Family Structure and Its Effects on Children

Introduction

The family structure in which a child grows plays a very important role in the future of the children. Children who grow up in a stable family background tend to be more successful in various aspects of life than children who grow up in an unstable family background. It is important for a family to provide a positive guideline to a child when the child is growing up, and this has an impact on how the child will relate to other people in the future. The family structure plays a very important role in molding a child’s personality, and hence it is a very important factor in the character formation of a child. Generally, many children take the behaviors of the immediate family member, and hence the stability of the family plays a very important role in the children and the latter future as adults who will bring up families of their own (Woolf, 2001).

In the past, children’s survival depended on health, and this case was very negative in the developing world, with a significant percentage of children not dying. With the introduction of various forms of health and nutrition education in these countries, the numbers have improved in great numbers and hence now about ninety-five percent of the children are surviving even in the developing countries. The only negative thing is the condition under which the children grow up. Family structures are degrading, and hence psychologically, the children are growing up in a more negative way than it would be desired in any given society. Hence the need to improve the family structures as they are the first interaction a child will have in their lifetime (Anthony, 1970).

Importance of family structures to children’s well being

In the past, children’s welfare in the world was poor when considered with today’s standards. This is because the children did not have families who had the knowledge of modern health and nutritious requirements for the children. Research has shown that about seventy-nine percent of the children in the developing world did not survive, and those who survived had many problems, including health problems, social problems, nutrition problems, and other problems associated with children. This is because their families had not yet learned of the modern trends in the art of child-rearing. This was made worse by the fact that the children in these countries did not have a social support system like schools. In fact, as soon as 1979, the numbers of the children who died had not changed, and there were very many deaths of the children. This was not inclusive of the fact that the children were growing in family structures that did not offer psychological support to them. Many families had not yet learned of the importance of psychological support to the children, and they made no effort to improve the situation on the ground. Many families still did not have the knowledge of how to support the children psychologically. Many children were subjected to families that were not stable, and this meant that the children suffered psychologically as a result (Kagitçibasi, 2009).

Psychologists argue that children who had both biological parents grew up in a more stable psychological aspect. This is because the children are taken care of in a more stable environment, and this is created by the fact that the parents can bring up their children in a more loving and affectionate environment. Most of the disturbed people in their adulthood have evidence that in their childhood, they did not have both biological parents. It is made worse if the parents went through a divorce when they had the children, and this can be attributed to the fact that the children suffer more psychologically than their parents in the course of the divorce. It is important for a child to grow up with effect from both parents and also being taken care of both parents. Although sometimes this is not possible due to some natural and other causes, children who grow up in a family structure that has both biological parents are very different from the other children. This is because the children can have someone to look up to when he needs male or female parents. This also creates a secure environment for the children, and this plays a very important role in ensuring that the children are psychologically secure in all aspects of life. It is also important for a child to have psychological support from its parents, and this is afforded to better degrees when both the parents are present in the child’s life. This means that the children will have no psychological problems which are rooted in their childhood (Ramey, 2002).

The psychological importance of family structures to children

Psychologists have come to the conclusion that children who grow up in family structures that have both biological parents are more psychologically stable than their counterparts who come from families that do not have one or both of the biological problems. This can be rooted in the fact that children’s psychological are molded at their childhood, and hence this plays a very important role in ensuring that the children are psychologically well endowed than their counterparts. One of the reasons for this is that a child gets a feeling of security when he or she is growing up. This security plays a very important role in the psychology of the child and will be reflected in the future days when the child is an adult. This means that security which comes from both the biological parents, plays a very important role in determining the future of their children, and this means that most of the secure people in the world got this character from the fact that they had both biological parents during their development stages (Archer, 2004).

A child who has grown up in a family structure in which both biological parents have a positive attitude in their lives. This can be rooted in the fact that the parents have played a very important part in the lives of the children, and this can be seen by the fact that these children will tackle life issues in a very positive way. Some of these issues include some very important issues like academics, and this can be proved by the fact that these children excel academically more than their counterparts who did not have both biological parents during their childhood. This attitude of positivity is also extended to other aspects of life, and it ensures that these children are more successful than their counterparts who did not have both parents in their childhood. For children to excel in various fronts in life, they need stable psychology, and this can only be afforded to them by their parents. Lack of one of the parents in their lives tends to cause some psychological problems, and this causes them to have a negative attitude towards life in general. This has been confirmed by counseling psychologists who have argued that more children from family structures that do not have both biological parents have psychological problems than their counterparts who come from family backgrounds that have both biological parents (Johnson, 2002).

