species of the Earth, human babies are among the most dependant creatures, needing the help of their parents through childhood, adolescence and sometimes even early youth. The main priority when raising children is to make sure they’ll grow to be independent, responsible adults. Most psychology schools agree that early childhood is the most important period in a child’s development. That is when they learn to speak, to express their needs and worries, and mainly, to communicate and understand the world surrounding them.

 

The comparison may be uncouth, but children do need some training, much like a pet does. Until the age of reason, parents must use rules, punishment and reward in order to install some order in their children’s forming minds. Many parents try to protect their children as much as possible, avoiding to give them tasks or chores around the house. This could result in a rebellious attitude later on, provoked by the fact that they feel they are entitled to receive anything they want without working for it.

Though we’ve grown as a species since the age of child labor, parents mustn’t be afraid to lay some responsibilities on their children. This is important in child development as it makes them feel like they have a role in the family, and teaches them how to work in a team, a skill they will surely use as adults. Some parents trying to do the best for their children by showing them what hard work and discipline are may end up confusing education with the army. Short haircuts and a heavy chore list will not teach a child about discipline, but how to avoid and disrespect it. On the other hand, there are parents who adopt a more liberal education of their children, and offer them no structure in which they can develop. So you might find that your daughter got a very short haircut just because she is trying to challenge your authority.

It’s good to try and be friends with your children. You want them to trust and confide in you, but this might prove to diminish your authority when you need to make a point. Try and balance these two attitudes, and you will avoid a lot of confusion for yourself and your children. Another issue you should try and avoid is comparing your children. Not everyone is the same, and it isn’t fair to ask for the same from, say, both children. We all have different types of intelligence and skills, and comparing brothers might lead them into ill competitions. Parenting is, much like childhood, a period of learning and accommodating, and communication is the best tool to get you through both.