three influences on a gene—a gene’s specific function, chemical changes in the body, and the environmental effects of parenting. Research has demonstrated that a child’s genetic make-up affects the way they respond to parent’s behaviors. Certain insensitive or negative parenting behaviors will increase behaviors like aggression. Alternatively, positive and sensitive parenting behaviors can reduce the impact of traumatic experiences on children (Brooks, 2013).
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