These children also find it easier to interact with people from both sexes and hence they are more sociable than their counterparts. In this time and age, socialization is a very important aspect in any front, and this has been confirmed by psychologists who argue that people who interact and intermingle with people from various backgrounds and cultures find it easier to tackle hardships. In this respect, the children from these family backgrounds have the advantage that they can interact socially with people of many backgrounds and cultures. This has helped them in such fields as academics and general life issues, which requires one to get help from a diverse population of colleagues and other people. This also extends to the fact that these children are more likable because they can easily socialize with various people (Anthony, 1970).

These children also have high levels of confidence, and this can be attributed to the positive psychological backing they have from their parents. This means that these children will face life in a more confident manner, and this plays a very important part in tackling life’s hardships. This means that the children who are from a family background that have both biological parents have higher levels of confidence, and this is very significant because it ensures that one excels in different fields. This can be rooted in the fact these children have known their parents to handle some of the difficulties, and this has played a very major role in influencing their mentality towards challenges. They have come to accept that life must have challenges, and the better way to tackle them is to have a sense of inner security and confidence (Delaney, 1998).

These children also have learned a lot of virtues through their parents. This can be seen by the fact that the parents insist on the children being people who are trustworthy, generous, and hardworking, and other more virtues. By this, the parents are instilling in a discipline that is very important in the lives of the children at their present age and also at their future lives as adults. These virtues play a very important role in the fact that they help the children very much in realizing their goals and also being more responsible people in the society. They also learn to be independent people who can depend on themselves, and this is very important in their future as well. These children also learn other virtues through other means, which are only possible if the parents encourage the children to attend these venues. This includes religious virtues, and hence the children appeal to the people who are surrounding them, and also in their future lives, they can bring up families that can relate to their views on world issues (Ainsworth, 1978).

It is important to note children who grow up in family structures that have both biological parents have more stable psychology than their counterparts in other family settings. This is because these children have all the psychological backing when they grow up, and this means that the parents are very important elements in the lives of the children. It is also important to note that children depend very much on the psychological support that is afforded to them by their parents. Lack of a mother figure or a father figure can be disastrous to a child’s life, and this has been the case with most of the antisocial people in the world today. The world’s most disturbed people have given accounts of how they were deserted by one of their parents at an earlier age, and psychologists have related these incidences with the fact that these people have varying psychological problems. Sometimes this is so serious that counseling psychologists cannot help, and these people are referred to clinical psychologists who deal in extreme cases of psychological instability (Archer, 2004).

Conclusion

Although the personalities of the children may vary from various perspectives, and it is not conditional that bad children are from immoral family structures and good children from moral family structures, there are many elements that people must consider as to the effects of the children when they grow up. The welfare of the children has been attributed to three factors which include health, nutrition, and psychology. Family structures play a very important role in ensuring that their children have a very healthy, nutritious, and psychologically enriching environment when they are growing up. Any family structure can provide both health and nutrition to the children, but the psychological aspect is best provided by a family structure that has both the biological parents.

The psychological well-being of the children is very important to the children when they are growing up. In many instances, it portrays what type of adults the children will be, and this is determined by the fact that childhood psychology is intensely reflected in the children’s future as adults. When parents are able to lay a strong foundation for the future of their children, the children have the basic psychological support they need, and this ensures that their lives have the positive attitudes that are necessary for tackling any challenges in the future.

References

Ainsworth, M. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of a strange situation. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Anthony, E.J., & Mussen, P.H. (1970). The behavior disorders, in Carmichael’s Manual of Child Psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Archer, C., & Gordon, C. (2004). Parent mentoring: an innovative approach to adoption support. Adoption & Fostering, 28(4). 27-38.

Delaney, R. (1998). Fostering changes: Treating attachment-disordered foster children. Oklahoma City, OK: Wood ‘N’ Barnes Publishing.

Johnson, D. (2002). Adoption and the effect on children’s development. Early Human Development, 68(1). 39-54.

Kagitçibasi, Çigdem. (2009).“Research on parenting and child development in a cross-cultural perspective.” In International psychological science: Progress, problems, and prospects, 137-160.

Ramey, S. (2002). The science and art of parenting. In J. Borkowski, S. Ramey, & M. Bristol-Power, (Eds.) Parenting and the child’s world: Influences on academic, intellectual, and social-emotional development. Monographs in parenting. (pp. 47-71). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Woolf, A., Shane, H., Kenna, M., & Allison, K. (Eds.). (2001). The Children’s Hospital guide to your child’s health and development. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.