Do families prefer male children in Romania

The parent-child relationship in the modern family

1. Introduction to the topic

Our lecture deals with the topic “The parent-child relationship in the modern family”. In the following we would like to first explain the concept of the family in more detail and present its development from a historical point of view.

Then we will go into the relationships in more detail. For this purpose, we explain the development of the parent-child relationship based on the developmental stages of the growing child, i.e. from birth to adulthood.

Although there are various forms of parent-child relationships nowadays, for example divorced parents, unmarried parents, foster parents, we limit ourselves to the classic family picture, consisting of married parents and their child or their children, due to the comprehensive topic in our discussion. However, we will also briefly discuss relationships in a single parent family, as this family constellation is becoming increasingly common.

With regard to this topic, it should also be said that we consider it worthwhile to take into account educational and psychological elements in addition to the sociological aspects, because these also have an influence on the parent-child relationship.

2. The family

Many couples see it as the fulfillment of their wishes to have children, to own a home and to see their child or children grow up there. Although the family structures have changed considerably, the family is still the mainstay of society.

The family structure varies according to culture and living conditions and changes with the society in which the family lives.

2.1. Mother Father Child?

What a family is and who is a family is discussed more than ever today. Some believe that families are only those who are married and have children. Others believe that a family is when a couple lives together and has children. In our opinion, a family is also when the parents are divorced and the child or children live with one parent.

To clarify what a family is now, we consulted various opinions and definitions in our presentation.

- "A family exists when the spouses become parents in that they recognize the children born by the woman or adopted by them as their own and take them into their home."1
-C. H. Cooley defines the family as a primary group whose members have mutual personal relationships and as a differentiated social unit in which everyone experiences the feeling of a whole, which is expressed in the "we".2
For Durkheim, the family was a group of individuals who feel related to one another and who have social, sanctioned, mutual rights and duties with one another.3
- Pope Leo XIII believed that the family is the source and origin of all human society. The most abundant source of good and common good.4

2.2. The family and their relationships through the ages

In our illustration of how family relationships have changed over the centuries, we would like to start with the Middle Ages. ♦ To work on this point we have the book: The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 11-14 consulted.

In the Middle Ages, parents rarely developed feelings towards their child when they were young. This can be attributed to the high mortality rate in early childhood, which was between 20 and 30%. The children suffered from malnutrition and poor hygienic conditions. In the 17th century it took six to seven pregnancies for a household to have two children.

The parents took the death of their child or their children relatively calmly because the deceased was quickly replaced by a newborn child. This even went so far that the baptismal name of the previous child was adopted.

When the child was one year old, it was accepted into the family. This phase of family affiliation was not long-lasting, however, at around seven years of age (the age of reason) the children were sent to other families to work as apprentices or servants.

From the above points it can be concluded that the parent-child relationship was not very intimate and emotional. Not only because the death rate in the first year of life was enormously high and therefore no bond with the child should be built, because otherwise the psychological stress for the parents was too high, but also because the children were sent away from home at an early age to join others Families making money. If you consider giving a child away from home to work at the age of seven, the parent-child relationship cannot have been very close and not nearly as loving as it is today.

-The book forms of the family, 1993, p. 239 have been used to help deal with this point.

At the time of industrialization, i.e. in the 18th and 19th centuries, families strived for as many children as possible, because this made life easier for families. It must be said, however, that it was easier to have more children because the mortality rate had fallen sharply, which can be attributed to the better hygienic conditions.5 The children were able to do any work that came up, such as cleaning the house. However, the example was still quite mild work for the children to do. Child labor was booming at the time. The children were seen as cheap labor, through which the productivity and survival of the family was ensured.

Because of the aforementioned reasons, the relationship between parents and children was more directed on an expedient basis. Because if one assumes that the children were used more for the purpose of making money and that under the worst conditions, one can conclude from this that the parents are less concerned with love, affection and concern for the child’s well-being, their child or their children have raised.

3. Family in the modern age

Our third section deals with the topic of families in modern times. Here we would like to show how the family picture and the relationship are today. As a first point we deal with the topic of the nuclear family and as a second sub-point the single parents. We think the second point is important due to the current topicality of the topic and we also find it worthwhile to describe the relationship between the parents and the child after a separation.

