In the early stages of a child’s character development, the family is the first social group that the child has. The relationship that is fostered between the family and the child is important, because it is the role of the family that influences the child’s behavior. Although the child may be influenced by the father and siblings, these relationships are looked to second. The child realizes early that the family belongs to him. This leads to jealousy towards other siblings because he may strive to be significant, and establish a position of superiority. Once the child comes to trust the family, it no longer feels threatened. By fostering a good relationship with the family, the child develops trust which leads to the child developing self confidence and recognizes that it also has a place within the family.
The first and most important relationship the child has is with the mother. The mother is the child’s primary caregiver, and her role is unique from other family members and siblings.
A mother’s role (as primary caregiver) includes;
• Germinating a role of social interest so that the child develops a concept of contributing to the family.
• Introducing the child to an element of unconditional love.
o A mother’s love is exceptional. It encourages the child, fosters self-confidence, self-esteem, and establishes trust within the parent child dynamic.
o When the child feels love, it is likely that child will reciprocate it to others, and is able to feel love later in life.
The father also has an important role in the early stages of the development of the child’s personality. The roles of the mother and father use to differ, but now both are considered to be equal. The father’s role serves as the secondary care giver and economic sustainer to the child. The father role (as secondary care giver) includes;
• Representing a masculine ideal for the child.
o By having a father in the home it enables the child to see a masculine role inside the home. The father’s role is not to act as an authoritarian for the mother for punishment, but to also give the child love.
• Provides economic sustainability to the household.
o Although the parents are seen as equals in the household, the father is to bring home money to provide for the household while the child is being taken care of by the mother.
Having both parents within the family constellation is a benefit to a child, but difficulties can arise if rolls are missed or impaired. If the child is pampered, he or she is left incapable of taking care of him or herself, and ultimately fail to become independent thus adding to the deprivation of the family. This derives from a sense of entitlement where in the boy’s case, he grows to get married, and seek for this wife to take care of him the same way is mother did. The girl, who is typically pampered by the father, will expect to get everything from her husband.
The birth order position can have a profound effect on the character development...