“It is Easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”- by Frederick Douglas
The current article speaks about faulty parent child relationship out of the several family dynamics that can lead to the development as well as maintenance of the mental disorder.
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Causes of Unhealthy Parent Child Relationship
- Rejection: It is manifested in various ways like – by physical neglect, denial of love & affection, lack of interest in the child's activities & achievements, failure to spend time with the child, & lack of respect for the child's right & feelings as a person. In a few cases, it also involves cruel & abusive treatment. Studies show that parental rejection tends to foster low self – esteem, feelings of insecurity & inadequacy, increased aggression, retarded conscience & general intellectual development.
- Overprotection & Restrictiveness: Maternal overprotection or "MOMISM" involves the smothering of the child's growth. Overprotective mothers may watch over their children constantly, protect them from the slightest risk. Such children are denied the much-needed opportunities for reality testing & development of essential competencies. They become overanxious or have excessive fears. In cases of restrictiveness, the parents rigidly enforce restrictive rules & standards and give the child little autonomy or freedom. While restrictiveness may foster well-controlled, socialized behavior, but it also tends to nurture fear, dependency, submission, repressed hostility & some dulling of intellectual striving.
- Over permissiveness & Overindulgence: Sometimes one or both the parent caters to the child's slightest whims & in doing so fail to teach & reward desirable standards of behavior. Overly indulged children are characteristically spoiled, selfish, inconsiderate & demanding. High permissiveness & low punishment at home correlates positively with antisocial & aggressive behavior. These children readily enter into relationships but exploit people for their own purpose. Such children are often rebellious.
- Unrealistic demands: Some parents place excessive pressures on their children to live up to unrealistically "high standards”. Under such sustained pressure, there is little room left for spontaneity or development as an independent person. Too often the parents don't take into consideration the capabilities & temperament of each child that leads to Parent Child Relationship problems.
- Communication failure: Parents can discourage a child from asking questions & in other way fail to foster the "information exchange" essential for healthy personality development. Some parents are too busy with their own concerns than to listen to their children & try to understand the conflicts & pressures they are facing. As a consequence, these parents often fail to give needed support & assistance during crisis periods. Other parents may have forgotten that the world often looks different to a child. One extreme pattern of pathological communication that conveys a contradictory message is referred as double bind communication. Parents may convey one message by their words & another by their behavior.
- Undesirable parental models: Since children tend to observe & imitate the behavior of their parents, it is apparent that parental behavior can have a highly beneficial or detrimental effect on the way a youngster earns to perceive, think, feel or act. A parent who is emotionally disturbed, addicted to alcohol or drugs, or otherwise maladjusted may also serve, as an undesirable model.