Parents and children, their relationships

Consideration of the basic characteristics of healthy parent-children relationships. Introduction to methods of building good relationships that contribute to the formation and maintenance of healthy mental and helping to adapt to life in society.

Рубрика Социология и обществознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 24.03.2015
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1. Parent-children relationships and its types

2. Parenting style and its impact on children

3. Characteristics of healthy parent-children relationships

4. Ways to strengthen parents and child relationships



When asked about the people who taught us the most, who were there for us through hardships, who laughed with us during the good times, who put up with us on our off days, most of us think immediately of our parents. And it is true: our parents are the ones who have been with us through almost everything in our lives. Our mothers carry us for nine grueling months before we are born, and for at least eighteen years afterwards, our parents, to list a few things, take care of us, teach us, help us, and provide for us financially and academically. Parents are very important to a child's life. They influence children in many ways. Including how they act, talk, walk, and the way they act around other people. Even when the children grow up into adults, they still adapt some things that the parents do. The reason that even when kids grow up to be adults, they still adapt things from their parents is because they need to grow on something. Moreover, if they have kids of their own they are going to go to their mother and ask her how she raised them. Without them, most of us would not be like we are now.

That it why is very important to build strong and friendly parent-children relationships based on love and support, as it is the main factor which influence children's outlook and define their future relationships with their own children. Good relations contribute to the formation and ensure a healthy mental, help adjust to life in society.

1. Parent-children relationships and its types

Of the many different relationships we form over the course of the life span, the relationship between parent and child is among the most important. A baby cries, a parent feeds him/her; a baby snuggles, a parent hugs him/her. Day after day, night after night, mothers and fathers feed, wash, dress, and hold their babies. Gradually, the baby begins to expect that his/her parent will care for him/her when he/she cries. Gradually, parents respond to and even anticipate their baby's needs. These elements form the basis for a developing relationship. When children move from infancy into toddlerhood, the parent-child relationship begins to change its focus. During infancy, the primary function of the parent-child relationship is nurturance, and much of the relationship revolves around the day-to-day demands of care giving: feeding, sleeping, toileting, bathing. The attachment relationship develops out of these day-to-day interactions. As youngsters begin to talk and become more mobile during the second and third years of life, however, parents usually attempt to shape their child's social behavior. In essence, parents become teachers as well as nurturers, providers of guidance as well as affection. As the child grows up, the parent-child relationship changes and it can take many shapes depending on the behavior of the parents.

There are four main types of parent-child relationships: secure, avoidant, ambivalent and disorganized. Each type has its own specific characteristics.

The secure relationship is the strongest and most positive type of attachment that a parent and child can have. The main characteristic of this type of relationship is the feeling that the child can depend on the parent. Although a securely attached child may cry when mom or dad leaves her at day care or with a babysitter, the child also understands that the parent is coming back for her. For example, it's the first day of preschool and your 4-year-old throws a fit when you walk out the door. Don't fret, because after you leave, it's likely that her teacher will engage her in an activity and she will settle down quickly. When you return to pick her up, she gleefully greets you and may even want to stay at school for awhile longer.

While the securely attached relationship shows signs of trust and reliance on an adult, an avoidant relationship often means that the child feels that he can't depend on mom or dad. Characteristics of children in an avoidant parent-child relationship often include acting overly independent, not asking adults for help when it is needed, trouble interacting or playing with peers and a nonchalant or seemingly uncaring attitude when a parent leaves or returns. On the parent's side, this type of relationship is typically characterized by ignoring or disregarding the child's request for help, leaving the child to deal with his own problems or taking an overly long amount of time to respond to a child's needs or demands. This type of relationship may eventually result in much more serious effects such as depression or social withdrawal.

