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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-40

Parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting


Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Date of Submission09-Jan-2017
Date of Acceptance30-Jan-2017
Date of Web Publication13-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Sanaa A Mohamed
Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Cairo University
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2090-6021.206942

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  Abstract 

Background
Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. The definitive objective of parenting is to promote the well-being and development of children.
Aim
The aim of the present study was to explore parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting.
Methods
A descriptive qualitative research design was applied to achieve the aim of the study. A convenient sample of 150 parents of school-aged children and adolescents with different acute and chronic health problems were recruited from outpatient clinics that were affiliated to Cairo University Pediatric Hospitals (El-Monira). Two tools were used in the study; a sociodemographic data sheet for parents and their children, and a structured interviewed questionnaire sheet to explore parents’ perceptions and acceptance of parenting.
Results
The results of the present study revealed that approximately half of the parents expressed that they had not accepted their relationship with their children, and two-thirds of those parents did not interact with their children, as well as did not attended training classes related to parenting. In addition, more than half of parents perceived parenting as a hard task. Finally, the findings showed that parents obtained their perception and acceptance of parenting from three thematic areas: parenting as being embraced by Islam, transferring of cultural values and traditions, and parenting as a challenge.
Conclusions
The present study concluded that each parent perceived parenting from strong interplay of Islamic teachings, sociocultural values and traditions, in addition to the challenges and difficulties of being a parent. Parents had low levels of perception and acceptance of parenting of their school aged and adolescent children. In addition, there was a significant relationship between parents’ perception and the selected sociodemographic variables. The study recommends that outpatient clinics should provide educational programs about parenting regarding different aspects of parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting.

Keywords: acceptance, adolescents, children, parenting, parents, perception, school age


How to cite this article:
Mohamed SA. Parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting. Egypt Nurs J 2017;14:31-40

How to cite this URL:
Mohamed SA. Parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting. Egypt Nurs J [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Apr 23];14:31-40. Available from: http://www.enj.eg.net/text.asp?2017/14/1/31/206942


  Introduction Top


Parenting or child-rearing is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child away from the biological relationship (Palut, 2009). Parenting is considered one of the most important public health issues facing all social systems (Lewig et al., 2010). Grusec and Danyliuk (2014) indicated parenting as a concept that is relevant to many disciplines, including nursing, although it is not identified in nursing studies. Furthermore, they signified that the terms parents and parenting were used inconsistently in the majority of reviewed studies to refer to mothers, fathers, grandmothers, or both mothers and fathers.

The general trend of parenting is that more parents continue to care for their children, and parental responsibilities are culturally strong and resolute. Maternal responsibility includes child care and home making, whereas paternal responsibility includes economic responsibilities and disciplining children. Normally, it is the duty of the family to guide and bring up the child according to the norms and values of the community. Parents are responsible for the psychological and emotional welfare of the child. The parents are mainly answerable to the instructive and career development of their children (Kathryn et al., 2012). Martinez and Garcia (2007) clarified the value of parenting interventions in improving parenting practices by providing parents a chance to increase positive interactions with children and to reduce inconsistent parenting practices, as well as demonstrating the efficacy of parenting interventions, improvement in parental perception, and acceptance of parenting.

Knowledge of parenting can be used by nurses, particularly those who work in areas of children, family, and community health. However, the phenomenon of parenting is not well defined in the nursing literature (Kaufmann et al., 2010). The goals of parenting are commonly consistent across cultures and include keeping children safe from harm, helping them progress through developmental stages, and guiding their moral orientation (Lewig et al., 2010). Furthermore, a positive association has been found between parental self-efficacy and parenting competence when knowledge of child development is high. However, mothers who report high parental self-efficacy but low knowledge are least sensitive in their interactions with their infants (Daniel et al., 2013).

Maridaki-Kassotaki (2009) suggested that highly educated parents are more likely to reject the acceptability of physical punishment of children. Parenting knowledge has also been implicated in parents’ more accurate interpretations of their children’s perception of parenting. In this sense, parenting knowledge may underpin parents’ global cognitive organization for adapting to or anticipating developmental changes in their children, their children have higher cognitive skills, and there are fewer child behavior problems.

Parents’ roles can be organized into five dimensions, each of which has specific influences on child health outcomes: connection − love, behavior control − limit, respect for individuality, modeling of appropriate behavior, provision, and protection (World Health Organization, 2015). These parenting roles, building on those earlier in childhood, are played out in daily interactions with children, especially adolescents. Parents are usually unconscious of the child’s roles and of their potential consequences on health and development (Garbarino et al., 2012).

