The family is a whole world in which the child lives, acts, discovers, learns to hate, love, rejoice, and sympathize. As a member, the child enters into a certain relationship with parents, which can have negative and positive effects on him/her. The result is that the child grows either friendly, open, sociable, or anxious, rude, hypocritical, deceitful. The writing Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a crucial and relevant illustration of how family disturbance and lack of support affect the child. For example, the main character of the book says, “I stopped counting on her a long time ago” (7). He mentions that phrase regarding his mother, who is an addict. It is often underestimated that proper parenting is highly important in order to give children both good mental and physical health. The given literary analysis will focus on the influence of parenting and family on kids.
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Children growing up in an atmosphere of love and understanding have fewer health problems, difficulties in studying at school, communicating with their peers, and vice versa; as a rule, violation of parent-child relationships leads to the formation of various psychological problems and complexes. In the book, Hey, Kiddo, the main character says, “I don’t like asking her for anything” (7). The young boy shows a great deal of hate and anger towards his mother, which should not be occurring in the family. The most universal, the most difficult, and the noblest work, one for all and at the same time unique in every family, is the creation of a human. A distinctive feature of this work is that a person finds incomparable happiness in it. Continuing the human race, the father and mother repeat themselves in the child, and the moral responsibility for the person and his/her future depends on how conscious this repetition is (Arnold et al. 859). Every moment of that work, which is called education, is the creation and look into the future.
Raising children is similar to giving away special and spiritual forces as soon as a person cries out to the world about his/her birth, actions, and behavior. Children, having begun their lives as completely helpless creatures, receive so much from their parents that the latter naturally engender in their feelings of gratitude, love, and a kind of pride in their father and mother (Martinez and McDonald 6). Not only help and care of parents but also participation and caress of them play a role in this. Children who are orphaned early or for some reason lost their father or mother, often later, in their mature years, feel bitterness, anguish from the lack in their memories of parental caress, family joys, untested kid’s feelings.
On the contrary, those who have experienced happiness, which is given by any good family life, recall that they, as children, considered their mother beautiful, unusually kind, and their father clever and skillful. Although at the time when they remember it, they can already say that in reality, the mother was not at all the most beautiful, and the father was no more than a normal person. This illusion of childhood indicates the need of this age, which is manifested early on, in those who are more precious to them at that time, all sorts of qualities that their imagination can draw to them (Martinez and McDonald 2). They always love those who show affection and respect for their parents. Therefore, when parents have great virtues and children have to see expressions of gratitude or respect for their parents.
Family is a social institution that affects a child’s personality formation, which possesses important functions. It is the family with its constant and natural character of influence that is intended to shape the character traits, beliefs, attitudes, and worldview of the child. For example, in Hey, Kiddo, the main character undergoes severe difficulties, which have a profound influence on his outlook (Krosoczka 7). Therefore, the allocation of the family’s educational function as the main one has a social significance. For each person, the family performs emotional and recreational purposes that protect a person from stressful and extreme situations. The comfort and warmth of the home, the realization of a person’s need for trusting and emotional communication, sympathy, empathy, and support are equally critical factors determining the child’s development (Arnold et al. 871). All these factors allow a person to be more resistant to the conditions of modern and stressful life. The essence and content of the economic function are to manage not only the common economy but also the financial support of children and other family members throughout their difficulties.
During the period of socio-economic transformations in society, family functions are changing. The economic feature of the family leading in the historical past, subordinating all the rest to itself: the head of the family — the man — was the organizer of the common work, the children were involved in the life of adults from an early age. The economic function entirely determined educational and reproductive responsibilities. Currently, the economic role of the family is not diminished, but it has changed.
There are some key problems surrounding the typical modern family, which affects a child’s development. Sociologists say that male and female roles are now symmetrical, which means that society is changing ideas about how husband and wife should behave (Arnold et al. 864). Sociologists note the fact that the family is particularly sensitive to any reformist changes on a national scale, such as unemployment and price increases (Arnold et al. 867). Increasingly, it is said that new atypical educational problems arise as a result of various material and psychological difficulties experienced by the family. Unconfident parents are no longer an authority and role model for their children. The authority of the mother varies depending on the scope of its activities. Adolescents sometimes perform undervalued, unqualified work, but they are profitable in monetary terms, and their earnings may approach or even exceed the income of parents. Children have a shift in the system of life values. This trend not only reduces the educational capabilities of the family but also leads to a decrease in the intellectual potential of society.
As a result, negative consequences of divorces are observed: deterioration in the upbringing of children, an increase in the incidence of their mental illnesses, alcoholism of parents, destruction of blood ties, deterioration of their financial situation, disharmony in the reproduction of the population. When contacts with parents are disrupted, children experience the most acute experiences, since, for a child, the breakup of a family is a breakdown of a stable family structure, familiar relations with parents, a conflict between attachment to father and mother (Martinez and McDonald 9). Divorce poses challenges to the child beyond its age: orientation in the new role structure without its former certainty, adoption of new relationships with divorced parents. At the age of three, children react to the disintegration of the family with crying, aggressiveness, impaired memory, attention, and sleep disorders. Divorce gives the child a feeling of loneliness, a sense of inferiority (Arnold et al. 869). Parents’ divorce automatically translates the family into the category of “atypical,” that is, incomplete, low-income problem.
