What is parenting?

Every individual is faced with various responsibilities that he must fulfill throughout his cognitive, affective and psychomotor development from the moment he is born (Yıldırım, 2016). There are responsibilities that quickly exist in all societies and in our daily lives, that parents must fulfill towards their children in the family and that they are responsible for meeting the physical and emotional needs of their child.

However, in some cases, parents cannot fully fulfill these responsibilities or show full competence in this regard. In such cases, the duties and responsibilities of parents in families may be placed on the shoulders of the child. to Munuchin
(1988), these responsibilities that should be fulfilled by the parents in the family, but are placed on the shoulders of the child, are again arranged by the members of the family to reach a state of stability (Cited by İplikçi and Şahin-Acar, 2019). However, what is valuable here is the fulfillment of the responsibilities that the child must fulfill in accordance with his/her developmental characteristics (Yıldırım, 2016). In the literature, the concept of parenting in the child suggests that the roles between parent and child are interchanged and that the same
At the same time, it means that the characteristics of the child’s development period are not taken into account. By burdening the child with responsibilities disproportionate to his/her age, the child becomes the parent of his/her parents (Mika, Bergner, & Baum, 1987; Chase, 1999; Munichin et al., 1967). As a result of the literature review on the concept of parenting, it has been found that there are various definitions to explain the concept (Chase, 1999). According to Chase (1999), parenting means that the child puts his own interests and needs aside and becomes very sensitive to the needs of his parents, giving up on himself and fulfilling the needs of his parents.
He talks about a process he is trying to bring. In this process, the child, who always tries to fulfill the needs of his parents, thinks that his own needs are not as valuable as the interests and wishes of his gluttons, and he makes this behavior a habit and begins to become insensitive to himself by continuing to use erroneous inferences in his future life. Thus, he makes it a habit to always give priority to others, regardless of his own needs.

According to Minuchin (1981), there are subsystems formed by individuals in every family, and the members of the subsystems offer various clues about how the rules and endings in the family are or should be. In this context, the concept of parenting, which refers to the anonymity of the borders in the middle of the subsystems that make up the family system or the determination of these borders as wrong and disadvantageous for the child, has been discussed in a relational framework (Boszormenyi-Nagy & Spark, 1973). According to studies, parents of children who become parents expect these children to be role models like their parents or spouses and to act in line with the responsibility of this role (Köyden, 2015). In summary, the stability of family interests is one of the most valuable aspects of the concept of parenting. Boszormenyi-Nagy and Spark (1973), which deals with the concept of parenting in a relational context; They referred to the concept of parenting as a distorted and unequal pattern of connectivity in which parents expect the parenting role from their children, as well as unjust sharing of missions in family subsystems. However, in some cases, it is known that parenting is not wasteful when stability in family relations is achieved in relations based on the principle of reciprocity (Boszormenyi-Nagy & Spark, 1973). In other words, when the missions that the child undertakes for the parent and the parents for the child are stable and mutual, parenting is no longer a problem (Chase, 1999). In this context, especially in Turkish culture, with the positive reinforcement of the self-sacrifice and mature behaviors of family children and the support of these behaviors, many children today can be exposed to parenting regardless of their age in the family. Being able to set boundaries against the family of origin and gain the ability to say no when necessary does not make the individual a worse person towards his family and other people in the society, on the contrary, it helps him to protect himself. I wish every individual to be aware of the phenomenon of parenting, which can be seen in every developmental period from childhood to adolescence, from adolescence to adulthood.

Expert Spiritual Counselor
Zehra Ezer