An ambivalent parent-child relationship is another negative form of attachment in which the child may exhibit insecure types of characteristics. Unlike avoidant children who tend to keep their distance from adults or act overly independent, an ambivalent attachment often results in kids who seem anxious or frustrate easily. Children in this type of dynamic may turn to their parents, looking for support or help, but then quickly turn and try to move away. Parents who exhibit ambivalent behaviors in their relationships with their children may respond in an off-and-on manner, ignoring the child at times and giving her attention at others. society parent children

While children in ambivalent parent-child relationships may seem somewhat confused when it comes to if and when the parent will give them attention, kids in disorganized attachments take this characteristic to the extreme. Children in this type of relationship act in an unpredictable manner and may have poor coping mechanisms when it comes to dealing with stress or emotional situations [7].

Additionally, children in a disorganized relationship may have difficulty understanding other people's emotions and act in a nonsensical or confusing way. Parents in this dynamic either show little or confusing responses to the child's needs and may act neglectful.

2. Parenting style and its impact on children

The type of discipline you use can have a dramatic effect on your child's development. Your discipline strategies can have a big impact on the type of relationship you have with your child. The various approaches to discipline can even influence a child's mood and temperament into adulthood.

Researchers have discovered four types of parenting styles. These different styles are dependent on what the parent feels the child needs from them. As a result, each parenting style uses a different approach to discipline.

Authoritarian Parenting

Giving Orders. Authoritarian parents don't feel they need to explain their rules or the reasons why they expect their children to do certain things. The main focus of these parents is on what their children do wrong and the punishment for misbehavior is often harsh. Should a child question a rule, they will often hear from their parents, "Because I said so". Authoritarian parents do not engage in discussions with their teen and family rules and standards are not debated. Authoritarian parents believe the adolescent should accept, without question, the rules and practices that they establish.

Research reveals that adolescents of authoritarian parents learn that following parental rules and adherence to strict discipline is valued over independent behavior.

As a result, adolescents may become rebellious or dependent.

Those who become rebellious might display aggressive behaviors. Adolescents who are more submissive tend to remain dependent on their parents.

Although children who grow up with authoritarian parents tend to follow rules much of the time, they may develop self-esteem problems. Sometimes children become hostile or aggressive as they may focus more on being angry at their parents for the punishment rather than learning how to make decisions and solve-problems.

Authoritative Parenting. Authoritative parents are warm but firm. They encourage their adolescent to be independent while maintaining limits and controls on their actions. Authoritative parents do not invoke the “because I said” rule. Instead, they are willing to entertain, listen to, and take into account their teen's viewpoint.

Authoritative parents engage in discussions and debates with their adolescent, although ultimate responsibility resides with the parent. Research demonstrates that adolescents of authoritative parents learn how to negotiate and engage in discussions. They understand that their opinions are valued. As a result, they are more likely to be socially competent, responsible, and autonomous.

Authoritative parents also have rules that children are expected to follow, however, they allow some exceptions to the rule. They often tell children the reasons for the rules and they are more willing to consider a child's feelings when setting limits [1, p.141].

Authoritative parents tend to use consequences instead of punishments. They also use more positive consequencesto reinforce good behaviors and may be more willing than authoritarian parents to use reward systems and praise.

Children raised with authoritative discipline tend to be happy and successful. They are often good at making decisions and evaluating safety risks on their own. They often grow up to be responsible adults who feel comfortable expressing their opinions.

Permissive Parenting

Parents who adopt this style may have concerns that their children will not like them if they set limits or they see themselves as their children's friend and not their parent who is there to guide and set limits. These parents allow freedom with little or no responsibility. As their children get older these parents may feel they have no power to make changes in their children's misbehavior. Children without limits have no sense of responsibility, have trouble with relationships and the rights of others and can find the world a difficult place. It is unfair to raise a child without limits or to keep changing the limits that are set. Children do not need or want freedom without limitations.

Permissive Parents are very warm, but undemanding. They are indulgent and passive in their parenting, and believe that the way to demonstrate their love is to give in to their adolescent's wishes.

