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The Effects of Open Communication or Bonding

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Have you ever told your secrets to your parents? What did you feel when you open up? Sometimes we teenagers find it to be “corny” but freely communicating with our parents gives such great relief in ourselves that will make us feel better. We feel comfortable especially when we have their attention and their love. Bonding between families naturally helps in building a stronger relationship that will last in every ups and downs that would come and that only death could end it. It gives a great impact in boosting our self-esteem. Children and teenagers like us should be comfortable to have our communication to our parents about problems that we are experiencing outside the parameters of our home. A total bonding time with the family gives happiness and comfort to everyone. Research has found that a loving, responsive, and helpful parent who is always available for their child serves the function of binding the child to them and contributes to the reciprocal dynamics of that binding (Bowlby, 1988). Human bonding is the process of development of a close, interpersonal relationship. It most commonly takes place between family members or friends, but can also develop among groups such as sporting teams and whenever people spend time together.

Bonding is a mutual, interactive process, and is different from simple liking. Bonding typically refers to the process of attachment that develops between romantic partners, close friends, or parents and children. This bond is characterized by emotions such as affection and trust. Any two people who spend time together may form a bond. (Wikipedia) The researchers would want to have this study because of the unstoppable and unreasonable growth of crimes that was committed by young people today. Recently, in the breaking news of yahoo (a free internet source of news), 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego was accused of killing his parents and three younger siblings. He continued his rampage at a local Wal-Mart store in Mexico but suddenly died in a shootout with the police. Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston told reporters that Nehemiah Griego had been contemplating the killing spree for “at least a week.” The teenager told police he shot his mother, the first victim in his rampage, because he was “frustrated” with her, Houston said. “From the time he was a young boy, his father Greg supported his love for music,” the family statement said. They also added, “But he is a loner even if he has a lot of friends.”

What could be the interpretation on how the boy communicated to his family? What are the effects of the lack of attachment to parents? If this is the kind of young people today (rebellious, murderer, drug addicts, etc.), what are the ways on how to build a relationship among family members? And if an open communication or bonding be a solution, what could be the outcomes? The researchers have this hypothesis that bonding has a big factor in decreasing at least a little of the crimes committed by young people. If this bonding in the family was strengthen and regenerated to the next generation, maybe there is a small chance for a teen or a child to arouse against their parents or commit such horrible crimes. If they can communicate to their parents openly, they can build their self confidence and trust that can be manifested to their environment.

When there is a lack of bonding between parents and teens, instability or disruption in relationships in the care system may give infants or children major problems in their ability to trust and therefore attach to parents or caregivers (Fahlberg 1981). The specific kinds of problems that are frequently shown by children who have experienced faulty attachments to their parents are as follows: 1. Conscience Development. The child may not show normal anxiety following aggressive or cruel behavior, may not show guilt when breaking rules or laws, may project blame on others. 2. Impulse Control. The child exhibits poor control and depends on others to provide external control of behavior and exhibits lack of foresight and, has a poor attention span. 3. Self-Concept. The child sees self as undeserving, sees self as incapable of change; is unable to get satisfaction from tasks well done; has difficulty having fun. 4. Inter-personal Interactions. The child lacks trust in others; demands affection but lacks depth in relationships; exhibits hostile dependency; needs to be in control of all situations and has impaired social maturity. 5. Emotions.

The child has trouble recognizing own feelings; has difficulty expressing feelings appropriately, especially anger, sadness, frustration; and has difficulty recognizing feelings in others. 6. Cognitive Problems. The child has trouble with basic cause and effect; experiences problems with logical thinking; appears to have confused thought processes; has difficulty thinking ahead; may have an impaired sense of time; and has difficulties with abstract thinking. 7. Developmental Problems. The child may have difficulty with auditory processing; may have difficulty expressing self well verbally; may have gross motor problems; may experience delays in fine motor adaptive skills; may experience delays in personal-social development; and may have inconsistent levels of skills in all of the above areas Unattached children have difficulty relating normally with others. How do the above problems relate to the lack of attachment? In the child’s first relationship with his primary caregivers he learns what he can and cannot expect from others. Children who do not experience a healthy give and take in this relationship may not be able to experience it in other relationships. It is most difficult for the unattached child to grow socially.