3.1. The nuclear family

The core family today is made up of an ever smaller group of families. It consists of father-mother and the not yet married children. The child is the focus of the family, the family relationships are in a kind of dependency on him. Family life is primarily communication and interaction, which means exchanging messages, reacting to one another and acting with one another. It has been found that different levels of communication take place in families, so communication in a marriage relationship is very different from that in a parent-child relationship. The difference is that children are most often talked about school, homework, friends and leisure activities, but less often about relatives or consumer decisions, which is usually discussed by parents.6

If one looks at the family from a system-theoretical point of view, the family is conceptualized as a system, which means that it consists of a complex of smaller and larger units, i.e. the partner relationship, the parent-child relationship and the sibling relationship. The relationship in the family is referred to as self-regulating, an attempt is made to maintain a certain balance. In this way, relationships are balanced in terms of the type and intensity of feelings, the division of tasks and the exchange of goods.7

In most families, as long as the children are still relatively young, the parent-child relationship is at the center of the action. The relationship between parents and their children is based on a strong emotional bond, a high density of communication and many unconscious processes. In a study (Jugendwerk der Deutschen Shell 1985b) it was found that not only the children are influenced and changed by their parents, but that the parents also found that changes were made by their children. For example, some parents said that the relationship with the younger generation or the worldview has changed.8

Another study by the Sinus Institute in 1985 found that despite many negative reports about the parent-child relationship, it is far more positive than previously assumed. The diagram below shows the structure of relationships between children and their parents. The outer ring describes the parent-child relationship of the girls and the inner ring that of the boys.9

Figure not included in this excerpt

In conclusion, it can be said that the main task of parents is to look after the children, to support them, to give them affection and care as well as to stimulate, influence and direct them, as well as the motor, linguistic, cognitive, affective and to promote the social development of the child and thus to shape their personality structure and to determine their interpersonal relationships.10

3.2. The single parents

In the future, every third child will live with just one parent. Although there are also single fathers, the number of single mothers predominates, who are mostly abandoned at the beginning of the pregnancy. The consequences of this can be that the mother is extremely attached to the child or even rejects it. Among other things, this can lead to the abandonment of the child. In the long run, this can have unfortunate consequences for the child. Often the child is pampered and especially adored by the mother, who belongs to them alone, which can have the consequence that, especially in boys, it is possible that the cord can be severely severed from the mother.

One of the long-term consequences can be that the one-sidedness of the mother's upbringing can lead to a disturbed relationship with the male sex.

4. How the child changes the life of the parents

In our fourth bullet point, we deal with the topic of how the child changes the life of the parents. Here we would like to show in which stages of development this is divided and how the relationship between parents and children changes over time.

We will start with pregnancy and the last point will be adolescence.

4.1. The pregnancy

Until a few years ago, the father almost completely took a back seat during pregnancy, which was considered a woman's business. The father lost importance after the fertilizing coitus. This reticent gesture by the father about pregnancy has changed over the years. Today not only the mother but also the father follow the development of their child in the womb with great interest. This affirmation of the father role already has a decisive effect on the father-child relationship. The presence of the unborn child is thus experienced more strongly today than in the past, by both parents. This leads to an early development of the parent-child relationship and a bond between the child and the parents. From the outside, the child gets the feeling of being expected. However, there are also unwanted pregnancies. The negative attitude of the parents towards the fetus can have serious consequences for the development of the child.11

4.2. The birth

The course of delivery is of great importance for the mother-child relationship. A very painful and protracted birth can lead the mother to rejection of her child, which is often shared by the father. The birth of the child today usually takes place in the presence of the father. This is confirmed by his presence in his co-responsibility and the father-child relationship is already strengthened by witnessing the birth. Thus, the birth is a common celebration of the family, both parents participate in the life of their child from the beginning. Just a few years ago, this was not considered advisable. The father was considered a "disruptive element" during childbirth. In addition, the child was only shown to the mother for a few moments, and that after sufficient cleaning. Today, however, the still unwashed child is given to the mother in order to establish a relationship between the baby, his father and his mother as early as possible. The child should be accepted and loved as it is, but also against all wishes and expectations.12

4.3. The first three years of life

The child is initially helpless due to his motor inadequacy. It needs the help of his parents. This relationship of dependency is formative for the development of the child and its relationship to the parents. It is up to the parents to establish closeness and connection to their child. The parents now have the task of showing certain caring behavior. The "pronounced dependency in connection with the need for attention leads to a decidedly 'eccentric' constellation of parent-child relationships. Without extreme dependence there is no unusual degree of social formulation or individual development ”.13