Permissive parents invoke such phrases as, “sure, you can stay up late if you want to,” and “you do not need to do any chores if you don't feel like it.” Permissive parents do not like to say no or disappoint their children. As a result, teens are allowed to make many important decisions without parental input. Parents do not view themselves as active participants in shaping their teen's actions; instead they view themselves as a resource, should the adolescent choose to seek their advice. Research findings show that adolescents of permissive few boundaries and rules and that consequences are not likely to be very serious. As a result, teens may have difficulty with self-controleand demonstrate egocentric tenndenciestht can interferewith properdevelopment of peer relationships parents learn that there are very [3, p.11]”. When parents are permissive, they do not offer much discipline to their children. They tend to be lenient and may only step in when there is a serious problem. There may be some consequences for misbehaviors but they often develop the attitude that “kids will be kids.”

Permissive parents may take on more of a friend role than a parent role. They may encourage their children to talk with them about their problems but may not discourage a lot of bad behaviors.

Kids who grow up with permissive parents tend to struggle academically. They may exhibit more behavioral problems as they will likely not appreciate authority and rules. They often have low self-esteem and may report a lot of sadness.

Uninvolved Parenting

Uninvolved parents are not warm and do not place any demands on their teen. They minimize their interaction time, and, in some cases, are uninvolved to the point of being neglectful. Uninvolved parents are indifferent to their adolescent's needs, whereabouts, or experiences at school or with peers. Uninvolved parents invoke such phrases as, “I don't care where you go,” or “why should I care what you do?” Uninvolved parents rarely consider their teen's input in decisions and they generally do not want to be bothered by their teen. These parents may be overwhelmed by their circumstances or they may be self-centered. Parents might also engage in this style if they are tired, frustrated, or have simply “given up” in trying to maintain parental authority. Research supports that adolescents of uninvolved parents learn that parents tend to be interested in their own lives and less likely to invest much time in parenting. As a result, teens generally show similar patterns of behavior as adolescents raised in permissive homes and they may also demonstrate impulsive behaviors due to issues with self-regulation [1, p.142].

Uninvolved parents tend to be neglectful. They often do not meet their children's basic needs and may expect children to raise themselves. Sometimes this is due to a parent's mental health issues or substance abuse problems. They may also lack knowledge about parenting and child development or may feel overwhelmed by life's other problems.

Uninvolved parents tend to have little knowledge of what their children are doing. There tends to be few, if any, rules or expectations. Children may not receive any nurturing or guidance and they lack the much need parental attention.

When parents are uninvolved, children tend to lack self esteem and they perform poorly academically. They also exhibit frequent behavior problems and rank low in happiness.

3. Characteristics of healthy parent-children relationships

When parents have healthy relationships with their children, they are “in tune” with them: they can listen to their children, understand them, and perceive their needs. A parent who fully comprehends and accepts the role of parent serves as the child's chief provider, protector, and teacher; shows love for the child; and strives to meet the child's needs and provide a solid foundation for life. Through this relationship, children can trust, learn, grow, and explore the world.

Healthy parent-children relationships are characterized by:

1. Flexiblility: good parents must be flexible and adoptable. They have ability to recognize and accommodate the child's needs. Helps the child by giving clear directions, offering opportunities to choose and negotiate.

2. Attachment: The feeling that binds us to the significant people in our lives is called "attachment". The attachment relationship between parent and child is much like a rope. Each positive interaction between parent and child adds a new thread and strengthens the overall emotional connection. When children are emotionally attached to individuals who care for them, they receive valuable support that helps them grow and develop. Children with healthy attachments are more likely to explore and take healthy risks. Through their relationships they learn about right and wrong. They learn how to interpret their experiences. They learn social skills that help them maintain existing relationships and develop new ones. And they learn to be both self-reliant and to work well with others. In short, they develop a variety of skills that are not easily learned through direct instruction. Social and emotional lessons are best learned through relationships.

