Primary Socialization in the African Family is Paramount...

As the primary duty bearer, the family is the main protective unit for children. It is also the main setup where children are taught the necessary life skills that will enable them to become responsible citizens.

Parents or guardians play a key role in the physical, social and mental development of children. The family also strongly influences a child’s thinking, reactions and actions. But, over the last decades, across the world, this entity is getting weaker and weaker.

The Emergence of a New Generation of Parents in Africa...>

In the African context, families and communities that were once deeply involved in a child’s life are now continuously weakening due to the modern daily stresses and challenges that they are facing. Thus, the protective effects of the family are constantly declining, while the risk factors are on the rise.

There has been mounting evidence that lack of positive parenting contributes to most of the ills that are evident in our societies today. In addition, the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS and its effects on children has led to the emergence of a new generation of child parents trying to raise their siblings, grandparents raising their grandchildren and more and more guardians/foster parents raising adopted children. These new categories of parents are at times ill equipped to shoulder the responsibilities that come with parenting.

The Dire Need for Parenting Support...

As the primary duty bearer, the family is the main protective unit for children. It is also the main setup where children are taught the necessary life skills that will enable them to become responsible citizens.

Children will remain extremely vulnerable unless parenting begins to be regarded as an important skill necessary to provide holistic development for children in Africa. Unlike most of the developed world where support to parents is widely available, parents in Africa largely grapple with parenting without the necessary information and mostly come up with their own mechanisms or stick to what they learn from their own parents; which may not always be the best way. Thus, there is dire need for parenting support and guidelines to ultimately better protect children and enhance their wellbeing.