The first exchange between mother and child takes place during breastfeeding. According to psychoanalysis (S. Freud), breastfeeding represents an initial gain in pleasure for the child, since it satisfies its oral needs. According to this, this oral satisfaction through breastfeeding is the cornerstone of the sexuality of the later adult. During the ingestion of food, there is very intimate contact between the mother and her child. Feeding is a good time to communicate. This creates a solid bond, an intimate familiarity between the two.14 Bottle feeding, on the other hand, is only an inadequate substitute for breastfeeding through the mother's breast. There is less skin and body contact. This type of feeding can be done by the father. Because of the big difference between breast and bottle, the father and the child experience feeding differently and not as intensively as the mother. Here the child is already building a very own relationship and bond with the mother.15

The first relationships with the mother are significant. As early as two months, the child can recognize its parents by their smell and thus differentiate from which person they receive food or attention, for example. Here, however, it is important not to let the extreme bond with the mother persist. The child must have the opportunity to break this symbiosis and the mother must not constantly anticipate the needs of her child.16

It is just as important that the couple harmonize with one another. A wanted, desired child can strengthen the connection between the parents and thus also intensify the relationship with the child. The father's attitude towards the child affects the mother's emotional situation and thus also that of the child. A father who is not interested in the infant creates a closer bond between mother and child. In this case, the child can also be visually placed between mother and father and prevent a harmonious three-way relationship. The father should therefore be included in the events and the development of the child, because this is the only way for the child to intensify the relationship with the father and also register its advantages.17

The first three years of the child's life are thus mainly shaped by the relationship with the mother. Despite the change in traditional notions of family, the classic distribution of roles in the family still prevails today: the mother is the first caregiver because she spends most of the day with her child while the father is at work. In this classic distribution of roles, the child develops an intimate relationship with the father, which is characterized by his or her specialty. The familiar, constant presence of the mother becomes a matter of course, while the relationship with the father is not yet fully developed. The child uses the short time it shares with the father on the weekends, for example, to “get to know him better”, so to speak. Nowadays we also find this classic distribution of roles the other way around. More and more women do not want to forego their professional careers and remain employed despite having children. Most of the time, the childcare tasks are dealt with separately here. In this case, the child builds its own relationship with the respective parent, which is determined in time. Less often the father takes on the role of househusband, while the mother takes care of the maintenance. Then the father takes on the role of the first caregiver.18

In summary, it can be said that the transition to parenthood, regardless of the prevailing role distribution, not only requires the addition of instrumental skills, such as feeding, diapering, washing, but above all a relationship with the child must be developed, and a corresponding self-image is also required.19

The development of the relationship takes a long time, it forms a series of transitional phases and in this constellation is prone to crisis, as it can lead to the destabilization of the social equilibrium of identity. It thus also affects the relationship between the parents, especially the primary contacts. A third party now interferes in the previously differentiated couple relationship, and this to a very considerable extent. The helplessness of the child can also turn into power under certain circumstances, namely where it forces others to get involved. While adults are physically and mentally superior, they bear all responsibility for the life and survival of the newborn. This “dependency-power relationship” redefines the relationship with the newborn as well as the relationship with the parents and thus at the same time provokes their change. The birth of a child not only has an impact on the relationship between those involved, but also on their relationship with the environment. The importance that the child assumes and the time that it (consumes) changes attitudes and exchanges with the environment. Especially in the first years of life, it is not always easy to take a child with you when you go shopping or when you go to the doctor, for example, so this requires a well-organized division of tasks in the household and in relation to activities outside the home.20

4.3. Socialization of the child

To work on this point we have taken the book The Child in the Family, 1987, pp. 77/78 as an aid.

Little by little, society takes on educational tasks that used to be traditionally carried out by the family. From the child's third year of life, i.e. when the child enters kindergarten, numerous specialists deal with the child and its development: pedagogues, social pedagogues, educators, etc. The process of socialization of the child begins very early, during which it is increasingly withdrawn from the influence of the family.

