The relationship between children and their parents or caregivers is one of the most important relationships in a child's life. Strengthening the parent-child relationships requires work and effort. Parenting is a tough job, but by maintaining a close relationship and open communication. A good parent-child relationship is vital for the development of children and researchers look at factors affecting parent-child relationships.
To understand the parent-child relationship, we must look at the ways that parents and children interact with one another physically, emotionally, and socially.
Think about your parents. How did your relationship with your parents contribute to who you are today, or did it?
Parent-Child Relationships - baby, Definition, Description
Many psychologists believe that the relationships between parents and children are very important in determining who we become and how we relate to others and the world.
Parent-Child Relationship Types Parent-child relationships can be biological or adopted. Biological parents and children share genetic material, while adoptive parents and children usually do not. Adoptive parent-child relationship are most often legal agreements that form a permanent parent-child relationship.
The relationship between parents and their children is important to consider when discussing physical, cognitive, and social development in children.
Parent-Child Relationship Theories Theorists in developmental psychology examine the parent-child relationship as an important tool in understanding how individuals develop over time. Sigmund Freud believed that adult development was largely defined by the relationships that children share with their parents.
For example, if an adult female struggles in intimate relationships with males, Freud probably would have blamed it on an unhealthy relationship with her father. Similarly, Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory of development proposes that infants who have caregivers meeting their basic needs will grow into trusting adults, but infants whose needs are not met will develop feelings of mistrust in future relationships.
Other important theories on relationships between children and parents focus on parents as teachers. In other words, we are taught how to behave and relate to others through our relationships with our parents. Lev Vygotsky viewed parents as masters and the child as an apprentice in learning. Albert Bandura's social learning theory likened parents to models who demonstrate behavior that children then copy.
Description Of the many different relationships people form over the course of the life span, the relationship between parent and child is among the most important. The quality of the parent-child relationship is affected by the parent's age, experience, and self-confidence; the stability of the parents' marriage; and the unique characteristics of the child compared with those of the parent.
Characteristics of the parent Parental self-confidence is an important indicator of parental competence. Mothers who believe that they are effective parents are more competent than mothers who feel incompetent.8 Ways to Improve Parent Child Relationship
Also, mothers who see themselves as effective also tend to believe their infants as less difficult to handle. Parental age and previous experience are also important. Older mothers tend to be more responsive to their infants than younger mothers. In addition, parents who have had previous experience with children, whether through younger siblings, career paths, or previous children, are often times better able to cope with parenthood. Characteristics of the child Characteristics that may affect the parent-child relationship in a family include the child's physical appearance, sex, and temperament.
At birth, the infant's physical appearance may not meet the parent's expectations, or the infant may resemble a disliked relative. As a result, the parent may subconsciously reject the child.
Parent-Child Relationships: Definition & Explanation
If the parents wanted a baby of a particular sex, they may be disappointed if the baby is the opposite sex. If parents do not have the opportunity to talk about this disappointment, they may reject the infant. Children who are loved thrive better than those who are not. Either parent or a nonparent caregiver may serve as the primary caregiver or form the primary parent-child love relationship. Loss of love from a primary caregiver can occur with the death of a parent or interruption of parental contact through prolonged hospitalizations.
Divorce can interfere with the child's need to eat, improve, and advance. Cultural norms within the family also affect a child's likelihood to achieve particular developmental milestones. Cultural impact In some countries, childrearing is considered protective nurturing. Children are not rushed into new experiences like toilet training or being in school.
In other countries, children are commonly treated in a harsh, strict manner, using shame or corporal punishment for discipline. In Central American nations, toilet training may begin as early as when the child can sit upright.
How to Develop a Good Parent and Child Relationship: 13 Steps
Childhood in the United States stretches across many years. In other countries, children are expected to enter the adult world of work when they are still quite young: In addition, in Asian cultures, parents understand an infant's personality in part in terms of the child's year and time of birth.