Parent–child relationships are fundamental to a child’s development and overall well-being. Parental influences extend to virtually all areas of a child’s life (Daniel et al., 2013). Evidence from research and experimental studies shows that parenting practices have a major influence on child development (Sanders and Morawska, 2014). Parent–child interactions affect many different domains of development. Child-focused, responsive, and moderately controlling parenting attitudes have been positively associated with self-esteem, academic achievement, cognitive development, and fewer behavior problems. Furthermore, high warmth and contingent responsiveness promote a wide range of positive developmental outcomes (Chan and Koo, 2008).

During school age, many changes may occur within parents. School-aged children are more independent, better able to care for themselves, and more capable of contributing to chores and other household responsibilities. Most parents discover that routines can be established, and in many ways life seems more settled. However, school-aged children still need parental supervision and guidance. Parents have two tasks that are especially important. The first is learning to allow and encourage the child to enter the new world of school and friends alone. The second is learning to be parents at a distance. Once children enter school, parents spend less than half the time with them as they did before. Parents thus need to be more efficient and more vigilant (Arnett, 2010).

Adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. During this period, adolescents experience rapid and significant physiological, social, psychological, spiritual, and emotional growth and development. It helps parents to know what to perceive and how to support the child through these changes. Many factors such as ethnicity, sex, culture, parents, and community influence adolescents’ development (Scales, 2010).

Besides the role played by socioeconomic status, there is strong empirical evidence suggesting that parents from different cultures and countries can adopt some common and some different culture-specific child-rearing values and goals, according to which they develop appropriate parenting styles (Maridaki-Kassotaki, 2009; Moilanen et al., 2015). Within different countries, country legislation concerning parental matters, as one element of the social context, may indirectly affect parental behaviors, despite the growing interest in the investigation of parenting styles during childhood and adolescence (Olivari et al., 2015).

Parents’ perception about child development and the nature and causes of their child’s behavior have been examined − for example, mothers of adolescents who reported more positive, more realistic perception and acceptance about parenting, children, and the parent–child relationship had children with better coping skills, as rated through observation. Realistic expectations about child abilities have been related to greater child socioemotional and cognitive competencies (Garcia and Gracia, 2009). Palut (2009) focused on the interactive nature of the parent–child relationship, especially emphasizing children’s contribution. The various differences in children exhibited at birth are being recognized as sources of infant behavior, which shape parental perception.

Children can represent a challenge to their parents that can be met with either acceptance or unacceptance. The measurement of parental acceptance is a key component of rational parenting and how parent education programs can implement rational parenting and parental acceptance. Parents’ acceptance of parenting means that parents fully accept themselves whether they succeed at important parenting tasks, whether they have the approval of significant others or not, and whether parents aim to improve their own perception of parenting (Gavita, 2011).

Parental acceptability of children was perceived by parents to be foundational for a healthy adolescent–parent communication. Perceptions of adolescents tended to point to more open and frequent communication with mothers than fathers and to friendly relationships with mothers. Fathers were perceived by adolescents to be strict, intimidating, unapproachable, and unavailable (Muhwezi et al., 2015). Parents are central to adolescents’ lives, and extensive research shows that parents can influence adolescent decision making in positive ways (Leslie, 2015).


  Significance of the study Top


Parenting is a process that prepares a child for independence. As the child grows and develops, there are many things parents can do to help the child. These things will help parents to learn and perceive more about the child’s development, positive parenting, accepting parenting, safety, and health at each stage of the child’s life. Having a baby is an exciting time for parents. Learning about each developmental stage can help parents face challenges and gain opportunities for parenting (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015), despite the fact that data relating to parents’ perceptions and acceptance of parenting are not easily accessible in the literature, especially in nursing. Thus far, very few studies have argued about this subject of parenting from a social and cultural perspective involving Arab–Muslim parents. Consequently, the author has emphasized more on how parents perceive and accept parenting. Findings of the present study will help concerned organizations as well as social-care and healthcare providers to plan and implement appropriate intervention to enhance and promote parenting knowledge and skills.


  Aim of the study Top


The aim of the present study was to explore parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting.


  Research questions Top


The study results answered the following questions.

RQ1: How parents perceive and accept parenting?

