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Psychology behind "Maa baap ne yehi sikhaya hai?"​- a sneak-peak into parent-child relationship

“Maa-baap ne yeh sikhaya hai?”

I say this on behalf of everyone out there. We all have encountered this one phrase just too many times, even though it might or might not have been directed at us. Maybe it is easier to trace the root of every individual to the sort of parenting they have received. Although, this explanation seems barely correct. Had it been, kids of a set of parents have had the same personality and behavior, which isn't always the case. But this is not entirely incorrect, the thing this statement implies is what we call in psychology a parent-child relationship.

A Parent-child relationship is one that is aimed at the physical, social, and emotional development of the child. It consists of a combination of behaviors, feelings, and expectations which are unique to a parent and their child. Parent-child relationship (or PCR for short) is influenced by the age of the parent, their experience, their self-confidence, the stability of their marriage, and the characteristics of the child which are dissimilar to their parents. The importance of a healthy parent-child relationship has been highlighted by many sociologists and psychologists alike. Family is considered to be the primary socialization agent while parents serve as one of the first role models a child looks up to. It is also estimated that the sort of bond an individual has with their parents affects the way they get attached to others and form relationships in their life. Since we have established how important a parent-child relationship can be, let’s now look at what healthy and unhealthy parent-child relationships look like.

(image resource- hindi mediumParent-child, NDTV)

Unhealthy Parent child relationships look like;

- You want to control every aspect of your child’s life.

- You believe your child to be an extension to you.

- You give silent treatment as a punishment to your child.

- You do not respect your kid’s boundaries

- You constantly criticize your child.

While Healthy Parent child relationships resemble -

  • You know and respect that your child is an individual and not an extension of yourself.

  • You don’t always see eye-to-eye with your child (not agreeing on something is okay)

  • You don’t feel the need to know the whereabouts of your child round-the-clock.

  • You let your child have their space to grow and explore different things.

  • You encourage your child to come up with solutions instead of spoon-feeding them.

(Image source- Rakshabandhan, Hindustan times)

With a clear idea of what healthy and unhealthy PCR looks like, begs the question as to what can be done to make it better; to work on the parent child relationship that you have with your precious one. Since each of the parent-child relationship is unique there can never be a single shoe that must fit all. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Hugs: We are wired to feel safe while hugging. Hugging releases oxytocin which acts as a natural destressor and helps you feel good physically. At times a hug acts as a reminder that you’re there for them. Do ask your kid if they need a hug especially after a rough day and at times hug each other for no apparent reason too.

  • Micro moments- at times the work, school and other things get the best of us; it goes both ways for kids and parents too. Setting aside a short time span to indulge in a short activity that the two of you enjoy can go a long way in terms of working on your parent-child relationship. Remember to keep aside your phones (and your kid’s phone too) laptop or any other thing that may distract you from the moment!

(image source- piku, urban asia)

● Having personal rituals- Practice those activities that hold personal meanings to you. It can be anything; monthly visits to a plant-nursery, going out every alternative sundays, or cooking something together.

● Communicate- listening is what lays the cornerstone for communication; actively listening to your child is the key. Communicating healthy boundaries, ground rules and the consequences which may follow are some of the essentials to be touched. The message is to sound encouraging such that your child learns to respect their boundaries and others’.

● 5:1 rule- now this can be used in more than one situation. The basic principle is, for every conflict or an argument or an unpleasant experience there should be 5 encounters that are pleasant for the two parties involved.

In the end, a healthy parent child relationship reaps kids who are confident, balanced, calm, independent and well-adjusted; while an unhealthy parent child relationship? Not so!

(image source- Khubsoorat, scoopwhoop)

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