UNICEF Study on Georgian Parenting Reveals Nationwide Struggles

A new report out today from UNICEF Georgia analyzes the parenting style of Georgian families, looking specifically at parents of teenagers. 

The report concludes that "The majority of adolescents’ parents in Georgia practice an authoritarian parenting style and apply physical and psychological punishment methods" and that parents focus more on their teenagers' material and physical wellbeing, than "psycho emotional development."

“Adolescence presents a crucially important window of opportunity to influence the development of children’s brains – and thus, their futures,” said UNICEF Representative in Georgia Dr. Ghassan Khalil. “Parents need to know just how influential they are in their adolescent's life. Parents need to impact their children’s skills to cope with different developmental challenges. But parents also need guidance to understand all this. In Georgia there are no parenting support programs. The objective of our study is to support the government in developing national policies and programmes for parents of adolescents, so that they are equipped with competencies they need for positive parenting and constructive support to the adolescents.”

The report also notes that "many caregivers in Georgia struggle to fulfil their basic obligations of psycho emotional care. There are cases, when adolescents feel that they are not being supported by their parents during some of the most emotional periods, adversely affecting their psychosocial wellbeing. Few parents are involved in such important aspects of adolescents’ life as health, prevention of risky behaviour, sexual and reproductive health, psychological wellbeing, and prevention of violence."

The goal of the research, which was conducted through interviews and focus groups, was to collect the basic information on how parenting is understood, perceived and practiced by parents of Georgian teens; to understand how individual, interpersonal and macro factors affect parenting dynamics and influence parenting styles and practices; and to understand where parents turn to for formal and informal support.

The summary text of the ‘National Study on Parenting of Adolescents and Parenting Support programmes in Georgia’ can be found here.

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: UNICEF/Geo-2013/Khizanishvili

11 December 2018 20:13