The psychology of family life encompasses a range of ideas and concepts involving the various aspects of the family unit as well as the dynamics of its members. As with most other constructions in the psychology of family life, substantial overlap exists among the different theories and concepts that have been formulated. Un unsurprisingly, high levels of interpersonal conflict are associated with undesirable coparental parenting practices suggesting there is a significant overlap between abusive partner-parent relationship practices and undesirable coportaring practices. This paper will discuss the potential root causes of such an overlap through a detailed exploration of the various theories and concepts which are at play in this domain of psychology.
In the realm of psychology, the concept of abuse is one that is familiar to most people. For example, physical abuse and/or neglect may constitute the basis for many of the problems children face in today’s society and even in past generations. However, although child abuse and neglect are indeed very real problems in today’s society, they are by no means unique to them. Similarly, there are many forms of child rearing which are considered acceptable and which have been used by generations of parents and caretakers.
The process of child rearing can be divided into two primary sub-groups: authoritative child rearing and non-authoritative child rearing. Within each category of child rearing, there will exist different desired outcomes and varying degrees of success. For example, the type of education a child will receive will be governed by the type of parent that raises it. Likewise, the type of relationship a parent has with his/her child will also dictate the outcome. Finally, the psychological temperament of the child will also play a part in the child rearing process.
In terms of the psychology of family life and the psychology of child rearing, the most important issue is that of establishing a bond between all members of a family unit. This often involves a significant degree of emotional openness on the part of the child and his or her parents and caregivers. A child needs to feel emotionally secure and nurtured in order to be able to form an emotionally stable relationship with its caregiver. Establishing such a bond begins before infancy and continues well into adolescence. The need for emotional security is so great that some psychologists believe that early childhood psychological distress may in fact lead to later emotional difficulties and problems such as depression and drug addiction.
The child must learn to trust and respect its parents or caregiver. The parent that a child looks up to and considers to be a role model is likely to have an important positive effect on the development of that child. This is not to say that a child will blindly follow its own parents or that it will try to emulate the actions of the parents. Rather, a positive self-image develops because a child sees the parent as a source of influence or guidance and assumes that the parent can impart the required information and values that a child needs to develop into a healthy, responsible adult.
In terms of child rearing, the psychology of family life includes the importance of establishing a good relationship between the family and the child’s extended families. The family has a vital role to play in child rearing. The family should encourage the development of positive childhood attitudes and values such as harmony and fairness. At the same time, it should discourage negative behavior such as lying, harming the child, and violence. It is important for a family to set clear rules for acceptable behavior in order to establish an environment in which it can rely on the child when it is unable to make decisions on its own. A good rule of thumb is to set down the rules for family meal times, bedtime, and bathroom usage so that the child knows what behaviors are appropriate and what are not.
A child’s relationship with extended family members also has a profound impact on his or her well being and emotional well being. The extent to which family members approve of the family member determines how much time the child will be spending with them. Good relationships between parents and children have been shown to promote intellectual, social, and emotional well being. These relationships have been proven to have a positive effect on the child’s adjustment and development.
Finally, there are environmental factors that parents must take into account when formulating the psychology of family life. If the family lives in a conservative environment, then the child may be at risk for early sexual and physical contact with peers. On the other hand, if the family lives in an liberal environment and acceptance of same sex marriages is widespread, the child may experience greater emotional and social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles. The child’s view of his or her self and the world in general can also affect child rearing. The family should encourage the child’s development and growth by allowing the child to explore various forms of identity and creativity.