Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Children relationship with adults

Category relation
Essay type Research
Words 1319 (5 pages)
Views 439

By considering children age groups and cultural differences, I shall explore the various approaches taken to building relationships with adults at different stages and discuss the influences and effects it has on a child's development. I will also demonstrate the ways in which understanding children's development contributes to building positive and successful relationships.

Children have emotional needs and are able to express and communicate them from birth. As research has shown "In order to have a secure base from which to explore the world, be resilient to stress, and form meaningful relationships with adults, babies need a primary adult who cares for them in sensitive ways and who perceives, make sense of the responds to their needs". This attentiveness approach of interaction in a child's early stages of development forms a bond of trust, promoting confidence and self-esteem within the child, which would contribute in building meaningful relationships with adults around him/her.

(from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive_attachment_disorder.m)

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However, different circumstances and experiences do not always allow adults to respond to the child's needs accordingly, which can have a huge influence on a relationship. For example, Charlotte had a traumatic start in life as a consequence of her parent's separation shortly after her birth. She was frequently moved between the two parents and lacked the appropriate care and attention she needed in order to form a secure bond. Her parent's "were too busy fighting and arguing.....to worry about the children," Charlotte's mother, Emma, recalls. Emma also assumed and hoped that Charlotte "won't remember that far back....because she was too young", which indicates Emma's limited knowledge and understanding of child development.

As the relationship between Emma and Charlotte was unpredictable, inconsistent and unstable, it resulted in Charlotte feeling very insecure and uncertain of her mother's love. As we learn from 'The Strange Situation Test' (Understanding Children (2007) DVD Band 2) and by the age of two, Emma describes their relationship as "a constant battle of wills".

Young children are subject to constant and inevitable changes, which would influence their development. For instance, the transaction of children into the reception class in school is a major change, where the expectations and values they gained at home are challenged (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.86). This can have a negative affect on a relationship between a child and his carer, where the child is struggling to adjust to its new surroundings and his/hers behaviour becoming challenging, since many children become unsettled when starting school. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.63). As young children at this stage of development have limited experiences, talking about their feelings, their fears and concerns can come out in ways that can be misunderstood and misinterpreted by the adult as misbehaving. For example, Ryan's reluctance to keep to a specific bedtime caused problems in the relationship with his parents.

During the parent strategies exploration of responses to deal with the child's difficulty, Jodie and Eamon's approaches to the 'problem' were different. Initially they inflicted power over Ryan by threatening to smack him, shouting and punishing him, which resulted in a conflict in their relationship. On seeking advice, they discovered a more collaborative approach, such as spending special time with Ryan before bedtime. By doing so, it promoted his confidence and encouraged him to express his feelings, which enabled Jodie to have a better understanding of Ryan's thinking process. This account demonstrates the significance of experiences that occur in a child's life, which should not be underestimated by the adult. It also shows, that in order to resolve family conflict it is best to have a direct and open communication where young children are concerned, which helps in achieving a successful relationship. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.84-85)

As with the parents, schools also have a responsibility to deal with children's emotional welfare, as well as their physical health and are encouraged to do so by using activities, which enable children to understand their own feelings and by building their confidence to learn, such as 'circle time'. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.105 {DfEE, 1999, p.16}) This approach focuses on the children themselves, contributing to their self-esteem through development of their listening, speaking and co-operation skills. By using this activity the children's relationship with their teacher is built on trust and respect. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.106)

As children grow and become young people, they are expected to take on more responsibilities at home as well as spend more time on schoolwork. Involving children with different chores around the household would help them gain independency by developing a range of skills. Activities' such as, cooking, cleaning, shopping and even looking after other members of the family, helps children develop their communication, intellectual, self-help and practical skills. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.144)

In considering cultural differences, South Asian children are also expected to contribute to the family economy, which helps to develop their business skills. For instance, Sammy is expected to help out in the family take-away business and accepts this as part of her cultural up bringing. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.137). Furthermore, in societies where the main concern of the family is survival due to poverty, children work alongside adults by necessity (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.65) as we can learn from Bilkis's and Tinco's daily lives. (Understanding Children {2007} DVD band 6)

However, with these great expectations of expanding children's responsibilities, parents are still reluctant to involve children with matters that affect their lives due to their limited life experiences. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.116-117) Nevertheless, studies have shown that by this age, children understand and accept the complexities of family life and want to be part of this, by being consulted and want to participate in decisions making. (Rai and Flynn 2004, p.133). Therefore, in order to maintain a successful relationship, it is crucial for adults to understand children's needs as well as their responsibilities by maintaining an open communication and not taking children's contributions to family life for granted.

Conclusion

Building successful relationships with children is a complex process. It requires patience and attentive care by adults from infancy through to adulthood. By understanding normal child development, it enables the adult to respond to the child's need positively and establish a secure attachment. Furthermore, as children are subjected to constant changes, their adjustment to these changes is determined by understanding, the expectation and approaches of the adult, in order for the child to deal and respond positively. To achieve this, adults must maintain open and consistent communication, which will contribute to the child's confidence and self-esteem where they will feel valued and important members of society. Therefore, to achieve successful relationships with children, it is crucial for caretakers to have an understanding of child development.

Word count: 1,144

Task 2

Since I started this course, I feel that my organisational and efficiency skills have improved through learning to work under pressure and to a deadline in producing and submitting an assignment. I must say that during this course, the concept and understanding of academic studies, such as writing and structure of an essay, was a real eye opener for me, as in my past studies where children are concerned, my written evidence findings were based on own practice and personal experiences.

The strengths of my study skills are in understanding the written materials. Being a single mother, I not only relate to the course subject ,but I have also gained positive and negative feedback from my own experiences in raising two young boys from the given information, as I am essentially living and practising it.

With the help of my tutor's written and telephone feedback, my academic writing skills have improved considerably from the first to the second essay. However, I feel I have only touched the surface and still find it difficult to gather and select relevant evidence to back up my work, which I consider to be my weakness.

In order to make further improvements, I would like to continue to undertake further relevant academic courses and develop my confidence with writing skills, as it is said, 'practice makes perfect!'.

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Children relationship with adults. (2017, Dec 26). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/children-relationship-adults/

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