Throughout history, the concept of autonomy has been hailed as a moral and political doorway to an independent life. However, the truth is that the concept of being independent is an illusion. The reigns of family and friendship tightly hold society. To evade the bonds of family is to welcome a void of loneliness. Hence bonds like parent-child relationships are required to steer humanity to its inevitable cycle. Parent-child relationships are primarily asymmetrical. A child rarely has the option of choosing their parents.
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Children are entirely dependent on their parents during their formative years and the way till they reach the age of 18. At this point, it is the sole responsibility of parents to mold their children- equipping them with values that become entrenched in them for the rest of their life. This has aided in shaping their personality, behavior, and general perspective of life. However, the parent-child relationship is a dynamic yet important one. It is, therefore, crucial to address different ways of improving it.
Benefits of Parent-Child Relationships
Children who grow up in loving households tend to have a close and almost unbreakable bond with their parents. This healthy relationship lays the groundwork for a plethora of other relationships they are likely to experience at later stages of their lives. They will strive to establish meaningful and fulfilling connections with their friends and partners. The contrary is true; children with strained relationships with their parents eventually struggle to find their footing in society.
Parent-child relationships are the driving force behind a child’s mental, physical, and emotional development. Various scholars such as Sigmund, Ericksen, and Piaget have all delved deep into child development psychology. The unifying factor behind their theories is that a child’s development, whether physical or cognitive, takes part during their early years. At this stage, parents act as an unrivaled engine, slowly giving their children desirable characteristics to help them combat the unrelenting forces of the world.
Challenges of Parent-Child Relationships
One common challenge that ends up as a constraint to parent-child relationships is marital conflict. Divorce or separation tends to disrupt the delicate balance of the family. When parents cannot cordially agree on the most effective method of rearing a child together, then a whirlwind of commenced. These rapid changes induce stress and miscommunication. These factors morph into an avalanche of instability, eventually interfering with a child’s development in numerous phases of their life.
Social issues like poverty also come into play when considering the nature of parent-child relationships. Poverty is likely to be caused by unemployment and imprisonment. The result is the inability of a parent to provide for their child. The failure to provide their child food, shelter, or proper education is undeniably a heavy burden that no parent should bear. Typically, this burden develops into anger, depression, and anxiety, traits that can all be passed onto the child.
Ways of Improving Parent-child Relationships
An efficient method that will strengthen the relationship between a child and parent is the development of rituals. Activities such as watching movies, shopping, and reading together can bolster the relationship between child and parent. The concept of spending time together has become a massive hurdle for many modern families. Workaholic parents barely have time to bond with their children, A complication that could cause a breakdown in communication and trust. Thus, parents must find time to connect with their children through painful and joyous occasions.
Another way is using positively affirming words and actions to show emotions. Negative interactions arising from arguments are bound to happen now and then. Nonetheless, parents should learn to quickly discard these negative impressions from the child’s mind through warm and affirmative actions such as hugs. Counteracting negative interconnections with love and affection is the first step toward developing a good parent-child relationship.
Finally, involving children in decision-making is a constructive and logical strategy that reinforces parent-child relationships. Parents should avoid aggressive parenting by allowing children to make their own decisions from time to time. For instance, parents can opt to let younger children decide what activities they plan on doing. Older children can be given free rein to decide on extracurricular school activities.
Parent-child relationships are fragile no matter the case. Hence, it is essential to tackle the various challenges early on by spending quality time with children. Words of affirmation can also convey love and affection and substantially improve parent-child relationships.