3. Appropriate boundaries: the parent children-relationship includes various boundaries. Boundaries evolve as your child grows, but the patterns you establish in the early years are patterns your child will live out in the future. Setting the right boundaries for toddlers and preschoolers sets the stage for an appropriate parent-child relationship. As your child grows, boundaries can help him learn to protect himself, take responsibility and respect the limits of others. Healthy boundaries consider that what the parent and the child want in a positive way to find mutually agreeable solutions or limit [4, p.8].

4. Open communication: the way that parents and children communicate sets the tone of relationships. It is very important for parents to be able to communicate openly and effectively with their children. Open, effective communication benefits not only the children, but every member of the family. In general, if communication between parents and their children is good, then their relationships are good as well. Children learn how to communicate by watching their parents. If parents communicate openly and effectively, chances are that their children will, too. Good communication skills will benefit children for their entire lives. Parents who communicate effectively with their children are more likely to have children who are willing to do what they are told. Such children know what to expect from their parents, and once children know what is expected of them, they are more likely to live up to these expectations. They are also more likely to feel secure in their position in the family, and are thus more likely to be cooperative.

5. Discipline: Effective discipline helps children learn to control their behavior so that they act according to their ideas of what is right and wrong, not because they fear punishment. For example, they are honest because they think it is wrong to be dishonest, not because they are afraid of getting caught. arents should avoid negative criticism when disciplining children. Words can be supportive or destructive. Parents should choose their words carefully, and always end their sentences with a positive statement. Parents should make sure that their child understands that they are upset with the behavior and not him. Show appreciation for a child's achievements, and praise his efforts as well as his accomplishments. Let your child know that your love is unconditional, and that you will always love him. Children sometimes need reassurance, and parents should demonstrate their love and affection via their actions as well as words [2, p. 211-212].

If you want to instill certain values in your children, you should demonstrate them in your own behavior. Children learn by example and imitate the behavior of the adults closest to them - their parents.

4. Ways to Strengthen Parent and Child Relationships

Having loving parents is crucial for children. A good relationship with their parents helps children to feel safe and secure. It also means they're more likely to be happier, healthier and to get on better with others.

Building a good relationship with your child takes time and effort - it doesn't happen overnight.

The key, as with any caring relationship, is trust, respect and good communication. Of course, the ability to laugh is also a big help.

You can build strong, loving relationships with your child right from the start.

· Talk and sing to them

· Smile at them

· Give them lots of kisses and cuddles

· Make up games and have time to play together

· Learn to recognise what your baby is asking for - get to know their cries and facial expressions.

· Make time to listen if your child has something important to tell you.

Communicating effectively. Fundamental to any good relationship between parents and children is to establish good communication, and this can only be established through mutual trust and sincerity.

Learn to listen carefully to your child, understand their thoughts and needs without recriminations, so your child will not be afraid to express to you. Let him know that you consider their opinion.

Communicate your thoughts and feelings clearly and directly, in a way that your child understands. Do not be afraid to let him know how you feel. Your child will trust in you if you show you are sincere and fallible as someone who can make mistakes.

Make time for being together. Families have changed a lot in recent years and there are more and more time pressures on parents and children. But spending time together as a family is very important to kids - yes, even teenagers! It helps them feel safe, loved and cared for.

· Have fun times together and create special family memories that you can talk about - holidays, birthdays, parties, picnics

· Have meals together - and turn off the TV!

· Put aside time to discuss things that affect the whole family

· Celebrate important cultural and religious festivals together

· Involve the extended family as much as possible - it's important for kids to be able to form trusting relationships with a wide range of adults.

Give emotional support. You must demonstrate and let you know your son your love and support is unconditional and independent of any behavior he may have. He clearly knows he can count on you unconditionally.

Set limits and good discipline. As a parent you must play your role as a leader, setting clear boundaries of behavior, and defining the consequences of crossing these boundaries.

Always keep your word. If you've promised something, stick to it. Whether a reward for good behavior, as a punishment for breaking a rule or inappropriate behavior. This will encourage your child's trust in you and not reject at any time you say.

Get involved actively in teaching your child. Do not limit yourself to only what they teach you in school. Teach yourself certain things.

