After having a fun conversation with a friend regarding parenting, I actually had the general question arise in my mind of when did parenting actually start to take place?
But, first, I think we need to define what I mean by "parenting". Specifically, what I am talking about is when animals decided to give birth to their young and not abandon them to immediately fend for themselves. Instead, parenting is taking care of, and protecting children for a period of time (even a brief one) until they are grown enough to take care of themselves.
Also, I think it's worth not counting the actions of a mother or father hovering over eggs of unhatched offspring until they hatch. True, this is a form of parental watching but I'm more interested in the general timeframe of when parents started watching over the general actions and "shenanigans" of their offspring in order to protect them from harm and to give them a better chance of survival.