24 May 2022

Family relationships: love or challenge?

Children thrive on the feelings of belonging and affection that develop in caring and supportive families. It is now known that the quality of family relationships is more important to a child's well-being than family size or composition.

  • Family heritage, whether positive or negative, is not just a legend: it shapes beliefs, and values, and influences the relationships that exist between family members.
  • The two-parent family is largely dominant in Western societies, and when parents separate, it can be a difficult time for everyone.
  • Blended families can have even more complex relationships to deal with. Children sometimes develop a sense that their previous relationships with their parents are being replaced by the new couple relationship. Sometimes family members, especially children, go through a sense of grief over the loss of their original family.
  • Experts have often found that the two most helping factors to a fulfilling family and relationship development are:
  • communicating with a sense of warmth and care
  • setting clear and appropriate boundaries for children's behavior
  • These patterns would be positive for children's development, regardless of the type of family in which they are raised.
  • Quality family relationships are also based on:
  • listening to each other and communicating openly and honestly
  • sharing similar values and beliefs that create a sense of belonging and cohesion
  • sharing activities and spending time together
  • showing affection and care on a regular basis through tender words and gestures, such as kisses and hugs
  • offering and being able to ask for support or encouragement
  • understanding, respecting, and appreciating the unique personal qualities of each family member
  • making the family's well-being a top priority and acting on it with dedication and loyalty
  • being able to withstand difficulties and adapt positively to changing circumstances

In this article

Grandparents, what a joy!


Grandparents, if they play the game of commitment, can represent a precious opportunity for spontaneous, imaginative, and cheerfully transgressive exchanges for the child.

  • Being a grandparent allows for the rediscovery of the gestures of fatherhood and motherhood, free from parental discipline.
  • However, if they are present on a daily or at least regular basis, it is important that they be the spokesperson for the parents' rules. The opposite could become too intrusive.
  • The pleasure aspect is very important in this relationship, as well as the transmission: the story and the anecdotes about the family history, the inheritance of values and traditions structure the children and reassure them.

The evolution of the parent-child relationship


The parent-child relationship evolves over time, so here's what you need to know about this unique bond between you two.

  • When your baby is still small, your protective instincts take priority.
  • As your child grows up, they will be drawn to the parent of the opposite sex: the famous Oedipus complex.
  • Towards adolescence, your child will gradually become independent and will be able to stand on their own two feet. This is the time during which the parent-child relationship can be the most tense.
  • You will have to find a balance between authority and letting go.
  • Based on honesty and communication, the parent-child relationship continues into adulthood.

The mother-child relationship


Based on unconditional love, every mother-child relationship is authentic. Sometimes, this love for your child can run into some obstacles.

  • Like all moms, you dream of a child with an easygoing temperament.
  • But every child's needs and pain are different.
  • Little by little, you will mourn the loss of the ideal child and adapt to the temperament of your child, this unique little being.
  • Keep in mind that your emotions and your reactions to their distress directly influence them.
  • It is therefore important to know how to manage your own emotions.
  • Talk about your feelings and get support if you feel overwhelmed.

The relationship between the father and the child


The relationship between a child and his father is just as important for his development as the one with the mother.

  • Several recent studies prove it: a father's involvement is a determining factor in his child's well-being, from the earliest age until adulthood.
  • More self-confidence and fewer behavioral problems are the benefits of a positive father-child relationship.
  • Include your partner during pregnancy and after birth to help develop their special relationship with the baby.

The challenges of blended families


As a separated mother, you have met a man who also has children. What are the challenges facing your blended family?

  • First of all, each member will need time to find his or her place in the new home.
  • Acceptance of others often takes time and you will probably have to deal with some conflicts.
  • Always manage jealousy between children with the help of your partner.
  • Differentiate yourself from the "real" mother of your stepchildren by being called by your first name, or a loving nickname.
  • Cultivate the spirit of the tribe by listening to everyone and proposing friendly activities.