Entering kindergarten is a difficult step, both for the child and for the parents. This first separation is felt to be painful at first, but the child usually quickly gets used to the new environment. The kindergarten teacher now takes on the role of mother (or father) - at least in the morning - but the child has to share it with other children, which is a new experience for only children. Cutting the cord from the home environment is an important experience for the child. Little by little it begins to develop its own life, experiences events outside the home and is confronted with new characters. The parents' influence becomes more limited; they now entrust their child to other people. This first detachment is of great importance for the parent-child relationship. Parents have to accept that outsiders also participate in their child's life and that their child is confronted with new and exciting situations. The new incident can intensify the relationship, but it can also loosen it. This depends on the interest of the parents and their participation in what is happening in the kindergarten. If the parents are interested in the concerns of their child, their child will let them participate in their life in kindergarten; However, if the child is given the impression that kindergarten is a welcome opportunity to be away from the child for a while, the child may withdraw and not let his parents take part in the morning's events. The now somewhat relaxed relationship can be strengthened again through more intensive occupation and joint activities in the afternoons. In this way, the child experiences the first steps towards independence in the mornings and in the afternoons experiences the security and protection of the parents, which it still needs.

4.4. Latency Period (6-14 Years)

As with the previous point, we used the book The Child in the Family, 1987, pp. 78-88 for processing.

When parents and their child start school at the age of six, new challenges arise. For the first time, the child is required to perform at school. Success at school is very important in the parents' eyes. This attitude is crucial for the relationship between the child and his or her parents, as the child often considers success in school to be necessary in order to secure the love of the parents. The child needs encouragement and should be stimulated in their actions. If the child does not experience this, suffers from the pressure to perform, which the parents put on him, and his efforts are not appreciated, the child tends to let himself go. However, the family must not place too high demands on their offspring, otherwise the child threatens to suffocate under the pressure, feels guilty and finally gives up. So there needs to be a certain interest in the school, which should not only relate to school performance, but should also focus on what happens during the breaks and on the way there and back. The school now offers adolescents a completely new opportunity to prove themselves and to distinguish themselves. The child experiences even more intensely (in comparison with the experiences from kindergarten), dealing with his environment and building his own life. It makes new contacts and experiences conflicts outside the home. The socialization and the cutting of the cord continues, the child withdraws more and more from the influence of the parents. You should allow the child to have their way in this regard, but allow them at all times to maintain the exchange with the parents and not reduce the necessary security. In this way, an equilibrium slowly settles in, which enables common and independent experience and management and maintains relationships with one another.

In this phase of childhood, special emphasis should be placed on the common leisure activities. Thus, weekends and meals together can serve to maintain communication between family members. Dealing with the respective events of the individual persons is of great importance in order to maintain the good relationship and trust among one another. During this time, questions about sexuality, pregnancy and the birth of a child also arise with the children. The parents should try to talk to the child about it relatively openly and uninhibited, and only answer questions that were actually asked. It is important not to chalk the child feelings of guilt or general questions, it is quite natural that there is a certain interest in them and the child is curious. In any case, it is of no use to make a special secret out of the subject of sexuality, because that does not let the child rest until he receives an appropriate answer and reinforces his curiosity and imagination.

4.5. Adolescence

As with the previous points, we have consulted the book The Child in the Family, 1987, pp. 89-98.

Adolescence can be defined as the period in which the adolescent is on the one hand no longer a child and on the other hand is not yet an adult. Puberty describes a certain physiological development: in girls it is the onset of menstruation, in boys it is the first ejaculation. During this time the adolescent will try to break away from his family in a more or less brutal way. This break in the family is experienced in different ways. On the one hand, the loosening can be a natural side effect, it takes place slowly and deliberately. Here, the parents make it much easier for the child if they give him the necessary freedom and allow him to be independent. However, this should be marked with certain limits so that the child does not have to completely rely on itself. The radical disengagement from the family bond is usually the result of family disputes. The adolescent feels restricted in the family, limited in his free development. This hasty flight from home to friends, for example, can have a negative impact on the relationship. The parents feel abandoned and misunderstood, they can no longer follow their child's steps. Thus, the parents lose more and more influence on their child, this knowledge is usually not easy to process. But the sooner the parents allow their child to do their thing during this time, give him the opportunity to act more independently and also to make his own mistakes, the easier it will be for them to be completely cut off from the cord. Despite the profound transformation that the parent-child relationship undergoes during this time, the family remains a fixed point, which is often visited, especially after mishaps. Gradually, the parents no longer function as role models, because the adolescent's advanced socialization now has the opportunity to call in other authorities and compare them with the parents. During this time, there are very often arguments between the children and their parents, as the children, by being able to compare, question domestic family life and prefer other types of family, for example that of friends. However, you will be able to assess very quickly what advantages your own family offers and then fall back on them.