RQ2: Does a significant statistical relationship exist between certain demographic factors (parents’ sex, residence, mother’s employment) and parents’ knowledge about parenting?


  Design Top


A descriptive qualitative research design was used in the present study to provide parents the chance and autonomy to discuss their views and profound perception and acceptance of parenting.


  Methods Top


Sample

Data were collected from a convenient sample of 150 parents of school-aged and adolescent children with different acute and chronic health problems such as thalassemia, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, enterocolitis, etc. This sample represents a variety of social, economic, educational, and cultural background of parents and children.

Inclusion criteria

Married parents who volunteered to participate and met inclusion criteria of having at least two children of school age or adolescents were invited to participate in the study.

Exclusion criteria

Divorced parents were excluded.

Setting

The present study was conducted at different outpatient clinics at Cairo University Specialized Pediatric Hospitals (El-Monira), such as blood disorders, endocrinology, and medicine outpatient clinics.

Data collection tools

The required tools used to collect data for the present study were as follows.
  1. A sociodemographic data sheet was developed by the researcher after an extensive review of related literature, which included questions about demographic characteristics of parents and their school-aged and adolescent children, such as, age, sex, level of education, occupation, etc.
  2. A structured interview questionnaire sheet was used explore parents’ perceptions and acceptance of parenting. Some questions were selected from the Parental Perception Questionnaire by Pasquali and Araújo (1986). Other questions were developed by the researcher after an extensive review of related literature, such as ‘What is your familiarity as a parent?’, ‘Tell me about the difficulties you are facing as a parent?’ etc. Other questions pertaining to acceptance of parenting and whether the participants received any training classes about parenting, in addition to questions related to parents’ knowledge about parenting were asked − for example, what do you consider about parenting? What does parenting mean to you? How has becoming a parent changed your life? A four-point Likert Scale was used to assess answers ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree).


Scoring system

For the structured interview questionnaire sheet, a four-point Likert Scale that ranged from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree) was used. Total knowledge score above 75% or more was considered good, a score between 50% and less than 75% was considered average, and high scores on the perception and acceptance of parenting questions indicated positive perception and acceptance of parenting.

Validity and reliability

Content validity of the structured interview questionnaire sheet was determined by submitting it to a panel of four pediatric nursing experts. Modifications of the tools were carried out according to the panel’s judgment on clarity of sentences, appropriateness of content, sequence of items, and accuracy of scoring and recording of items. Test–retest reliability was performed to confirm reliability of the second tool. The findings from validity and reliability tests suggested that the tools could be viable and might be used for data collection in the present study. The α coefficient reliability was 0.86.

Data collection procedures

Interviews with parents were conducted early in the morning at outpatient clinics. The researcher met parents of school-aged and adolescent children with different acute and chronic health problems (such as thalassemia, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, enterocolitis, etc.). Data collection began with a self-introduction by the researcher and explanation about the purpose of the study to obtain parents’ acceptance and cooperation. Semistructured, one-on-one interviews with open-ended and closed questions were used related to parents’ perception, acceptance, and knowledge about parenting. Statements and expressions were transcribed to validate the uniformity and incidence of themes throughout interviews. The interviews were carried out in the nurses’ room at the outpatient clinics. Parents were interviewed individually 3 days weekly until required sample numbers were reached. The purpose of the interview was to complete the study tools − first the sociodemographic data sheet, and then the structured interview questionnaire sheet. The duration of each interview was 30–45 min. Data collection continued for 4 months, from January to April 2016.

Ethical considerations

The investigator obtained required official permissions from the director of the outpatient clinics at Cairo University Specialized Pediatric Hospitals (El-Monira) to conduct the study. The nature and purpose of the study were explained to the parents. Moreover, parents who agreed to participate voluntarily were asked to sign a written informed consent. To ensure privacy of participants and confidentiality of data, parents were asked to abstain from revealing their names, and they were also assured that their replies would be used for research purposes only.


  Results Top


Demographic characteristics revealed that more than half (54.67%) of parents were living in urban areas, and 46% had moderate educational levels. Mothers represented more than half (54.7%) of the sample, with an age range of 20–29 years, and most of them were homemakers. Fathers represented 47.33% of the participants and their ages ranged from 30 to 39 years ([Table 1]). [Figure 1] illustrates that approximately more than three-quarters (78%) of the children were aged 13.50±1.9 years.
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of parents and their children

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Figure 1: Age distribution of children.

