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For parental care in animals, see Parental investment. The English pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott described the concept of “good-enough” parenting in which a minimum of prerequisites for healthy child development are met. Social class, wealth, culture and income have a very strong impact on what methods of child rearing are used by parents. Cultural values play a major role in how a parent raises their child. In psychology, the parental investment theory suggests that basic differences between males and females in parental investment have great adaptive significance and lead to gender differences in mating propensities and preferences.
A family’s social class plays a large role in the opportunities and resources that will be made available to a child. Working-class children often grow up at a disadvantage with the schooling, communities, and parental attention made available to them compared to middle-class or upper-class upbringings. A parenting style is the overall emotional climate in the home. Authoritative parenting Described by Baumrind as the “just right” style, it combines a medium level demands on the child and a medium level responsiveness from the parents. Authoritative parents rely on positive reinforcement and infrequent use of punishment. Parents are more aware of a child’s feelings and capabilities and support the development of a child’s autonomy within reasonable limits.
A parenting practice is a specific behavior that a parent uses in raising a child. For example, a common parent practice intended to promote academic success is reading books to the child. Storytelling is an important parenting practice for children in many Indigenous American communities. Parenting practices reflect the cultural understanding of children.