5. Three theories on the parent-child relationship

Our last point of presentation shows three different theories of a parent-child relationship. The three theories were divided into the traditional, modern and avant-garde model.

We will go into more detail on the next few pages what these individual points mean.

5.1. The traditional model

To work on this point we have taken the book The Birth of Parents, 1990, p.124-133124-133 as an aid.

As an introduction to this explanation, we would like to include a small quotation from Wylie, 1969, p. 153f from the book: The Birth of Parents, 1990, p. 124.

“After a few days, both women resumed their normal lives. Madame Boneradi was lucky, people said. She lived with her mother, who helped her care for the baby. Despite receiving government support, Madame Vidal felt obliged to get back to work as soon as possible. After a few days she cleaned the floors in the town hall again every morning. She asked one of her sisters to take care of the baby during her working hours "

This small excerpt from the entire quotation is intended to show how the lives of the two (study objects) had changed after the birth of their children. Namely, almost not at all. As can be seen from the above quote, women go back to their agenda very quickly. This also means that the mother-child relationship is not particularly emphasized, but this does not mean that the child does not receive any tender treatment. In this way, when the toddler is accepted, he is also spoken to and loved. When dealing with the child, it can be seen that it is a traditional style. This means that the baby is cared for as it has always been done; an example of this is that the babies were swaddled tightly, that is, completely tied up from the waist down.

As can easily be seen from the above paragraphs, the father does not play a major role in bringing up the child, he is, so to speak, a marginal phenomenon. With this model, baby care is a woman’s business, apart from the men’s meetings in the village pub, where the father is boasting about the baby.

From the above-mentioned book, however, it can be seen that assumptions are made which show that the first signs of a father-child relationship came from Alsace. This line of thought becomes clearer if one reads the following quote:

“But it is not his business to take care of (children). Only in unusual circumstances is he asked to keep an eye on her. There was a father in the village who obviously enjoyed caring for his baby, but it was felt that he was behaving abnormally and attributed it to the fact that he and his wife are from Alsace. "21

It can therefore be assumed that the following points are typical for traditional living environments: hardly any discussion of the birth of the child and the tendency to adapt the child to their own rhythm of life. Furthermore, it can be said of the traditionalist model that the infant has to receive discipline. This does not primarily consist of instruction, but is pure deed, consisting of the expression of power, bending of the developing will. The child's will must be broken. This was a maxim from an 1887 educational manual.

The encyclopaedic handbook of pedagogy of 1908 argues in a much more nuanced way. It expressly points out that the baby is not a small adult and for this reason can only be treated to a limited extent as to how she (the adults) can be treated. Likewise, the infant should not be laid on more frequently than prescribed, and the breaks must be strictly observed. Even the length of the breastfeeding period was prescribed for the mother, and it should only last a quarter to half an hour. Furthermore, it is said that the child should not be admitted except for drinking and especially not when you want to calm him down. The danger is allegedly too great to spoil the child and the damage to the child and the mother are from this. What damage this could be is not explained in more detail in the book.

At the time it was believed that a child does not need to be kept busy, the mother should keep a proper distance from her child. A consequence of this is that the emotional relationship between mother and child is disavowed.

Strict rules shaped everyday life not only for the child, but also for the mother. A model day could look like this:

6.00 a.m. draining, breastfeeding or giving the first bottle. Let burp, make a bed, put a clean diaper underneath. Then the child continues to sleep

6.45 a.m. Prepare breakfast for the family, if there is enough time, you can retire to bed for half an hour before or after breakfast

8.00 a.m. After breakfast, the apartment is first supplied

9.20 a.m. preparation of the daily cleaning bath; Have a bath towel, care products, diapers (already folded and laid out), shirt and jacket ready. Pour in water and check the temperature

9.40 a.m. Bathing, but as short as possible, dry off child, get dressed quickly

10.00 a.m. Second meal, belching, changing diapers

10.30 a.m. Now the child is very tired, and when the weather is nice it sleeps best with the window open. Now there is time for the apartment, for necessary errands and the running of lunch

2.00 p.m. 3rd meal, dry out, allow to burp. The child continues to sleep

2.30 p.m. Small lunch break for the mother

5 p.m. The child usually slept in. Drain if necessary. The mother can play a little with the child

6:00 p.m. 4th meal, plump up, dry out. The child usually continues to sleep

It was assumed that the mothers who occupied themselves with their child were too lazy to do anything productive, and that it would also spoil the child, it was said.

