Parent Child Relationship
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. Some parents are warm and accepting. They try to see things from the child’s perspective. This attitude of parents greatly enhances the attachment and these gestures of parents greatly strengthen the parent-child relationship. Children respect their parents more and also listen to what they say. In contrast, some other parents tend to be aloof, rejecting and critical. This strains the parent-child relationship because every child needs his/her parents’ attention and time. This attitude of parents causes the child to respond in the same way. This causes intolerance and lack of respect.
There is a third category of parents who are too lenient and simply yield to the child’s demands. They exercise minimal control. Such parents are too afraid of losing their child’s love and respect for them. This definitely strengthens the relationship initially and the child loves and respects his/her parents. But, there is lack of guidance. Such parents do not guide the child properly because they are too fearful. So, at a later stage, when something goes wrong in the child’s life, he/she holds the parents responsible for it because that is the time when he/she comes to know that his/her parents did not guide him/her properly.
Then there are parents who put unnecessary restrictions on the child. But, that is only because they want to protect their child from every bad thing on this earth. The child initially does not understand these feelings of love and protectiveness that parents have towards the child. So, he/she starts disrespecting his/her parents for not letting him/her do what he/she wants to. But, as the child becomes mature, he/she realizes these things and the parent-child relationship greatly strengthens then.
A very important phase in parent-child relationship is the one when the child enters adolescence. As the child enters adolescence, the biological, cognitive, and emotional changes of the period spark transformations in the parent-child relationship. Adolescence is a time during which the child’s urges for independence may challenge parents’ authority, as the young adolescent strives to establish a sense of emotional autonomy, or individuation. Adolescence may be a time of heightened bickering and somewhat diminished closeness in the parent-child relationship, but most disagreements between parents and young teenagers are over fairly mundane matters, and most teenagers and parents agree on the essentials. In most cases, when the child matures, he/she starts understanding his/her parents’ position and the damage to the relationship, if any, gets repaired.
A child in adolescent age is usually immature. But, the parents know what’s going on. So, they can keep some things in mind like giving them the time and attention they deserve. Try and understand their perspective and make them a priority in your life.
Because of the strong attachment which gets built up from the childhood, things finally work out.