02 Sep Family Bonds
by Tashica Jacobson
Family members have a responsibility to each other; and as each member fulfills his role the whole family benefits. There are many benefits that come from having a close relationship among spouses, and between parents and children.
When children have a good relationship with both parents they are less likely to engage in substance abuse and aggressive behaviors. When parents are responsive to their children’s needs, children do better in school, are more likely to graduate, and go on to higher education.
When the family is intact children are more likely to have a positive relationship with their father. The bond that a father can establish with his children will help them throughout all of life. They are less likely to have delinquent and anti-social behaviors. This bond works against negative peer pressure, making children less likely to use drugs and alcohol, and engage is early sexual activities and risky sex. Boys learn how to respect their mothers and other women, and one day maintain a family of their own. They are also more likely to take an active parenting role in their own families. Girls are less likely to be involved in an abusive relationship if they have an involved father.
Fathers’ involvement has also been linked to many other positive outcomes, such as better careers and greater income. There is more commitment to the family when the father plays an active role. It has also been “associated with positive child characteristics such as empathy, self-esteem, self-control, psychological well-being, social competence, and life skills.”
Mothers likewise play a huge role in the development of children. Studies have shown that “the sensitivity that moms bring to their interaction with their children from infancy through pre-school years is a strong and a consistent predictor of the social skills and behavior that they will exhibit throughout childhood”
The amount of time that mothers spend with children in their adolescent years is linked to a decrease in behavioral problems. Mothers should discuss social and moral consequences with their children. Involved mothers show firmness and love for each child. Because of this mothers provide the foundation for the morals and values that children will have thoughout the rest of their lives. Children whose mothers monitor their behavior engage in less risky behaviors.
Mothers and fathers have a responsibility to each other as well as to their children. They are to love and care for one another. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman, a marriage researcher and counselor, says that the basis of a healthy marriage is a “deep and abiding friendship.” This friendship is based on respect for one another as well as an understanding of each other’s fears, dreams, likes, and dislikes. Gottman says healthy couples “don’t just get along. They also support each other’s hopes and aspirations and build a sense of purpose into their lives together”. They honor and respect each other, and enjoy each other’s company. They look for opportunities to serve, and uplift each other. In a happy marriage both members seek to create a deep shared meaning.
Families have the responsibility to love one another. Each member can play a positive role in the lives of others as they strive to develop a strong relationship. These relationships will change lives and impact of the future lives of each member.