The early parent-child relationship was characterized by strict classifications and little emotional differentiation. From this it can be assumed that becoming parents was in a certain way a burden both for the parents and for the children. The traditional templates made decisions for the individual mother, but limited the autonomous relationship between mother and child, or between parents and child.

5.2. The modern model

After the point the traditional model, we now deal with the modern model. As with the point above, we have used the book The Birth of Parents, 1990, pp. 133-138 for processing.

Initially, the question should be clarified, what are modern parents anyway? Some basic characteristics are:

- Children are no longer the material for parental directives, but are recognized as independent beings who deserve support and affection.
- Parents no longer distinguish themselves from their children, but identify with them, whereby the relationship between parents and children has become much more "permeable" on both sides. ♦ A kind of philosophy of growing up has now taken the place of education. The focus here is on giving the children the best possible conditions for development.
- The parent-child relationship has expanded and differentiated considerably, whereby more reflexivity is required and developed. As can be seen from the introductory points, the image of children has changed considerably. It is no longer about allowing discipline and breaking of will to come to the baby, but about giving the baby love and emotional support. To clarify this, a quote from the magazine Eltern, 1985/87, p.35 from the book: The Birth of Parents, 1990, p. 134.

“What should a child learn in the first year of life? Sleep through the night? Don't scream so much? Willing to be swaddled and fed at the right time? All of this could be achieved through upbringing or better through “training”. All well-known psychologists and educators keep saying: the more a child experiences in the first year of life that our world is friendly, the more it will learn to love life. And then it will learn to wait and learn to do without. "

As can be seen, the child is no longer seen as an "animal to be tamed", but as a baby to be loved and cuddled with. It is no longer the case that the child has to orientate themselves to the needs of their environment, but the environment, i.e. the parents, orientate themselves to the needs of the child. From this a very essential guiding principle can be recognized:

“Modern parents want happy, satisfied, self-confident, self-assured children. Practically all advice and instructions that are intended to ensure optimal child development are aimed at ensuring that adults are autonomous, intelligent people who are independent and empathetic in their actions. "22

But not only this characterizes a modern parent-child relationship, but also that the children are not only integrated into a zone that is more appropriate for them, but also that the parents integrate them into the lives of adults, for example the children become part of the leisure activities taken by parents.

In conclusion, the following can be said about this: The child has become an important and valuable point of reference for the parents. It has become an equal interaction partner, the relationship is now more child-centered than it was before. Empathy and interactive engagement are required from parents today.

5.3. The avant-garde model

Our last point of the three theories on the parent-child relationship relates to the avant-garde model. As with the previous points, we have used the book The Birth of Parents, 1990, pp. 138-142 for processing.

Before doing this, a few comments on the term avant-garde. In this context, the name is intended to represent the vanguard of modernity, that is, concepts are developed and tried out here that will also become important and characteristic for later population groups. Certain competencies, interactive resources, but also distances to normality are concentrated here to an extent that practically urges us to tackle things that are done full-time and intensively, so to speak. This means that when a child comes into our lives, we should turn our entire lives upside down and forget our previously forged plans. Linked to this is the unconditional devotion to the child.

"The more artificial, more separate the baby world, the further removed the feelings and activities that adults have for a child from their normal lives, the more complete the control that adults exercise over the child."23

In this model, the common style rules are also rejected, for example, the child sleeps in bed with the parents. The classic cot is seen as a children's prison because of the bars, and the children's room is also a storage room for newborns. Modern infant care, with its high level of hygiene, is seen as an isolation wall between parents and child.

Avant-garde parent-child relationships are essentially characterized by the fact that a natural relationship between parent and child should be established in an industrial culture. The relationship of authority has changed completely, the child alone determines what has to happen, his needs are the focus of the interaction.