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In relation to parents’ acceptance of parenting, [Table 2] shows that 48% of parents expressed that they had not yet accepted a relationship with their children, and 71.3% of parents did not interact with their children. The quality of relationship from the parents’ point of view was normal in more than half (52.6%). Most (84%) of them did not attended training classes related to parenting, and three-quarters (75.3%) of those parents requested to attend training classes about parenting. In addition, more than half (57.3%) of the parents perceived parenting as a hard task. Finally, most (80.7%) of the parents revealed that they required continuous training for parenting skills.
Table 2: Parents’ acceptance of parenting in percentage distribution

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Concerning parents’ knowledge about parenting, findings of the present study indicated that there were a significant statistical relationships between parents–child interaction and parents’ sex, parents’ knowledge about parenting and residence, parents’ knowledge about parenting, and mothers’ employment (P<0.001, <0.02, <0.01, and <0.01, respectively) ([Table 3],[Table 4],[Table 5]).
Table 3: Parents’ knowledge about parenting in relation to parent sex

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Table 4: Parents’ knowledge about parenting in relation to residence

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Table 5: Parents’ knowledge about parenting in relation to mother’s employment status

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Three thematic areas regarding parents’ perception of parenting from a cultural perspective emerged − influenced by Islam, transfer of cultural values and traditions, and parenting as a challenge.

Influenced by Islam

Parents expressed their beliefs in terms of the characters, responsibilities, and duties of parents toward their children as stated in Islam. Parents emphasized on the Islamic teaching and principles that they should follow when bringing up their children, which are based on the fulfillment of the five essentials of Islam. One parent said, ‘Islam ordered us to bring up our children on Islamic principles and frames and to teach religious duties and practices’. Parents stressed the teachings of Islam, which emphasize the rights of children to be appropriately raised. This includes the right to a nice name, the best education, fair and equitable treatment, and the right to receive basic psychological and physical needs (Al-Azhar University & United Nations Children’s Fund, 2009).

Parents focused on their duties in promoting decent child behavior according to Islamic principles highlighting morality and ethics. These duties included teaching their children ‘respect and obedience’ and what is right and wrong. One mother said, ‘The most important thing is fairness, and nondiscrimination between boys and girls as stated in Qur’an’. Another mother said, ‘Children are great gifts, and big beauty from Allah, their development and education are important and a big responsibility first in front of Allah and then toward our community’.

Transfer of cultural values and traditions

Parents, in this theme, recognized the significance and the role of sociocultural values and traditions in forming personalities of the future generation. Parents believed that they have a responsibility toward spreading existing cultural values and norms for the stability of cultural experiences. Parents mentioned about various means and ways to transfer values and traditions, such as socialization, education, and disciplining children, which must be constant with the social, cultural, and Islamic principles. One mother said, ‘The role of the father or the mother is to supervise and direct their children; it is no longer practicing authority of parents or the dictatorship over your children! There must be a dialog, communication and discussion with the children’. One father said, ‘To treat your child like a brother means avoid being violent with him and use kindness to persuade him or her with your opinion; children need to be allowed to say their opinions in all aspects of life’. Another father said, ‘parenting is a process shared by the father and mother for educating and upbringing of children based on love and affection as stated in Islam’ (Oweis et al., 2012).

Upbringing children is a great responsibility that rests on the mother more than the father because she spends more time with her children. One mother said, ‘parents require observing their children and supervising them from a distance, to make sure that things are going well. It is a shame for the parents to use punishment and emphasize cultural laws and regulations. Parents discussed the relationship between them and their children to include both affection and control as essential components of a healthy relationship’. Another mother said, ‘I strongly believe in the Arabic poem that says the mothers is a school, if prepare well, she will prepare a good nation’.

Parenting as a challenge; carving in a rock

In this theme, parents interpreted parenting as a challenging task within the given situation of the current socioeconomic changes, globalization, and rapid technological changes. These challenges are perceived as threats to the process of parenting, resulting in losing control over children and losing the core of sociocultural traditions, values, beliefs, and the Islamic spirit. One father said, ‘Parenting and nurturing are different these days because of globalization, emergence of computers and Internet, we lost control of the way we raise our children, we need now to take into consideration the effect of these things and we have to be careful’. A mother clarified, ‘Providing food, shelter, clothing and psychological comfort, security and stability to grow soundly away from the complexity and psychological crises affect the way I raise my children, I feel sad when I cannot do what I need to do’ (Capitello et al., 2014).

