Interviewee's background and Induction into Parenthood
The interview was carried out with a mother of five as the interviewee. Her name is Mrs. Magima and she had her first-born child when she twenty years old. She gave birth to twins who then passed on during the first month. She felt that becoming a mother at the age of twenty was somehow too soon. However, since she was married and was getting a lot of pressure from her in-laws to her a child, she convinced herself that it was the right thing to do. She felt that she was naive and inexperienced to start a family but decided that she would learn the necessary skills for raising a family once she had a family to take care of.
When she was pregnant for the first time, everything was new and strange. She did not have a person guiding her or giving her assurance. She reported that she had to undergo a lot of changes. Because it was her first experience, she concluded that that is how pregnancy experiences are like. When she gave birth, she was thrilled that she now had become a mother. Unfortunately, one of the twins died during the first week. The loss was devastating. She was torn between the loss and the blessing that she still had one child. In a couple of weeks, the surviving child developed health complications and passed on as well. The loss was numbing, and she had to struggle a lot before she could process it. After some years, she decided to get pregnant again. She reported the pregnancy to have been easier compared to the previous one. The following births were normal.
Mrs. Magima reported that she and her husband preferred specific sleeping arrangements for the children. Sleeping spaces were allocated depending on the gender of the child and the age. Sleeping spaces were allocated with permanence, and sleeping arrangements were maintained even when visitors had to spend the night. She claimed that her children are possessive and that she wanted them to feel assured and safe in their home.
Exposure to Media at Different Developmental Stages
At infancy, Mrs. Magima didnt have any rules governing exposure to media. Between the ages of 2-7, she allowed the children unlimited time to access the media as a reward for accomplishing a task and obeying the rules. However, media content was filtered, and she guided her children on the allowed materials with and without a supervisor in the house. In the age bracket of 7-11 years, exposure to media was controlled in terms of time and content. Media time was limited to 4 hours a day, often, with a guardian present.
Education and Preschool Enrollment
Mrs. Magima took her children to preschool between the ages of 3-5 years. The decision to enroll a child in preschool would be guided by various factors. For instance, the childs developmental ability which she referred as being bright enough to fit in a class setting is an important aspect to assess before enrolling a child to preschool (Jacques & Marcovitch, 2010). She said that some kids were too bright and jumpy to control and hence it was safer to have them in school. Picking the schools was based on its distance from her home, cost of the school, quality of the schools education and the reputation of the teachers.
Mrs. Magima disciplines her children using various approaches. Sometimes she denies a child their desires to pay for their mistakes. It is also known as withdrawing rewards or negative reinforcement. She also rewards good behavior to reinforce it. On examination, her discipline is administered using positive and negative reinforcement to encourage or discourage the likelihood that a child will repeat the behavior (Kraynok, Seifert, Hoffnung, & Hoffnung, 2017). She reported that her parenting skills are derived from her general approach to life and that she learned the skills from her parents parenting styles.
What the Interviewee has Learned from her Children
She reported that she has learned how to parent better through her children. Also, the children gave her an opportunity to explore herself, take self-assessment and increase her level of self-awareness. She was surprised by her efficiency in parenting because she used to be anxious and felt like she would fail as a parent since she had not parented before. She was also surprised by the learning ability of an infant.
The Hardest and the Most Rewarding Part of Becoming a Parent
The most challenging aspect of parenting is disciplining. For Mrs. Magima she reported that she would feel guilty for causing sadness to her children to teach them skills. However, she also reported that the most rewarding aspect of parenthood is watching as her children achieve the milestones and transition from one developmental stage to the other.
The Parent-Child Relationship
She reported that she enjoys the nature of a parent-child relationship. For one, the relationship is based on truth, love, and appreciation. She feels that she can trust her children with a lot of things and she is not hindered to express her love for them unlike in adult relationships. She also adores the aspect that the relationship is an abundance of learning and teaching and that the relationship bond gets stronger with time.
Comparison of The Interviewee's Childhood Era and That of Her Children.
Children were raised differently during Mrs. Maginas childhood as compared to the era when she is raising her children. For one, her parents embraced punishment mainly canning, as the mode of disciplining their children. Positive and negative reinforcement was used sparingly. Access to media was very controlled and sometimes denied altogether. In some cases, children were enrolled in preschool when they were seven years and above or skipped going to preschool. Parenting skills were taught by elders and mature friends unlike the case with todays parenthood.
Jacques, S., & Marcovitch, S. (2010). Development of Executive Function across the Life Span. The Handbook of Life-Span Development. doi:10.1002/9780470880166.hlsd001013
Kraynok, M. C., Seifert, K., Hoffnung, R. J., & Hoffnung, M. (2017). Lifespan development. Solon, OH: Academic Media Solutions.
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