Caregivers make sure children are healthy and safe, equip them with the skills and resources to succeed as adults, and transmit basic cultural values to them. caregivers offer their children love, acceptance, appreciation, encouragement, and guidance. They provide the most intimate context for the nurturing and protection of children as they develop their personalities and identities and also as they mature physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially.
Babies whose needs are met quickly and warmly (e.g., feeding, changing, holding/cradling, and soothing them) achieve a crucial developmental task. This bond of affection between parents and children is necessary for a healthy parent-child relationship, and also extends to relationships between children, their siblings, and other family members (e.g., grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc) and caregivers.
When infants attach successfully to their parents and caregivers, they learn to trust that the outside world is a welcoming place and are more likely to explore and interact with their environment. This lays the groundwork for further social, emotional, and cognitive development.
Research has found that relationships between caregivers and youth that:
Are warm, open, and communicative;
Include appropriate limits, and
Provide reasoning for rules for behavior
are associated with higher self-esteem, better performance in school, and fewer negative outcomes such as depression or drug use in children and teenagers.
In addition, cross-cultural differences in parenting are strongly related to the attitudes, beliefs, traditions, and values of the particular culture or ethnic group within which the family belongs. These parenting practices are also related to the social and economic context in which these families are situated.