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In reality, what is parenting? When someone finds out they are having their first child, they frequently become enthusiastic. Of course, other feelings come and go. Queries arise, including “Is breastfeeding truly preferable? “How do you get a baby to fall asleep in the middle of the night?” or “What if I can’t?” These inquiries and similar ones are crucial. However, two of the most crucial queries are frequently disregarded: “What is parenting?” as well as “What does being a parent mean?” Gaining an understanding of the fundamentals of parenting will enable you to define it in a way that makes sense and will help you navigate the amazing roller coaster that is parenting.

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What Constitutes Parenting?

Looking up what parenting means in dictionaries is a good place to start. Parenting is defined in very similar ways by several sources, including Merriam-Webster, the Cambridge Dictionary, Collins Dictionary, and By combining these authoritative sources, the following components are included in the concept of parenting:

nurturing a child from infancy till they are a self-sufficient adult

assisting in a child’s upbringing at every developmental stage

meeting the obligations of parenthood that come with raising children

Being a child’s caregiver as opposed to having a biological relationship with one

creating a healthy atmosphere for the kid as they grow up and taking steps to guarantee their social growth and education in line with your ideals

ensuring a household with a solid financial situation (note: this is not the same as being affluent)

Adapting to a child’s evolving requirements as they mature and develop

These definitions give some insight into what parenting entails and are factual and useful. Still, they define parenting as a checklist, which is a little too clear-cut and simplistic. They fall a little short of providing a worthwhile parenting education in that regard. Another way to define parenting is the significance it has for parents.

What Does Being a Parent Really Mean?

It takes more than just a machine to respond to a child’s needs to be a good parent. Parenting is more than just providing this care, even though it is essential. Only the first of the three main aims of parentingโ€”as described by the American Psychological Association (n.d.)โ€”relates to fundamental needs.

Keeping kids safe and healthy

Getting children ready for independent adulthood

imparting principles in line with the cultural norms of the parents

Likewise, Proud 2 Parent (2017) provides the following ideas as definitions of parenting:

satisfying fundamental requirements


Getting Ready


Taking the lead

Essential survival needs include meeting children’s fundamental needs and ensuring their safety and health. These additional missions are obligations that come with being a parent and give it a greater significance.

A parent’s primary responsibility is to set their children up for maturity. You’re not parenting a child; you’re raising an adult, to put it in simple terms. Every day, parents make decisions and take intentional actions to help mold their kids into individuals with the morality, decency, accountability, drive, and abilities needed to succeed as children and adults. This preparation is related to leading. Parents teach by example rather than by lecture; in fact, deeds speak louder than words.

Although setting an example and preparing seem like big tasks requiring a variety of parenting abilities, they’re also enjoyable. The main way that we prepare for this is by going on trips, playing games, and basically enjoying life together. Acts are the essence of preparation. It may strengthen the relationships between parents and children and give parenting a deeper purpose.

Parental meaning is the act and attitude of unconditional loveโ€”possibly even more powerful than preparation. However, when your relationship is based in love, you have a link that endures and can pull you together anytime you disagree and dispute. Raising children may be stressful and filled with difficult moments. Your children need your love to be nurtured and to grow and prosper. Perhaps the greatest way to capture the essence of parenting is with an embrace, a head kiss, laughing, and the sheer joy of being together. It is the main goal of parenting.