Parents expressed that parenting in the current, existing situation of globalization and open access to information and values of other cultures requires special skills and competencies that were not passed to them by their parents. Raising children is perceived to be a long life process and a challenge for parents. Parents also mentioned challenges with respect to sex issues. Parents indicated differences in the way they raised their boys compared with girls. One father said, ‘Parenting a boy is like carving in the rock’. Mothers expressed the difficulties associated with parenting a girl, ‘The burden of girls is from birth to death’ (‘ham al banat lal mamat’, indicating that care of girls ends with death) ([Figure 2]).
Figure 2: Sex distribution of children.

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  Discussion Top


The present study focused on exploring parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting. Regarding demographic characteristics, the study’s findings revealed that more than half of the parents were living in urban areas and these findings are not in agreement with Bastien et al. (2011), who reported that the majority of parents in their study lived in rural areas. A few other studies have shown that there were no significance differences between urban and rural areas in relation to residence (Texas Center for Educational Technology, 2010).

In this study, mothers represented about more than half of the sample, were aged from 20 to 29 years, and most of them were housewives, which is in agreement with Savard et al. (2013), who demonstrated that mothers’ age during their child’s adolescence positively correlated with knowledge of parenting. From the researcher’s point of view, the younger age of mothers showed that they had not accepted their relationship with their children in the present study.

Regarding children’s age, in the present study, more than three-quarters of children were adolescents; the mean age of those children was 13.50±1.9, which related to the struggle that is most common in parents of the adolescents. While in the study by Bastien et al. (2011), who recorded that almost of children in preschool age which is less parents struggle. In addition to females are more submissive, some studies indicated that parenting and physical punishments are applied more toward boys than girls (Dwairy and Menshar, 2006).

Parents highlighted that sex fairness between boys and girls appear to be an integral part of parenting. More specifically, parenting emphasizes the right for education and healthcare (Oweis et al., 2012). The present study represented that 46% had moderate educational levels. This is similar to the findings of Samah, 2011, who found that educated mothers in the village have a child-rearing policy that is highly verbal using positive reinforcement to gain children’s compliance. In addition, it was observed that in urban communities, on the other hand, the authoritarian style was more predominant in parenting female adolescents.

In particular, socioeconomic level is an important variable that can explain the typical parenting profile, which may differ by socioeconomic status and parents’ characteristics. For example, parents in the region who have higher levels of education and higher socioeconomic status may be more likely than other parents to encourage their children’s self-efficacy (Texas Center for Educational Technology , 2010). These findings are in agreement with the findings of the present study, which described that there were a significant statistical relationships between parents–child interaction and parents’ sex, parents’ knowledge about parenting and residence, parents’ knowledge about parenting and income, and parents’ knowledge about parenting and mothers’ employment. In addition, there were significant differences between parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting and high education levels within many countries in this region.

Researchers have long argued that parenting is affected by socioeconomic status, and several studies confirm this hypothesis (Olivari et al., 2015). Chen et al. (2007) emphasized that parental education correlated positively with parenting for both parents, whereas they correlated negatively with parenting for mothers. In a study by Maridaki-Kassotaki (2009), 31% children had mothers who were highly involved in their school activities who had less than high school education, whereas 70% had highly involved mothers who had graduate or professional school experience. This study showed that 10% of children had fathers with less than high school education and were actively involved in school, whereas 41% of children had fathers who were graduates. A parent’s lack of education and/or low literacy level has a negative effect on involvement in parenting.

However, another study reported by Muhwezi et al. (2015) showed that mothers with high educational level had more knowledge about parenting, and there was a significant correlation between mothers’ occupation and knowledge about parenting. Children of parents with high school education or higher were more likely to have parents who were highly involved in their schools. Additional evidence can be derived from the study by von der Lippe (2009), which showed that less-educated mothers reported less parenting skills compared with highly educated mothers.

Studies by Ontai and Mastergeorge (2010) and Huang et al. (2015) indicated that when parents have higher knowledge of infant and child development, they show higher levels of parenting skills. These results are in agreement with the present study results, which showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between parent–child interaction and parents’ knowledge about parenting.

