Part-1 is here.
2. Adjustments outside the Home. No one procedure, practice, technique, or way of doing things in the home makes for good or bad adjustment outside the home. Rather, the attitude toward the child-love and affection and being wanted, appreciated, trusted, and accepted as a person—deter mines how well he will adjust.
When parental attitudes toward the child are unfavorable, as in the case of the dominant, the possessive, or the ignoring parent, the child's adjustments to school and to members of the peer group are likely to be poor. The child who is made dependent on his mother by her overprotectiveness either becomes aggressive or continues to be dependent on people outside the home, neither of which will lead to good social adjustments. The child who does not experience affection in the home finds it difficult to establish affectional relationships with people outside; as a result, he appears to be cold and uninterested in people, a condition which will not foster good social relationships.
The child learns through family relationships, especially relationships with the parents, to conform to group standards, mores, and traditions and to cooperate with others. He develops patterns of social behavior similar to those of his parents. How aggressive the child will be will depend largely upon the way he is treated in the home. Homes where the atmosphere is democratic and where there is a happy relationship with the members of the family foster the development of socially acceptable assertiveness, while those marked by discord, severe punishment, and autocratic rule promote socially unacceptable modes of aggression. A definite relationship exists between the child's status in the group and his parents' opinions regarding child-training methods. In families where the mother dominates the home, boys tend to dislike girls, and girls tend to dislike boys. When fathers are strict disciplinarians, their sons tend to displace their aggressiveness, to develop problem behavior in school, and to achieve little popularity. If the father-son relationship is warm and friendly, boys make much better peer adjustments. How the child feels about adults in general is influenced by his relationships with his parents. The nearer the child is in age to a sibling, the less friendly he is to adults. This may be explained mainly in terms of the child's jealousy.
3. School Success. The child's performance in school is adversely affected by poor relationships between him and his parents or other family members. Over protection makes the child overly dependent, and this interferes with his early school adjustments. Rejection at home makes the child feel insecure, and this likewise leads to poor adjustments to school work. Disturbances in the family relationships have an especially serious effect on school work which requires thinking. Like wise, a low parental regard for education and for cultural pursuits has a retarding influence on the child's progress in school.
4. Success in Adult Life. The position of the child in the family and his relationship with the members of his family have a great deal to do with his success in later life. Marital happiness of parents influences not only their child's attitudes toward marriage but also his adjustment to marriage in adult years. Because parents influence the child's attitudes toward different types of vocations, whether the individual will be a vocational success is determined largely by the attitudes toward work established in the home when he was a child.
Variations in Family Influence. Not all members of the family exert the same influence on the child; how much influence a family member will have will depend largely upon the emotional relationship which exists between him and the child. Because the mother spends more time with the child than the father, and because she shows her affection for the child 'more openly, she exerts a greater influence than the father. In a study of child-behavior problems related to parental attitudes toward the child, it was found that conduct problems more often resulted when the children had maladjusted mothers, while personality problems generally resulted from unwholesome attitudes on the part of fathers.
Even though the father's influence is less than the mother's, it cannot be ignored. An autocratic father can cause maladjustive development in the child as readily as a permissive father whose discipline is ineffectual. In sibling relationships, a child is influenced more by an older sibling of his own sex than by one of the opposite sex because he tends to identify with a member of his own sex. When grandparents or other relatives live in the home, their influence on the child is far greater than when they see him only occasionally. The influence they exert will also be determined by the closeness of the emotional relationship between them and the child.
How the child will react to different influences in the home and how his relationships with the various members of the family will develop will depend to a large extent upon what type of individual he is. The quiet child will react differently from the aggressive child, just as the introvert will react differently from the extrovert. Further more, the influence of family relationships varies according to the child's age; the younger the child, the more influence the family has. Unfavorable family relationships in the early years may be offset by favorable relationships with peers or adults outside the home as the child grows older. On the other hand, favorable family relationships during early childhood may not be strong enough to offset later unfavorable relationships outside the home. Thus the events of late childhood and adolescence have a great influence on the character structure tentatively formed during the child's early years.