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Interactions Between Family Systems And Child Development

857 words - 3 pages

Healthy functioning in the family is a goal that many families strive for, but not all are able to achieve with ease. The family functioning, all of the interactions and emotional current in the home have a significant impact on the individuals involved. Childhood development is one area that is particularly affected. Whether good or bad, the family system and environment influences the cognitive, emotional, and physical development of the children and can establish positive or negative cognitive and behavioral traits that remain for a life-time.
Healthy families foster environments of safety and relationships that are grounded on trust. One major factor in healthy family systems is positive parenting. Both Brooks (2014) and Feldman (2014) advocated the authoritative parenting as being the most beneficial for growing children. Generally within this style of parenting, Brooks noted that these types of parents provide emotional security and build up self-esteem in their children. Clear Rules are given, but they can be somewhat flexible and can come with explanations if the children would want to discuss the reasoning behind the rule (Brooks, 2013). Feldman explained that the environment that these parents create by parenting in this manner exudes warmth and support. Another factor in healthy family systems is that they lay the foundations for positive growth. Because open communication with the children is a common practice in this family life, the children are able to strengthen their communication and social skills (Brooks, 2013). Feldman supported that fact and added that with an environment that provides a strong sense of security, children are better able to make and maintain lasting relationships. With the safe, emotionally secure environment that the parents provide, children are able to learn how to control their emotions and their behavior in ways that are more beneficial and more socially acceptable (Feldman, 2014). Positive family systems also influence the children’s spirituality. Newberg and Newberg (2006) pointed out that the understanding of God is much stronger and more positive in children who come from families where the parents that provide a strong sense of security and love.
Conversely, unhealthy family systems can adversely affect the cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual development of children. In a study on the effects of parenting styles on childhood development, Repetti, Taylor, and Seeman (2002) found that children who came from an unhealthy family system where parental response was cold, unsupportive, and full of conflict suffered in all of the areas of development. Children who have consistently high stress levels were found to have permanent damage to the proper flow of the neuroendocrine system in the brain. Looking at emotional development, Repetti, Taylor, and Seeman also highlighted that...

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