With regard to parents’ acceptance of parenting, findings of the present study indicated that almost all parents had low levels of perception and acceptance of parenting, which was interpreted by the fact that parents were not allowed to interact with their children, they did not attend training classes related to parenting, and almost all parents requested for training classes about parenting because they perceived parenting as a hard task. These findings are in disagreement with Savard et al. (2013), who demonstrated that parenting practices can also differ within a culture over time, and acceptance of parenting is a unique and special relationship between parents and their children, learned and transferred through generations, and play a central role in the cognitive, language, social, and emotional development of children.

Although parents of school-aged and adolescent children in the present study recognized parenting as a shared responsibility between father and mother to foster and care for their children, some believed that parenting is the sole responsibility of the mother (Moilanen et al., 2015). Moilanen et al. (2015) highlighted that in middle-class families, parent–child relationships were more acceptant, whereas in working-class families they were oriented towards discipline and obedience.

Parents’ perceptions of parenting were from three thematic areas such as being embraced by Islam, transfer of cultural values and traditions, and parenting as a challenge. Parents’ interpretations of their childhood experiences and the way they were raised and reared by their parents are essential components of raising their perception of parenting (Flick, 2009). Garcia and Gracia (2009) reported that parents perceived parenting from only two themes and reflected the strong influence of Islam and Arab traditions and values on their perceptions. These results disagree with the present results that explore parenting from three themes.

The objective of parenting in Islam is reliable through cultures and includes keeping children safe from harm, helping them progress through developmental stages, and guiding their moral orientation. According to the Qur’an, the holy book of Muslims, progeny is a gift from the Almighty Allah to his faithful servants (Musa, 2013). Parents place a strong emphasis on the need to adhere to Islamic teachings when raising children. Furthermore, Islam sets forth that the objective of parenting is to secure a wholesome psychological climate for rearing children, so that they are able to learn about the world and communicate their traditions and norms. In addition, Islamic teaching supports the right to healthcare, education and achievement of skills, a dignified and secure life, and a society that protects children’s rights (Al-Azhar University & United Nations Children’s Fund, 2009).

Oweis et al. (2012) clarified that Arab–Islamic cultures consider care and protection of children to be the responsibility of the family, in agreement with the present study’s findings; although some participants in the present study identified parenting as a shared responsibility between the father and the mother, others believed that it is the responsibility of the mother.

The allocation of cultural values and traditions appeared to be strong, reflecting the influence of the Egyptian–Arab culture. This explains similarity in participants’ views about parenting despite the use of a fairly large sample in this study. The word traditions emerged repeatedly in parents’ answers, which signals that parents respect their traditions and customs and consider them to be among their major sources to guide them in raising their children. Parents believe that they have a responsibility toward the transmission of existing cultural values and norms from generation to generation to sustain continuity of cultural experiences. Culture usually shapes parenting values, goals, beliefs, and practices, as well as influences who plays the parenting role. If culture sets the stage, learning and experience shape the differences of an individual’s parenting behavior (Oweis et al., 2012).

Raising children is one of the most complicated and challenging tasks and encompasses a gradual shaping of the child into a person capable of living in the society and generating values and skills (Capitello et al., 2014). In the present study, parents emphasized the challenges they faced in providing good education and setting a disciplinary system that is based on guidance and obedience. Formal and informal education of both girls and boys is considered a ‘social weapon’ against future challenges and guarantees a secure life, especially for girls. The teaching of obedience, respect, and guidance were highly emphasized as ways of the social Islamic disciplinary system. God urges children to obey their parents because being a parent holds a place ‘second only to God’. Parents state that ‘obedience to parents is obedience to God’. Islam grants parents the right to guide and discipline their children and bring them up in accordance with the rules of Islam (Al-Azhar University & United Nations Children’s Fund, 2009).


  Conclusion Top


The findings of the present study show that each parent perceived parenting from a strong interplay of Islamic teachings, sociocultural values, and traditions in addition to the challenges and difficulties of being a parent. Parents had low levels of perception and acceptance of parenting of their school-aged and adolescent children. In addition, there was a significant relationship between parents’ perception and selected sociodemographic variables; these results supported the study’s research questions.

Recommendations

On the basis of these results, the following are recommended.
  1. Outpatient clinics should provide services on educational programs on parenting regarding the different aspects of parents’ perception and acceptance of parenting.
  2. Proper counseling is needed for couples before they marry to obtain more knowledge regarding parenting.
  3. Future studies emphasizing on indicators of successful parenting and parenting challenges are needed.
[35]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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