The Importance of Parents

The Importance of Parents

The family and its role

The role of family in the formation of human personality is paramount and undeniable. In a family, a child first realizes his physical environment, learning with the help of all senses the world around him, fills his mind with images of close people, objects, natural phenomena and related experiences. In the family, the child receives satisfaction of basic needs /7/, learns values, cultural and national traditions. Ideally, the child also gets his or her first spiritual experience in the family: in the form of religion or attitude towards nature.
The child is a creation of parents. It is important that parents are aware of this and perceive education as a creative process.
The family is the universe for the child and the parents are like two suns in it. Every infant and small child should feel like the center of the universe, at least for a while (Heinz Kohut). Heinz Kohut focused on the “reflection”, in which the infant looks at the mother and sees his “I” reflected in her joyful look. This is how the baby feels its self-value. The second normal process is “idealization,” which begins with the child recognizing his parent or other loved one. The child needs an idealized image of the parent that corresponds to the standard of the parent embedded in the genetic memory. Positive images of the father and mother in the child’s inner world are the basis of the psyche and the guarantee of health. “Yes, the personality of the father and mother form the first and obviously the only world of man as long as he is a young child,” writes K. Jung. /1/ Go to the site and find out more
Parental images dominate the child’s consciousness, to a large extent determining the nature of his or her relations with people and social functioning throughout life, influencing mental stability and body health. Parental images include, on the one hand, the personally acquired image of their own parents and, on the other hand, the parental archetype. These archetypes are the original images of the Father and Mother – the generalized images of all mothers and fathers of the past, which are embedded in the unconscious child. “These most common and eternally repetitive realities create powerful archetypes whose constant activity can still be directly recognized everywhere, even in our fully rationalistic times.

C.G. Jung’s intimate reflections on the role of parent images /1/ lead to the conclusion that projections of the original images of the Father and Mother (archetypes) play an important role in the formation and stabilization of the human psyche.

Images of parents and their meanings

The child’s perception of his or her parents changes at different times in life, and their images are changed accordingly. Let’s consider the dynamics of parental images formation in different age periods: the period of early childhood, the period of puberty, the period of maturation and the period of loss of parents.

In early childhood, when the child’s consciousness is still poorly developed, parents (primarily, of course, the mother) are perceived in a more or less unconscious, archetypical state. The mother is the source of well-being, relaxation, stability, in fact – the source of life, and the father – dynamic, powerful, personifies the protection and encourages action. The images of specific parents are fragmented in the perception of a young child. “The mother’s constant presence blends in with every memory I have. Her image is inextricably linked to my existence, and therefore it is little outstanding in the fragmentary pictures of the first time of my childhood, although constantly involved in it,” – wrote S.T. Aksakov in his work “Childhood years Bagrov – grandson.

The projection in early childhood of archetypes of Father and Mother on their parents explains the idealization of parents (Mom – the most beautiful, and Dad – the strongest) and the extreme sensitivity of the child to the inconsistency between the unconscious ideal and the real parents. And the more the parents’ behavior contradicts their upbringing attitudes, the more contradictory the parents’ images in the child’s mind, the greater the danger of neurosis and somatic diseases. Parents’ images are formed in the child’s consciousness through the senses in a continuous space-time continuum, so it is not so important what parents recommend, but how they themselves act. Consequently, more mature and loving parents are the objects of adequate projection of the archetypes of the father and mother and the pledge of the child’s psychological and somatic well-being. The child’s perception of such parents is accompanied by a range of positive emotions, and the formation of parental images is influenced mainly by the positive projection of the archetypes of the Father and the Mother.

In subsequent life, the archetypical images of the Father and the Mother are inferior to the individual images of specific parents, but in the unconscious they remain mighty original images that find their influence throughout life. With the development of individual consciousness, the importance of the parent decreases, and the sense of direct connection and unity with parents is lost. Ideally, “the archetype of an adult person, the image of a man as it has been known by a woman since ancient times and the image of a woman as it has been carried by a man for millennia stands out from the image of parents” /2/. Mutual projection of these archetypes makes it possible to create a family, but parental images can influence the choice of specific projection carriers of male and female origin. The dominance of the parent image is revealed if the decisive factor in choosing a loved one was a positive or negative similarity with the parents /2/. When children appear in the family, men and women learn the roles of father and mother and, in turn, become the embodiment of the original images of the Father and Mother for their children. They are now adults. The images of their parents are connected to specific parents, and the archetypes are stabilized by a projection: the archetype of the Mother – to the family, the church, nature, the universe, the archetype of the Father – to the law, society, the nation. This dynamics is preserved as long as the parents are alive, and it changes when the parents leave. In the period of grief, the remnants of relative infantile disappear, the position of an adult and a parent for their children becomes stronger. Images of deceased parents are cleansed from worldly raids, idealized again, immersed in the unconscious and, returning to the original images, acquire the properties of a symbol.

Positive parent images – symbols of parents help to stabilize the psyche of the individual in difficult life situations. Reviving the memory of positive colored symbols, a person unconsciously activates the positive energy accompanying them.