Family influence on the mental development of a child
Modern family is in crisis. The rate of divorce is catastrophically high. Its causes are alcoholism, drug addiction, cheating, inability to financially support family and inadequate housing conditions. But instability of family and loss of parents’ ability to properly raise their children is to a great extent explained not by external, but internal factors of life: the destruction of the Christian spiritual and moral family tradition, falling of overall culture of human relationships, the ignorance of people in the understanding of the spiritual meaning of family, marriage, fatherhood and motherhood.
In such circumstances, birth and upbringing of a child is perceived as a heavy, crushing burden. But even if a child is growing up in a family, they are usually not aware of paternity and maternity, being actually "an orphan whose parents are alive." Parents have lost the psychological contact with children, so they are no longer able to recognize and understand the real causes of nervous and mental breakdowns, suicides, failure at school, bad behavior...
LB Schneider writes that the harmonious development of a child is possible with the preservation and strengthening of health, defined as a state of physical, mental and social well-being. Mental health includes the welfare of a child in the emotional and cognitive sphere, development of character and personality formation, nervous mental state of children (1, p.461). This is only possible in a family. A child is part of family. Families without children are not complete, as well as a child without a family. "A child takes from a family all what is necessary for growth and development. In turn, a family receives from the child all what is necessary for growth and development" (2, p.287). There is a certain interdependence and interaction going in both directions, from the child to the family and vice versa.
Communication between parents and children are among the most powerful human relationships. "The destruction of family unity entails the destruction of paramount for the development of child's personality sensual ties, micro development" (1, 469). The relationship between parents and children is always closely linked to the relationship of the parents, family lifestyle, health, well-being, happiness.
Friendly atmosphere, and a system of family relationships, which gives a sense of security and at the same time stimulates and directs its development, promotes the well-being of a child.
Emphasizing the specificity impact on the child of family relations, LB Schneider particularly distinguishes parental love. "One has to be conceived in love, and born in love and spend their entire childhood in an atmosphere of love and mutual respect of men" (3, s117).
Love is the greatest and irreplaceable source of spiritual development of children, emotions, moral values, self-confidence and major attitude. It is a source of responsiveness, sensitivity, care and love for the people.
Family for a child is the birthplace and the main habitat. Influence of a family can be analysed as follows:
1. Family provides a basic sense of security to ensure the child's safety when interacting with the outside world, development of new ways to study and response.
2. Children learn from their parents certain modes of behavior, learning some ready-made model of behavior.
3. Parents are the source of the required experience.
4. Parents influence child's behavior, encouraging or condemning certain type of behavior, and applying sanctions or avoiding an acceptable degree of freedom in child's behavior.
5. Communication in family allows the child to develop their own views, norms, attitudes and ideas. Development of the child will depend on precision and clarity of communication in the family.
Family is a definite morale, it represents school of relationships with people for a child. It is in the family ideas of good and evil, of decency, of respect for the material and spiritual values are developed. Child gets the basics about the world in a family. They experience feelings of love, duty, responsibility, fairness...
Children need both parents - a loving father and a loving mother. The relationship between husband and wife have an enormous impact on the development of a child. Conflict, tensions make the child nervous, whining, disobedient and aggressive. Friction between parents has traumatic effect on the baby.
Pathology of the marital relationship produces a wide range of abnormalities. "People who surround a baby and the relationship that prevails in the family, define the future life of a child, as he grows up: tough and selfish or loving and kind person" (4, p.14).
Family in which a child grew up, provides a model for the future family. Researchers have identified qualitative differences with respect to mothers and fathers to raise their child in families. Age gap of the family is when a husband and wife have a big difference in the age of 10-15 years or more.
According to the data obtained in the experimental study, researchers suggest that the family of the same age the main function of the parent of custody and control lies with mother. She is more authoritarian in the relationship with the child, symbiotically authoritarian. In interactions with the child she demonstrates through repression, based on own needs and ideas about what is best for the child, thereby suppressing child’s will and needs. Father takes a more detached position, and is not a leader in this type of family. The child has to actively express their needs and fulfill their own activity. This situation is overprotective. In situations of the tension between the parents and the child, the child is formed.
A child in a mixed-age family tends to take appraiser, coordinator and facilitator roles. "The researchers suggest that such changes in the child's position are determined by a complex organization of interpersonal relationships between parents of different ages.
A child in a family is between competing positions. The main condition for the formation of such functions is the mismatch positions of mother and father.
In different-aged families there has been some shift in the structure of the child-parent relationship. Men often take a position of "husband-father" to the wife, and the wife to the husband - "woman-child." This disposition of the role is self-sufficient. It is also difficult for the child to be included in this family, as his position of a "child" is already taken. Then they have to fight for their importance in the family, for their object of consumption function of this social system.
These studies confirm the fact that in a family with parents of different ages position of mothers and children are close to each other: they are allies and partners. Different aged fathers act as social protection, they watch over and control their own child and wife. The father in such a family is more authoritarian. These conditions allow the child to take a position in the family of the child evaluator or facilitator, which generally is the most common role for a senior and experienced actors in the organization of activities.
Thus, children of differently aged parents are prone to more complex forms of self-realization, and they realize their potential through the evaluation and coordination of the actions of another person.
Family creates individual or destroys with the power of the family to strengthen or undermine the mental health of the individual. The process of family interaction selectively controls the display of emotions, keeping some channels discharging emotions and suppressing others. Family indicates the boundary identification, promoting the emergence of the individual image of "I". Family identifies the risks that an individual will encounter in life.
Experience of family relationships is important for the child, not only in the formation of personality, certain patterns of behavior and relationships with others. It is also an essential foundation on which the child builds the perception of God, fellowship as well as forming the mental development of the child.
Parents are not born. You need to work hard to become a parent. It is the natural law of life. Human history shows us that the starting point is the development of family life and relationships with parents. "One of the most important and sacred roles of a person – to be a father or mother - requires a minimum of health and maturity. But only personal approach can move this opportunity closer to the reality" (5, p.154).
Harmony of parenthood brings a child into the adult world. Authority and leading by example of his father and mother are the main factors of growing, raising mental and spiritual health of an individual.
1. Schneider LB Family Psychology. - M, 2005
2. Family psychotherapy. Eidemiller EG, N. Alexandrova NV, Yustitskis V. - Piter, S-P., Moscow, Kharkov, Minsk, 2000
3. Lesgaft PF. Family and its value. - M.: "Education", 2011
4. Monin G., Lyutova E. Problems of a little man. – Saint-Petersburg, Rech, 2002
5. Family culture: Manual / Comp.: Khramova NG, Alekseeva G., Sarajeva A. - Kostroma: VPO KSU named after Nekrasov, 2005
6. Journal of Practical Psychology № 6, 2005
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