Early Childhood in India: Types of Family Configurations and Children with Disabilities

Doorsteptutor material for IMO-Level-2 is prepared by world's top subject experts: fully solved questions with step-by-step explanation- practice your way to success.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 293K)

Types of Family Configurations

  • In India, there are many kinds of households ranging from a small unit of parents and child, to extended members such as families with grandparents living together. Some children may grow up with many children and learn a lot by modeling older siblings or cousins. The adult-child interactions and opportunity to bond with people vary, depending on the number of adults and how they get along with each other.

  • At times, single women face discrimination and subsequently children also feel the brunt of their mother’s social positioning. Women who have lost their husband face violence and humiliation at times, from their husband’s families as well as in their own. They are commonly denied inheritance rights, and often forced to live on their own.

  • As sole breadwinners of their families, they struggle to provide for their children and constitute a large percentage of the marginally employed and unemployed. Upbringing of children of such women is also compromised as a result of poor economic status and facilities.

  • Other family configurations include adopted children. In case of finding home for abandoned children, care should be taken to create a responsive and loving environment. In some situations, there are alternate families with children being adopted or born through surrogacy or In vitro fertilization.

Children with Disabilities

Children with Disabilities

Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities are among the most marginalized and excluded groups in the society. Many do not complete primary or higher education. An effort is being made by both government and private schools to bring children with disabilities into the mainstream. Families will need to address the special requirements of children who have special conditions. Often, there is need for extra care by parents. Children who are not disabled often need counseling to understand the differences in ability and learn to reach out to all with empathy.

Migrants

  • Employed in the unorganized sector, semi-skilled and unskilled migrants are vulnerable. These range from exclusion from access to basic services and livelihood support, exploitative working conditions gender-based wage discrimination, and the denial of maternity rights and access to childcare services (with implications for child welfare). Seasonal migration is also particularly disruptive for children, often leading to denial of a child’s right to education.

  • So, the status of children varies in terms of demography based on opportunity and social geography (location and social position). In our country, there is a wide range of circumstances in which children lead their lives. The statistics and social attitudes reveal that the present state of affairs is not equal for all children. A lot needs to be done to provide wholesome care to develop their potential to the fullest.

Impact of Early Childhood on Subsequent Life

  • During the early years, the children need to grow in a stimulating, happy, caring and healthy environment that provides opportunities for exploration, experimentation, freedom of movement, interactions, good food and nutrition, toys and objects for proper development and learning.

  • Research on early child development and education has established the positive impact of such an environment on the development of the children. On the other hand, if the child is brought up in a dull environment, does not get proper nutrition, faces abuse or neglect or falls sick frequently, it will have adverse effects on the development of the child.

  • It is not necessary that adverse childhood experiences that influence children’s development are only one-time dramatic events. These can be daily routine events where children face chronic daily exposure to maltreatment, poor parenting and other adversities that damage developmental health of children.

  • Such situations can be avoided, and the effects of early adversity can be moderated by a wide range of factors, from sensitive parenting, extended family support, counseling, provision of facilities, community-level social support and supportive childcare services.

  • Individuals exposed to adverse childhood experiences tend to be less equipped to take on a parenting role when they are adults and, in the context of adverse circumstances and the absence of some form of social support and/or intervention, they are more likely to adopt inappropriate parenting behaviors and perpetuate a cycle of negative and adverse parenting across generations.

Developed by: