Early Childhood in India: Child Rearing Practices in India: Ancient Society with a Cultural Heritage

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Child Rearing Practices in India

Child Rearing Practices in India

Child Rearing Practices in India

  • India is an ancient society with a cultural heritage of more than 5,000 years. It is a pluralistic, diverse country with diverse customs and beliefs about child-rearing practices throughout the country.

  • Child rearing practices are those practices which are grounded in cultural patterns and beliefs and are adopted by the parents and caregivers for the care and upbringing of the child.

  • At birth and during the first year of life, the child is at the greatest risk of mortality. That may be why there are so many beliefs and practices within traditional cultures that surround the birth of a child. It is recognized as a critical time for both the child and the mother.

  • Where a period of confinement is a part of the tradition; it allows the mother time to recover physically and to bond with the child before she is required to assume her tasks. The negative side of this practice is that it may keep the mother from getting medical care that she requires.

  • During the post-partum and early infancy stages, the child is completely dependent on others for care. Generally, the mother is the primary caregiver, sometimes with considerable support from others and sometimes alone. She is responsible for providing all the things an infant needs: protection from physical danger; adequate nutrition and health care; an adult who can understand and respond to signals; things to look at, touch, hear, smell, and taste; opportunities to explore the world; appropriate language stimulation; and an adult with whom to form an attachment.

  • The level of support the mother receives from others in the family and from society plays an important role in the kind of care she is able to provide during this time. Thus, the cultural patterns surrounding the role of the father, other family members and the community during this period are important for the child’s survival and development.

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