They have great difficulty learning to build and maintain relationships of any sort. Having received little love, they have trouble giving it. They have not learned to care for others. They continue in their babyish ways—self-centered and acting impulsively. They have difficulty incorporating rules and laws. Their first concern is “What’s in it for me?” Because these children do not trust others, many of the kinds of behaviors seen in such children are aimed at keeping people at a distance. Some of the behavior patterns children exhibit to keep people at a distance are: 1. Poor Eye Contact. It has been seen that eye contact is important in bonding between the parent and child. It is not surprising that many unbonded children make little eye contact with others. Many are self-conscious or truly surprised that anyone wants to look at them. In many families there is a struggle for control. If a child looks the parent in the eye the disturbed parent may see that action as a challenge. 2. Withdrawal.

Many children with attachment problems withdraw from interactions with others. Some may do so physically; others seem to put a shield around them; they may be physically near, but distant emotionally. A further kind of withdrawal resembles fear. As the parent reaches out to the child he cringes; if the parent hugs the child he pulls away or tightens up. All children who withdraw from physical closeness this way have not been abused. Some may simply have learned about the effect their behavior has on adults. The child learns that cringing, fearful behavior is effective in keeping adults at a distance. 3. Chronic Anxiety. When a child is confident that his parent will be available when needed, he is less prone to anxiety that is intense or chronic. The most frightening situation for the child is one in which he needs his parent and that parent is not available. This kind of anxiety is greater in children who have been moved without preparation, or who have had other major changes in their lives occur abruptly.

Children who experience chronic anxiety are also often very possessive and clinging. 4. Lack of Self-Awareness. Some unattached or neglected children seem very aware of their environment, but very unaware of their own bodies. They may over-eat until their stomachs are distended, and they are at the point of vomiting. They may not react to pain and seem unaware of extremes of temperature. Many of these children are bedwetters. It is as if they never learned to pay attention to the signals of their own bodies or want to alleviate their own discomfort. Such behavior may develop in children whose parents are unresponsive to them, who take care of the child when they feel like it, rather than when the child needs it. 5. Over-Competency. Some children with attachment problems appear to be over-competent and do not seem to need parents. They often insist on doing everything themselves. This is not normal childhood behavior. Aggressive Behavior, Indiscriminate Affection, Control Battles, The Two- Twenty Syndrome, Delayed Conscience Development are other behavior patterns that keep people at a distance. But despite the fact that teens are getting worse, there would still arouse as solutions.

According to Dr. Cullins (2013), there are many ways on how to improve the relationship between parents and teens. These are the ways. 1. Keep in Touch. We should touch base with our teens regularly, even when everything is going smoothly. We can let our teens know what’s going on in our lives and find out what they are up to. Keeping in touch regularly with our teens is one of the most important things we can do as parents. Teens feel their parents care about them when we take an interest in what’s happening in their lives. Teens — like all people — don’t want to feel ignored. 2. Spend Time Together. Families are very busy these days. Between jobs, chores, and other things, there often is little time left over for enjoying each other’s company. We need to grab whatever time we can to be with our teens. It will help us occupy some of our teen’s free time, and we will get to know our teens better. It will help us build good relationships, and let our teens know we care. One mother, for example, plays basketball with her teen even though she is terrible at it. Whatever it takes — even if it’s just once a week or if it’s just a drive to the store together.

Your teen will notice if you make time. 3. Keep Promises. If we make promises to our teens, we must keep them if at all possible. When we are unable to keep our promises because of something that we can’t do anything about, we need to talk with our teens about it. We need to tell them that we are sorry. Our teens need to know they can count on us to keep our word. This is an important part of gaining trust and respect. If we keep our word, they are much more likely to keep theirs. 4. Treat Our Teens Like Teens. Although our teens are not yet adults, they are no longer children and should not be treated like them. We mustn’t talk down to our teens. We must be honest with them. Statements like, “You’re too young to know about that” are disrespectful of a teen’s ability to understand. 5. Be Thoughtful. Remember special days. It doesn’t have to be marked with a gift or special activity. We just have to let our teens know we’ve remembered. Every now and then, we can give our teens special little surprises.

