Parents, in general, don’t need tips on child caring. They, most of the times, stay well aware about their action plan for the betterment of their kids. Children’s health and education always remains on top of their minds. The sad part is that not everyone is able to afford the best in the market for his or her youngsters. There are many, in fact majority, who lack enough financial strength to fulfill even the basic requirements of their children. A few others, besides being poor, lack awareness due to less or no education.
The country, according to the Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report for 2016, has the highest number of deaths among children in the world due to these illnesses with nearly three lakh children dying last year alone. Five percent of patients suffering from different types of cancer, as per the latest Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) statistics, are below the age of 18 years. Every year, there are 45,000 new cases of cancer patients who are under teen age. Measles, which affects an estimated 2.5 million children every year in the country, claimed 49 000 of them in 2015.
Different patterns of raising children will further deepen socio-economic divisions
One thing remained common in most of the victims. They belonged to poor families. Though the governments, on their part, have been taking a few initiatives, the gap between the class differences in child rearing seems to be widening. Ruled by calendars and stopwatches, children from well-off families get enroled in extra-curricular activities, sports and after-school programs. Additionally, their parents spend a lot of time in making sure that they do well in schools and colleges.
In a poor family, and even lower middle class one, children tend to spend their time alone at home or with extended family. Generally, they are on their own most of the day as both their parents go to work. Growing up in neighborhoods, many of them become victim of inferiority complex or wrong company. Their parents worry about them getting involved in improper, indecent and illegal activities. When underprivileged families don’t have enough to make two ends meet, how would they think of or afford better health and education for their kids. Boosting extra skills of their kids remain a secondary thing for these parents.
Different patterns of raising children, according to experts, will further deepen socioeconomic divisions. After all, education is directly linked to future income. While one set of children grow up learning the skills to succeed in their socioeconomic stratum, others fail to do so due to resource crunch. And this vicious cycle continues. The underprivileged children grow up and get married. Like their parents, they too have less time and fewer resources to invest in the next generation of their families. On the other hand, children from well-to-do families grow up well and take care of their kids accordingly.
There is no ultimate parenting style. Everyone does the best to raise his or her children. Besides general public, government authorities and NGOs need to come forward and find ways to fill this gap. Addressing disparities in the earliest years is likely to reduce inequality in the next generation. Upgrading the services at public hospitals and enhancing the quality of education at government schools may go a long a way in achieving a comparatively egalitarian society, which is crucial for a balanced growth of a country.