Parent-Child Relationships

How quality relationships can help kids deal with stress!

"Parent Relationship Quality Buffers Against the Effect of Peer Stressors on Depressive Symptoms From Middle Childhood to Adolescence"

This article was very interesting in explaining how a strong relationship with your kids can make dealing with stress a lot easier on them. Parent -child relationships change throughout the lifespan as boundaries are set and the balance of power becomes negotiated. There are a countless number of life stressors that children and adolescence face between their peers, athletics, and schoolwork. It is a very difficult time that requires a nurturing environment that starts at home. "As children begin to transition into adolescence, relationships with parents undergo a period of adjustment in response to youth maturational changes (Hankin 2116)". There are expected confrontations between parent and child, but the best thing that can be done is to embrace the change they are going through and to talk to them often. Kids that are fully aware of the support they have at home are able to handle peer-related stress much more effectively than kids that don't, or kids that lack a strong parental influence. Peer-stress can be overwhelming for children facing middle-childhood and adolescence, but the decisions that are made during this time are critical for parents. Parents that allow their children to make choices of their own and can use the wrong ones as learning tools establish a positive environment. It all comes down to the quality of the relationship between both the parent and the child, "These results suggest that low levels of parent relationship quality leave youth particularly vulnerable to the depressogenic effects of peer stressors from childhood through adolescence (Hankin 2115)".
How to Build Trust and Cooperation in Parent-Teen Relationships by ParentTools

What can you do to build a strong relationship with your child?

  • Consistency is key. Monitoring your child's activities through a cooperative relationship in which your child feels comfortable in confiding in you.
  • This kind of relationship can prevent delinquency, reduction in sexual activity, improve academic achievement, and a positive psychological well-being.
  • A well functioning family consists of children that have a secure attachment to their parents and seek their advice.
  • The conflicts that happen help your child to establish their identity and autonomy by engaging in an open dialogue.
  • Conflict also informs parents of their child's changing needs and expectations, which signals for an adjustment in the overall relationship.

(Berk 416)

Create working relationships to avoid rebellious teenagers by ParentTools


Hazel, N. A., Oppenheimer, C. W., Technow, J. R., Young, J. F., & Hankin, B. L. (2014). Parent relationship quality buffers against the effect of peer stressors on depressive symptoms from middle childhood to adolescence.Developmental Psychology, 50(8), 2115-2123. doi:10.1037/a0037192

Berk, L. (2007). Development through the lifespan (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.