We might leave a note on our teens’ beds expressing how much we care for them. Or we might make our teens’ favorite meals — just because. 6. Recognize Special Efforts. We mustn’t take our teens for granted. We need to praise their special efforts, such as doing well on a test, practicing hard for a game or performance, or being particularly kind to someone. 7. Tell Them We Care. We love our children, but how often do we take the time to tell them? We need to tell our teens how much we care about them, every day. We should make it a habit! 8. Be Supportive. When our teens have bad days, we can offer a shoulder to lean on. Even though our teens want to be grown up, they still need our support. We need to listen to them sympathetically. 9. Avoid Hurtful Teasing. Sometimes we tease in a way that puts a person down. We can avoid teasing our children this way — especially in front of others. It really hurts. 10. Use Humor and Lighten Up. We can use humor with our teens, and be willing to poke fun at ourselves at times. Joking around encourages a positive relationship. 11. Appreciate Our Teens’ Special Strengths. We must accept our teens for who they are.

Statements like, “Why can’t you be more like your older brother?” or “Your sister never gave me this much trouble” don’t help a teen do better. Such comments only make a teen feel bad. Every teen has special strengths. We must recognize these strengths and let our teens know it. 12. Involve Our Teens in Setting Boundaries and Making Rules. As parents we must help our kids set boundaries and live with rules. But we can give them an active role in deciding what those boundaries and rules are, and 13. Be Real With Our Teens. By communicating openly and often with our teens, they will be able to relate to us as people who are truly concerned about their well-being. We also need to be courteous. Simple courtesies, such as saying “please” and “thank you,” and helping out in small ways go a long way to show how much we care. Basic good manners show caring and respect.

And as Thelma Harms (1989) stated in her article, parents should communicate clearly with his/her child to prevent misunderstanding that could lead to teenagers rebelling attitude when they are being scolded. Nurturing kids isn’t an easy task, but for those who willingly take on the job it can be rewarding if you find the right style of parenting that works for you and your children. Bonding with open communication between parents and children naturally has many positive effects and outcomes. It would be beneficial not only to the individuals’ lives but also to the society where they belong and to the country that they are serving. It will result to a better relationship. Family would experience less problems. Communication facilitates problem-solving skills. All families stumble across problems at certain times, which may include scheduling conflicts, school problems, misbehavior or kids making poor choices. Family members who communicate well have a better chance of addressing problems together and coming up with a solution. The kids learn how to deal with problems by participating in the process at home, providing them with a valuable skill that is applicable in many real-life situations. Effective communication between families and service providers is key to the success of a family-centered approach to service.

Communication is the way we establish and build relationships (Frost 2010 ). Successful family-centered service is built on successful communication. Strong communication skills instill a sense of family unity. Family members feel they are able to share their feelings in a safe environment. Being honest with one another allows you to better understand each other’s needs, possibly making you feel closer. All researchers seem to agree that good communication skills are the bedrock of family success. Strong & Devault (1993) A research conducted by Lezin (2004) concerning to the adolescent’s personality domain, the mutual attachment with a parent leads to psychological well-being – another protective factor against drug use. The adolescent then chooses (because of his or her conventionality, personality, and attachment) a group of more achieving and less deviant peers who do not use drugs, insulating them from the drug context domain. According to Blum 1997 (Lezin 2004), “When teens feel connected to their families and when parents are involved in their children’s lives, teens are protected.” Their research also handed down these outcomes: 1. Parent-Child Connectedness & Communication Promotes Health, Achievement & Self-Esteem.

Positive communication can greatly help young people establish individual values and make healthy decisions. Studies show that young people who feel a lack of parental warmth, love or care were more likely to report emotional distress, school problems, drug use and sexual risk behaviors. Young people also report less depression and anxiety and more self-reliance and self-esteem than other peers. 2. Parent-Child Communication about Sexuality Promotes Sexually Healthy Behaviors. Their second point inclusively tells that confident, loving parent-child communication will lead to an improved communication about sex and fewer sexual risk behaviors among adolescents. They included also about major studies that show adolescents who feel open to discussing sexual health with their parents are more likely to delay initiating sexual intercourse. In their recent study, teens that reportedly had a healthy life discussing with parents about sex than teens who did not talk to their parents as often.

