Childrearing, Motherhood and Fatherhood in Bangladeshi Culture
Bangladesh, though a small country, has a rich cultural heritage and strong family bonds. Parenting practices mainly follow traditional norms with some exceptions in better-educated and richer families. Parenting practices also differ in urban and rural contexts. Children are raised in an affectionate environment with both parents and with extended family members in most cases. However, there also exist a smaller percentage of single parent families with mothers most commonly as the single parent. Here childrearing practices are mainly focused on ensuring that the children are fed and educated. Parents often have little awareness about early child stimulation and parent-child interaction. Poverty and lack of adequate nutritional and developmental knowledge of the parents leads to malnutrition in over 50 % of children; approximately ten million children are not achieving their developmental potential. Corporal punishment, though not severe, is fairly common. With various programs and public health education campaigns, parenting practices are gradually improving and more and more parents are adopting more beneficial parenting behaviors. However, more optimum practices are yet to be achieved.
KeywordsParenting Practice Maternal Depression Newborn Care Play Computer Game Urban Child
We are grateful to Ms. Shekufeh Zonji, ECD Advisor, Aga Khan Foundation, Afghanistan and Ms. Fardina Mehrin, Senior Psychologist, Child Development Unit, icddr,b (International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh) for their suggestions and editorial assistance.
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