Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (7), pp. 364-370, August 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 052213631


Pre-Natal to Post-Natal Childcare within Traditional and Westernised Parenting Styles: A Paradigm Shift in Zimbabwe


Chinyoka Kudzai


Great Zimbabwe University, Faculty of Education, Box 1235, Masvingo.


Email: chinyokak @


This paper examines traditional African child rearing styles and Westernised parenting styles focusing on the impact this has on the psychosocial developments of a child’s academic performance. In most African countries, during prenatal and postnatal periods, there are many rituals that are observed by the parents, especially the expectant mother. This has a bearing on the psychological and later cognitive development of the child. As a result, there is a paradigm shift taking place from a strictly traditional to a more modern oriented way of rearing children due to the influence of education, media and technology. The majority of families in Zimbabwe now find themselves somewhere along a continuum between the African and Western child rearing styles. In this study, the descriptive survey design was used with questionnaires and interviews as data collection instruments. Findings from this research revealed that, the Westernised parenting styles want independent, democratic and sometimes laissez-faire ways of raising children while African cultures prefer submissive children raised under an authoritarian style. Significant changes among African families have been noted leading to an adoption of an eclectic approach, where families use two or more parenting styles, considering the best features of each system in raising children. Knowledge of African child rearing practices is therefore of paramount importance since it makes teachers of African children sensitive to and aware of some values that have shaped them so as to enhance effective teaching and learning. 

Keywords: Child-rearing styles, psychosocial development, traditional, westernized, authoritarian, authoritative and laissez-faire.

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