Encourage your child positive values ??such as responsibility, discipline, honesty, and healthy lifestyle, practicing this yourself with your example [6].

When you grow older, you develop a sense of personal independence, which can put you at a distance from your parents. Remember that your parents are not getting any younger either. Listening to each other and understanding each other's point of view is central to building a healthy relationship with your parents. You may feel that their opinion on a certain matter doesn't count much, but try to remember, they are older and wiser than you, and they have your best interests at heart when they offer advice. They will certainly not want you to make the same mistake they committed when they were younger. Now that you are an adult yourself, the parent-child relationship evolves into a relationship between two adults. Agreed, some things never change, you will always be their kid, no matter how old you are. To avoid such a situation from bothering you, treat your parents as fellow adults and friends, rather than as your mom and dad. At some point, willingly or unwillingly, they will have to "let go" and realize you are grownup.

Make it a point to meet them, at least once a week if you live in the same town, or call more often if you cannot visit each other a lot. Communicate with them as much as possible. They are entering old age, and need to spend quality time with their children. Share your life with them, ask them about theirs. Make them feel wanted. Talk to them about your job, your kids, your interests, and you will realize they are just as much delighted to listen to your stories!

If there's something about your parents that bothers you, discuss it with them. It could be your dad, offering you unwanted advice on your car, or your mom giving her opinion on your wardrobe and kids. Gently let them know what you think of the situation. If you do not talk about it and keep it to yourself, the resentment will only grow, which will gradually put a strain on your otherwise healthy relationship.

Try to work together on activities you both know you enjoyed doing together. With mom, it could be shopping or cooking; with dad, it could be gardening, fishing, or carpentry. Participating in such tasks will strengthen the bond you share with your parents. Create opportunities that will interest you both. For example, if they are not too tech savvy, teach them computer basics, and you will see how excited they are at the thought of communicating with you through chats and emails, especially if you live far off.

Love and respect them for what they are and everything that they have done for you, and no doubt, they will in turn respect you for turning into responsible adults.


Our parents are the ones who have been with us through almost everything in our lives. They influence children in many ways. Including how they act, talk, walk, and the way they act around other people. Without them, most of us would not be like we are now.

Relationship between parent and children on different factors like love and support between partners, finance situation, the desire to have a baby etc. There are four main types of parent-child relationships: secure, avoidant, ambivalent and disorganized.

The secure relationship is the strongest and most positive type of attachment that a parent and child can have. The main characteristic of this type of relationship is the feeling that the child can depend on the parent. While the securely attached relationship shows signs of trust and reliance on an adult, сharacteristics of children in an avoidant parent-child relationship often include acting overly independent, not asking adults for help when it is needed, trouble interacting or playing with peers and a nonchalant or seemingly uncaring attitude when a parent leaves or returns.

An ambivalent parent-child relationship is another negative form of attachment. Children in this type of dynamic may turn to their parents, looking for support or help, but then quickly turn and try to move away.

In disorganized attachments children in this type of relationship act in an unpredictable manner and may have poor coping mechanisms when it comes to dealing with stress or emotional situations.

Researchers have discovered four types of parenting styles:

Authoritative: democratic style of parenting, parents are attentive, forgiving, teach their offspring proper behavior, have a set of rules, and if child fails to follow their is punishment, if followed their is reward/reinforcement

Authoritarian: strict parenting style, involves high expectations from parents but have little communication between child and parents. Parents don't provide logical reasoning for rules and limits, and are prone to harsh punishments

Permissive: parents take on the role of "friends" rather than parents, do not have any expectations of child, they allow the child to make their own decisions

Uninvolved: parents neglect their child by putting their own life before the child's. They do provide for the child's basic needs but they show little interaction with the child.

It why is very important to build strong and friendly parent-children relationships based on love and support, as it is the main factor which influence children's outlook and define their future relationships with their own children. And it is necessary to remember that not only parents have to care about their children, but children have to care about their parents too.

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