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Introduction

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Parenting and bringing up children is a complex process of supporting and promoting emotional, physical, social and intellectual development. The skills children develop from a very young age help the child to flourish later in life. These skills are supported by effective parenting and therefore as a parent, you play a very significant role in their life.

Consensus on effective parenting shifts and changes with the times. Despite this, there is agreement on the benefits of consistency, routines, boundaries, choices, honesty and fairness in one’s parenting. However, children are individuals. What works for one child may not work for another. As such, much research is conducted on best parenting practices.

One topic which dominates the family research field is the concept of discipline. It is understood that inconsistent discipline in preschool-aged children can be a risk factor for adverse development (ARACY, 2015). Conversely, providing social connections, being a nurturing parent and encouraging cognitive stimulation are all understood as protective factors, which buffers the influence of risk factors (ARACY, 2015).

Parenting older children provides different opportunities for engagement. AIFS found that most adolescents seek help for their everyday personal and emotional problems from their parents and friends, rather than from health professionals (Gray & Daraganova 2017). As such, understanding how to respond to adolescents who are seeking help is important in establishing appropriate pathways of care.

The August-September survey sought to explore people’s experiences of parenting, looking at the concepts of emotional support, discipline and support in children’s interests.

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