Parental Connectedness: The Super Protector

blog

This is the third a series of blogs about parent-child connectedness.

At the core of a happy family are parents and children, connected to one another in a way that is mutually satisfying, pleasing and enduring. This elusive quality is parent-child connectedness.

Parent-child connectedness has gone by (and probably will continue to) many other names: mutual attachment, family strength, and parent-child bonding to name just a few. But what exactly do we mean by “parent-child connectedness?”

Parent-child connectedness is characterized by the quality of the emotional bond between a parent and child, and by how much they stay mutually connected to each other over time. When parent-child connectedness is high in a family, the “emotional climate” shows plenty of affection, warmth, satisfaction, trust, and minimal conflict.

Parents and children who share a high degree of connectedness enjoy spending time together, communicate freely and openly, support and respect one another, share similar values, and have a sense of optimism about the future.

Parent-child connectedness has emerged in recent research as a compelling “super-protector” – a feature of family life that may buffer young people from the many challenges and risks they face in today’s world.

This means that connectedness with your kids, and perhaps even with other kids in the neighborhood, is a super way of protecting them from the risks they face in the world today.

The world is a scary place for many kids today. As a parent, you have the chance to change that!

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.