The real scenarios of atypical families are similar. If a child is born with serious developmental disorders or illnesses, the mother stops working and devotes herself entirely to him. Expensive medicines, visits to the doctor, specific equipment, clothing, food – all these costs a lot of money, especially if there are other children, and the whole family exists for the income of the father. In single-parent families, after a divorce or the death of a spouse, the remaining one is forced to drag the whole house onto itself, lift its child, and replace both parents with it. In large families, one of the parents also donates his/her work for the sake of the children.
The “atypical” families in the current economic situation are, in fact, “crowned” with poverty. It is natural that full families live better than incomplete, medium-sized ones are better than large families; healthy ones are better than families with disabled children. Material security remains one of the causes of family tension over the years. During the reform years, the welfare curve for households with children is falling lower and closer to the poverty mark (Martinez and McDonald 3). At the same time, the smaller the children themselves and the greater their number in the family, the higher the probability of household poverty.
The financial difficulties, however acute, are not limited to the crisis of the modern family. There are several symptoms of the “disease” of today’s modern family: the neuroticism of children, loneliness, inability to communicate, disunity. The worst thing, according to psychologists, is the lack of understanding between children, parents, and old people. Internal collisions have a substantial impact on the family, sometimes pushing it towards disintegration. After all, apart from the need to overpower the “external circumstances,” to put up with the fact that your family is “atypical,” apart from the refusal of parents and children from many pleasures, such a family is affected by a number of other factors, many of which can be sources of stress situations.
Family education and relationship formation are key factors that directly influence a person. Parents cannot love a child for something, despite the fact that he/she is ugly, not smart, neighbors complain about him/her. Thus, the child is accepted as he/she is because they receive unconditional love. Perhaps parents love him/her when the child meets their expectations when studying well and behaves. However, if the child does not satisfy those needs, then the child is rejected, the attitude changes for the worse (Martinez and McDonald 8). This brings considerable difficulties; the child is not sure of his/her parents; he/she does not feel the emotional security that must be from the very infancy.
Nevertheless, there some instances of children not receiving unconditional love; thus, they get conditioned. A child may not be accepted at all by parents. He/she is indifferent to them and may even be rejected by them, for example, the family of alcoholics. However, in a prosperous family, for instance, he/she is not welcome; there were serious problems, and parents do not necessarily realize this. Each family objectively develops a certain, far from always realized, system of education (Martinez and McDonald 7). Four tactics of upbringing in the family can be distinguished, which are both the prerequisite and the result of their occurrence: dictatorship, guardianship, non-interference, and cooperation. However, those who prefer order and violence to all forms of pressure encounter resistance from a child who responds to pressure, coercion, threats with his/her countermeasures: hypocrisy, deception, outbursts of rudeness, and sometimes outright hatred (Arnold et al. 858-879). However, even if the resistance turns out to be broken, many valuable personality traits are broken along with it: self-esteem, initiative, self-confidence, and self-reliance.
Reckless authoritarianism of parents, ignoring the interests and opinions of the child, systematically depriving him of his/her right to vote in matters relating to him are all a guarantee of serious failures, the formation of his/her personality. Parents block the process of serious preparation of their children for a collision with reality beyond the threshold of their own home. It is these children who are less adapted to life in a team. This category of adolescents gives the most significant number of disruptions in a transitional age. Just these children, for whom it would seem there is nothing to complain about, begin to rebel against excessive parental care. If dictatorship involves violence, an order, robust authoritarianism, then guardianship is the care and protection from difficulties. However, the result largely coincides: children have no autonomy, initiative, they are somehow excluded from resolving issues that concern them personally, and even more so the general problems of the family.
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The system of interpersonal relations in the family, based on the recognition of the possibility and even the suitability of the independent existence of adults from children, can be generated by the tactic of non-interference. In this case, it is assumed that two worlds can coexist: adults and children, and neither one nor the other should cross the line thus planned. Most often, this type of relationship is based on the passivity of parents as educators (Martinez and McDonald 2). Cooperation as a type of family relationship implies mediation of interpersonal relationships in the family by common goals and objectives of the joint activity, its organization, and high moral values. It is in this situation that the child’s selfish individualism is overcome (Arnold et al. 867). The family, where the leading type of relationship is cooperation, acquires a special quality, becomes a group of the high level of development is a team.
In conclusion, in order to maximize the positive and minimize the negative impact of the family on the upbringing of the child, one should remember the intrafamily psychological factors that have educational significance. It is important to take an active part in the life of the family and always find time to talk with the child. Moreover, parents should be interested in the problems of the child, delve into all the difficulties arising in his life and help develop his skills and talents. Furthermore, adults should not exert any pressure on the child, thereby helping him to make decisions independently and have an idea of the different stages in a child’s life. It is crucial to respect the child’s right to an opinion and be able to restrain possessive instincts and treat a child as an equal partner who, for the time being, has less life experience. The parent should respect the desire of all other family members to pursue a career and improve themselves.
Arnold, Amy L., et al. “How Family Structures and Processes Interrelate: The Case of Adolescent Mental Health and Academic Success in Military Families.” Journal of Family Issues, vol. 38, no. 6, 2015, pp. 858-879.
Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Hey, Kiddo. Scholastic, 2018.
Martinez, Katherine, and Courtney McDonald. “Childhood Familial Victimization: An Exploration of Gender and Sexual Identity Using the Scale of Negative Family Interactions.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 1, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-9.