Parenting: Parent-Child Relationship. Case study: Nigerian homes

Parent-Child Relationship. Case study: Nigerian homes


What is a parent-child relationship? Some people may ask, parent-child relationship refers to the unique and enduring bond between a caregiver and his or her own child. Psychologists believe that the relationships between parents and children are very important in determining who they (children) become and how they (children) relate to others and the world.


When I talk about parent-child relationship am not only referring to one’s biological parent or child, in my definition you all noticed I referred to the parents as caregiver, this can be an aunty, uncle or even a foster parent. When you (parent or caregiver) adopt a child, the bond you form with that child helps him or her view the world from a different perspective. In some Nigerian homes unfortunately, the parents do not see the need to take proper care of their adopted child or children. Also, the bond formed with their own children is restrained, they believe in the use of ironclad hands which infuses fear in their children. This is actually archaic. Please do not eat me alive because of my previous statement.


There are various theories surrounding the parent-child relationship. Theorists in developmental psychology examined the parent-child relationship as an important tool in understanding how individuals develop overtime.


  • Sigmund Freud, a well-known psychologist believed that adult development is largely defined by the relationships that children share with their parents e.g if an adult female struggles in intimate relationships with males, Freud probably would have blamed it on an unhealthy relationship with her father. Well, this theory is not entirely true, some people believe that her struggle may also be as a result of her relationship with friends, siblings or the environment she finds herself.


  • Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development proposes that infants who have caregivers meeting their basic needs will grow into trusting adults, but infants whose needs are not met will develop feelings of mistrust in future relationships. This too is not true, other circumstances may hinder the child’s trust.


  • Albert Bandura’s social learning theory likened parents to models who demonstrate behaviours that children can copy. Charity they say begins at home.



As a Nigerian parent, when you fail to take the time to have fun with your children or child, it becomes difficult to form that bond when they grow up. Nigerian parents have formed the habit of working so hard, which isn’t wrong but you forget the fact that some days the child you are working hard for needs your time and attention.


There are four (4) distinct parenting styles, these styles were formulated by Diana Baumrind. They include the following;

……to be continued tomorrow

Author: Hope Alfred

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