Parent Child Interaction

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

Parent-child interaction has long been considered a crucial influence on a child's functioning. Some of these influences include such things as a child's personality formation, academic achievement, behavior and empathy. In fact, it could be argued that the parent-child relationship is the most important factor in child behavior and development.

The emotional life of children and the emotional communication between parents and their children is very important. As a parent, you are your child's first and most influential teacher.

Baby talk refers to standard vocabulary words that have been modified by grownups to make them easier for Baby to say. They contain easier sounds, shorter syllables, and lots of repetition. For example, the baby talk word for stomach is 'tum-tum,' for good night, 'nightie-night,' and so on. Baby talk is a variation of adult language, invented by adults and passed on to each generation of babies, its sole purpose being to teach children to talk. But Baby talk should not be continued for long time and as and when the child starts speaking properly, these should be terminated.

Parents should read their children's cues, to engage in reciprocal interactions, to time interactions according to their babies' cues, and to enjoy interacting with their babies. This helps in better interaction between Parents and their Baby.

As a part of normal, daily conversation, these parents and children talk about the everyday events that happen in preschool, including things that happen with peers. Often these interactions take place on the way home from school or at dinner. One of the most important points to make in this regard is that these talks are not lectures, but rather conversations enjoyed by both parent and child. As such, these conversations probably serve two purposes: They communicate to the child an interest in his or her well-being, and they also serve as a basis for information exchange and genuine problem solving. Parents can help children consider various solutions and perspectives. Children react more positively to peers who try to solve problems by negotiation or compromise rather than through tattling, aggression, or verbal coercion.

Parent-child interaction is a cornerstone of early intervention. Caution is necessary, however, in transferring models of early intervention developed in one culture to parents from a different culture. It is essential that early intervention be grounded in an understanding of how parents from different cultures might perceive their interactions with their children.

There are a number of critical issues relating to the assessment of parent-child interactions that need to be addressed if reliable conclusions are to be made regarding its influence on child behavior and activity. Proper Parent-Child interaction results into a healthy relationship as well as healthy development of child.

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,