In their another study, if mothers particularly discussed condom use before teens initiated sexual intercourse, their teens were three times more likely to use condoms than mothers who never discussed condoms or talked about it only after teens had become sexually active. Their point emphasizes that this is important for youth later in life because a teen who uses a condom at first intercourse is 20 times more likely than other teens to use them regularly and ten times more likely to use them in recent sexual activity. Also, when parents make consistent efforts to know their teen’s friends, young people report fewer sexual partners and fewer coital acts. Teens who reported discussing sexuality with their parents were seven times more likely to talk to their partner about HIV/AIDS than those who had not communicated with their parents. Strong parent-child connectedness also protects against 33 negative adolescent outcomes such as unintended pregnancy; HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); violence; depression; eating disorders; alcohol, tobacco and drug use; and poor academic achievement.

This report provides insight into the power of parent-child connectedness. It also serves as a call to action for community leaders and institutions to develop community-wide strategies to foster parent-child connectedness, creating new supports for parents and families. (Lezin 2004) According to Resnick (1997) and company, youths who experience higher levels of parental involvement and a closer relationship with their parents are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems and to engage in risk behaviors. In addition, they tend to achieve better grades and higher levels of education and to experience better emotional health. These are the areas: 1. Emotional Health. Compared with peers whose parents are often absent throughout the day, teens whose parents are present when they go to bed, wake up, and come home from school are less likely to experience emotional distress.

Teens were less likely to experience emotional distress if their parents were in the home when they awoke, when they came home from school, at dinnertime, and when they went to bed. They were also less likely to experience emotional distress if they engaged in activities with their parents, and if their parents had high expectations regarding their academic performance. In addition, those who had low self-esteem were more likely to experience emotional distress. 2. Self-Esteem. Youths whose parents exhibit love, responsiveness, and involvement tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and internal self control. Parental love, responsiveness, involvement and non-coercive, democratic discipline had a strong association with adolescent psychosocial development as measured in global self-esteem, feelings of internal control and ability, and susceptibility to negative peer pressure. 3. Educational Attainment. Students whose parents are more involved with their schooling tend to complete higher levels of education and are more likely to graduate from high school than peers whose parents are not so involved. Students whose teachers reported higher levels of parental involvement were more likely to graduate high school or earn a GED than peers whose parents were not so involved, and those who did not graduate were more likely to have completed a higher grade in high school.

The more years a parent was involved, the greater was this association with educational attainment. 4. Behavior. On average, adolescents whose fathers are more involved in their lives and discuss important decisions with them exhibit lower levels of aggression and antisocial behavior than peers who experience less paternal involvement. The greater the fathers’ involvement was, the lower the level of adolescents’ behavioral problems, both in terms of aggression and antisocial behavior and negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Fathers’ involvement was measured by the frequency with which fathers discussed important decisions with and listened to their adolescents, whether fathers knew who their adolescents were with when not at home, and whether fathers missed events or activities that were important to their adolescents. Other measures included as adolescents’ reports of closeness to their fathers, whether their fathers spent sufficient time with them, and how well they shared and communicated with one another.

5. Delinquency (Boys). Adolescents who experience supportive and affectionate relationships with their fathers are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior than peers who do not experience such a relationship. Paternal supervision, as well as supportive and affectionate father-son relationships, discouraged juvenile delinquency, regardless of a youth’s delinquent friends, perception of trouble in the neighborhood, and/or positive attitudes about breaking the law. 6. Sexual Behavior. Youths whose parents discuss with them sexual behavior standards are more likely to be abstinent. Youths whose parents talked to them about right and wrong with regard to sexual behavior were significantly more likely to be abstinent than peers whose parents did not. 7. Teen Pregnancy. Teenage girls who experience father absence are more likely to become pregnant than girls whose fathers are consistently present. Even when controlling for differences in family background, father absence was associated with the likelihood that adolescent girls will be sexually active and become pregnant as teenagers. This association was strongest for daughters whose fathers were absent when they were younger.

Compared with the pregnancy rates of girls whose fathers were present, rates of teenage pregnancy were seven to eight times higher among girls whose fathers were absent early in their childhoods and two to three times higher among those who suffered father-absence later in their childhood. 8. Tobacco Use. On average, adolescents who are strongly connected to their parents and other family members are less likely to smoke cigarettes. All youth surveyed (grades 7-12) were less likely to smoke cigarettes if they had high levels of connectedness to parents and other family members. Those in grades 9-12 were also less likely to smoke if their parents were present in the home more often, if they engaged more often in activities with their parents, and if they perceived that their parents had high expectations for their educational attainment. Youth in all the grades were more likely to smoke if cigarettes were easily accessible in the home. 9. Substance Abuse. Compared with other peers, adolescents who report having a positive relationship with their fathers are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol, or use marijuana.