Impact of birth order The position of a child in the family, whether a firstborn, a middle child, the youngest, an only child, or one within a large family, has some bearing on the child's growth and development. An only child or the oldest child in a family excels in language development because conversations are mainly with adults.
Children learn by watching other children; however, a firstborn or an only child, who has no example to watch, may not excel in other skills, such as toilet training, at an early age. Infancy As babies are cared for by their parents, both parties develop understandings of the other.
Gradually, babies begin to expect that their parent will care for them when they cry. Gradually, parents respond to and even anticipate their baby's needs. This exchange and familiarity create the basis for a developing relationship.
Attachment is a sense of belonging to or connection with a particular other. This significant bond between infant and parent is critical to the infant's survival and development. Started immediately after birth, attachment is strengthened by mutually satisfying interaction between the parents and the infant throughout the first months of life, called bonding.
By the end of the first year, most infants have formed an attachment relationship, usually with the primary caretaker. If parents can adapt to their babies, meet their needs, and provide nurturance, the attachment is secure.
Psychosocial development can continue based on a strong foundation of attachment. On the other hand, if a parent's personality and ability to cope with the infant's needs for care are minimal, the relationship is at risk and so is the infant's development.
By six to seven months, strong feelings of attachment enable the infant to distinguish between caregivers and strangers. The infant displays an obvious preference for parents over other caregivers and other unfamiliar people. Anxietydemonstrated by crying, clinging, and turning away from the stranger, is revealed when separation occurs.
This behavior peaks between seven and nine months and again during toddlerhood, when separation may be difficult. Although possibly stressful for the parents, stranger anxiety is a normal sign of healthy child attachment and occurs because of cognitive development. Most children develop a secure attachment when reunited with their caregiver after a temporary absence.
In contrast, some children with an insecure attachment want to be held, but they are not comfortable; they kick or push away. Others seem indifferent to the parent's return and ignore them when they return.
The quality of the infant's attachment predicts later development. Youngsters who emerge from infancy with a secure attachment stand a better chance of developing happy and healthy relationships with others.
The attachment relationship not only forms the emotional basis for the continued development of the parent-child relationship, but can serve as a foundation for future social connections. Secure infants have parents who sensitively read their infant's cues and respond properly to their needs. Toddlerhood When children move from infancy into toddlerhood, the parent-child relationship begins to change. During infancy, the primary role of the parent-child relationship is nurturing and predictability, and much of the relationship revolves around the day-to-day demands of caregiving: As youngsters begin to talk and become more mobile during the second and third years of life, however, parents usually try to shape their child's social behavior.
In essence, parents become teachers as well as nurturers, providers of guidance as well as affection. Socialization preparing the youngster to live as a member of a social group implicit during most of the first two years of life, becomes clear as the child moves toward his or her third birthday.
- Parent-Child Relationship Definition
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Socialization is an important part of the parent-child relationship. It includes various child-rearing practices, for example weaning, toilet training, and discipline.
Dimensions of the parent-child relationship are linked to the child's psychological development, specifically how responsive the parents are, and how demanding they are. Responsive parents are warm and accepting toward their children, enjoying them and trying to see things from their perspective. In contrast, nonresponsive parents are aloof, rejecting, or critical. They show little pleasure in their children and are often insensitive to their emotional needs.
Some parents are demanding, while others are too tolerant. Children's healthy psychological development is facilitated when the parents are both responsive and moderately demanding. During toddlerhood, children often begin to assert their need for autonomy by challenging their parents. Sometimes, the child's newfound assertiveness during the so-called terrible twos can put a strain on the parent-child relationship.
It is important that parents recognize that this behavior is normal for the toddler, and the healthy development of independence is promoted by a parent-child relationship that provides support for the child's developing sense of autonomy.
In many regards, the security of the first attachment between infant and parent provides the child with the emotional base to begin exploring the world outside the parent-child relationship. Preschool Various parenting styles evolve during the preschool years.
Preschoolers with authoritative parents are curious about new experiences, focused and skilled at playself-reliant, self-controlled, and cheerful.