With this model, the importance of the rest of the world shrinks. The parent-child relationship is an issue that can only be impaired by others in an extreme emergency. Only the primary groups are significant, i.e. the participation of partners or people who share a way of life and attitudes, such as roommates in a shared apartment or close friends.

6. Risk factors for the parent-child relationship

We worked out our last item on the basis of the book Developmental Psychology, 1998, p. 159/160.

It should not be forgotten that the parent-child relationship depends on a number of factors. We would now like to add some research findings to this.

- It was found that a child's temperament characteristics have an influence on the parent-child relationship. A “difficult” temperament, for example, makes it difficult for parents to carry out their upbringing tasks. However, one should ask oneself where the temperament comes from. Can you tell at first glance who is “to blame” for the existing problems. ♦ It has also been found that the relational experiences of the family of origin play a role. For example, parenting skills are weakened if the parents have negative experiences.

- Another criterion is the marital relationship of the parents. A stressful couple relationship and a lack of agreement between the parents has a negative effect on the behavior of the educator. This in turn has an impact on the relationship between the parents and the child. ♦ Research shows that job satisfaction is just as important for a good parent-child relationship. Stressful, unsatisfactory and energy-absorbing work has a negative effect on the relationship.

All of these factors should not be understood as independent determinants; they are interrelated. The following diagram shows a study by Hannan and Luster (1991), who checked the quality of the domestic environment, measured with the HOME (= Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment). 602 mothers and their children between the ages of one and two years took part in this study. The following risk factors were examined:

a) the mother's low age at the time of the birth of the first child
b) low level of education
c) low self-esteem
d) low intelligence
e) low income
f) non-existent partner
g) large number of children
h) difficult temperament of the child

The following graph shows the probability, if a mother “fulfills” a certain number of risk factors, to what extent she will let the child grow up in a less stimulating developmental environment.

Figure not included in this excerpt

7. Conclusion

In conclusion, the following can be said about our presentation:

If you look at what parent-child relationships used to look like, you can see that a lot has already changed. Parents respect their children more than they used to, and in most cases show them more love and affection. This does not start when the child is born, but before it is born. One reason besides those shown could be that, thanks to the progress of technology, the child can be seen on the ultrasound at an early stage of birth.

The only thing that can only be hoped for is that due to the ever-advancing technology and working-class world, children will not grow up in a world in which they have to maintain their relationship with their parents via the Internet or via videophones.

Another frightening point is the increasing legalization of abortion, which is increasingly being used as a method of contraception, but is also abused in many cases out of “beauty ideals”. To make this clear: An embryo can already be aborted today if it only has a cleft palate, which can now be surgically corrected and is no longer a major problem.

One can only hope that this development will not progress any further, but that humanity will come to its senses and that the children themselves are in the foreground, not how they look or what character they have.

But who knows?

8. Bibliography

- Duche Didier- Jacques: The child in the family. 1987, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart
- Montada Leo (Ed.), Oerter Rolf: Developmental Psychology. 1998, 4th corrected edition, Psychologie Verlags Union, Weinheim
- Rosenbaum Heidi: Forms of the Family. 1993, 6th edition, Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main
- Schülein Johann August: The birth of the parents. 1990, Westdeutsche Verlag GmbH, Opladen
- Szepan E., Teichmann W .: Introduction to Sociology. 3rd edition, Stam, Cologne 1993


1 Introduction to Sociology, 1993, p. 55

2 See: The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 9

3 See: The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 10

4 See: The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 10

5 Introduction to Sociology, 1993, p. 107

6, page 3

7, page 6

8, p. 9

9, p. 9

10, p. 16/17

11 The Child in the Family, 1987, pp. 25-28

12 The Child in the Family, 1987, pp. 25-28

13 The Birth of Parents, 1990, p. 119

14 The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 44

15 The child in the family, 1987, pp. 44/45

16 The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 45

17 The Child in the Family, 1987, p. 46

18 The Birth of Parents, 1990, p. 120

19 The Birth of Parents, 1990, p. 120

20 The Birth of the Parents, 1990, pp. 120/121

21Wylie, 1969, p. 44 from the book: The Birth of Parents, 1990, p. 127 12

22 The Birth of the Parents, 1990, p. 135

23 Living with a Newborn, 1980, p.16f from the book. The Birth of the Parents, 1990, p. 139 15