Adolescents who reported having more positive relationships with their fathers were less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or use marijuana compared to peers who reported having less positive relationships with their fathers. This was true taking into consideration a variety of factors: the quality of adolescents’ relationships with their mothers, parental monitoring, mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles, fathers’ biological status, parental education, parental employment, number of children in the family, whether family received public aid, adolescents’ age, gender, race/ethnicity, and school enrollment status, and lastly 10. Academic Achievement. On average, youths whose fathers engage in leisure and educational activities with them achieve better grades than peers whose fathers spend less time with them. Pre-teens whose fathers spent leisure time away from the home (picnics, movies, sports, etc.) with them, shared meals with them, helped with homework or reading, and engaged in other home activities with them earned better grades in school, on average, than peers whose fathers spent less time with them.

Similarly, teens whose fathers engaged in activities in the home and outdoors, spent leisure time, and talked with them earned better grades, on average, than teens whose fathers spent less time with them. An additional (Moore and company 2004), growing evidence indicates that the apparently strong influence of the parent-child relationship on child and adolescent outcomes extends into adulthood. For example, studies based on national survey data have revealed that, generally: Better quality adult child-parent relationships have been associated with lower levels of psychological distress among both adult children and parents; Close relationships with parents during childhood and adolescence have been positively associated with adult children’s self-esteem, happiness, and life satisfaction; and Positive mental and physical health in adulthood is positively associated with recollections of early parental support. According to another researcher, Dr. Lim (Castillo 2005), the more time a parent spends time with his child, the greater he influences their values.

Keeping in mind that discipline should not be forgotten because a child who is not disciplined does not feel loved he says. Another quotation from an article of Dr. Berry Brazelton (Castillo 2005) says “loving family, happy kids”. A family should work as a team to ensure closeness and support through sharing of experiences in meals, outings and doing chores, doing activities together to share confidence, to really belong to that child. A special bond can be developed between the parent and child that makes the latter seem especially attractive, even if outsiders don’t think so. Effective communication in the home will stay with children as they move through their lives. The communication skills of expression, listening and conflict resolution will affect their school, social and eventual professional life. They’ll learn how to listen effectively, reserving judgment and showing empathy. They’ll learn the right words to use when communicating with others. And most of all, they’ll develop skills that will affect all of their future relationships; professional, educational and personal. The child’s self-esteem depends on how the parent shows their words of affirmation. (Collins 1941)

The researchers therefore through this given ideas and researches concluded that bonding with an open communication process reasonably has a great impact in the life of a child. Developing the child’s affective domain would be enhanced through those core values that a parent is going to inculcate. These core values are kept in the child’s heart until he grows and will never forget them. Parents should build them and assist them so that there would be a lesser risk for a child to commit crimes.


A. Books
Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books. Collins, R. (1941) Sociology of Marriage and the Family. U.S.A Nelson-Hall Inc.
B. Electronic Sources
Cullins, V. (2013). What Are Some Tips for Parents for Building a Good Relationship with Teens? Retrieved from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/parents/parent-teen-relationships-37999.htm Fahlberg, V. (1981). Attachment and Separation. London. British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering. Retrieved from http://www.darvsmith.com/dox/lackofattachment.html Frost, S. 2010. Reasons Why Communication Is Important to a Family.Retried from http://www.livestrong.com/article/260733-reasons-why-communication-is-important-to-a-family/#ixzz2IDjB0xPu Lezin, N., Rolleri, L., Bean, S., Taylor, Julie. (2004). Parent-child Connectedness. Retrieved from http://recapp.etr.org/recapp/documents/research/litreview.pdf Wikipedia. (1996). Human Bonding. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_bonding Moore, K., Guzman, L., Hair, E., Lippman, L., and Garrett, S. (2004) Child Trends. Retrieved form http://www.childtrends.org/Files/Child_Trends-2004_12_01_RB_ParentTeen.pdf Resnick, M. (1997), Gray, M. (1999), Barnard, W. (2004),… Cooksey, E. (1996). Parental Involvement and Children’s Well Being. Retrieved from http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/40/parental-involvement-and-childrens-well-being

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