Father and Son

Parental Connectedness – What Parents Provide


Father and SonThis is the fourth a series of blogs about the benefits of what research refers to as connectedness.

Since parent-child connectedness is defined by the quality of the emotional bond between parents/guardians and their children, by how mutual their bonding is, and by how long it lasts over time – it’s helpful to outline some important elements.

From the beginning, a parent needs to foster and provide:

  1. An atmosphere of trust, including physical and emotional support, openness, protection, and encouragement;
  2. Communication that signals (verbally or otherwise) love, affection, and warmth, allowing for the exchange of feelings and ideas;
  3. Appropriate structure, discipline, monitoring, and guidance that ultimately leads to responsible independence; and
  4. Shared time together that combines meaningful interaction, guidance, and support combined with plenty of laughter, play, and fun.

Is it time for a self-evaluation to see if your relationship with the kids in your life is characterized by these elements?


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.