How are Your Family Relationships? By Dan Jones

From the moment they are born, children learn to make sense of the world and themselves by copying the behaviour of adults around them. Primarily this means, especially in the critical first five years of life, from their principal careers.

They learn to speak, the words to use and the accent to employ by mimicking the way grown-ups, especially their primary caregivers, talk and communicate. They also learn from them how they are supposed to handle conflict, stress and disappointment from the way older siblings and adults respond.

Research suggests there are four main parenting styles, authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved. While a majority of parents predominantly follow just one of these styles on most occasions, there may be times when they will switch briefly to another. This could be due, for example, to have had an especially stressful or upsetting day. The aim is for parents to spend as much time parenting from an authoritative parenting style, this is the style which has high levels of love and expectations. Authoritarian is high expectations, low love, permissive is high love and low expectations and uninvolved is low love and low expectations.

To learn more about relationships within your family download these two FREE assessments, one to be completed by Mum and Dad, the other by each child. When you have completed them compare your scores, as a family, to see how much agreement or disagreement exists. Use any differences in specific answers as a springboard for bringing out changes that will improve communications, enhance family cohesion and encourage co-operation.

Parent’s Questionnaire: Click to download  [LINK TO DOWNLOAD]

Children’s Questionnaire: Click to download [LINK TO DOWNLOAD]

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