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Welcome to our journal here at Empower and Elevate! We aim to provide additional insight, psychoeducation, and therapeutic tips as additional resources for clients in our community. Hopefully you will find something that sparks your interest!

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Connection: Couples & Parent-Child Relationships

Importance of connection

Are you finding yourself struggling in your relationship with your teen or child? Research has shown that the relationship quality of parents can influence the psychosocial functioning. This can be a great opportunity to invest in your wellness and work towards achieving your relationship goals with your partner or spouse.

Many theories predict that the relationship that a child has with their parent can be an indicator of the child’s ability to develop healthy relationships, their mental health into their adult lives (Cepukiene, 2021).


Parenting styles are connected by the environment and culture that is present within the family system. 

This can be an important aspect to highlight when it comes to seeking family therapy, to be mindful of the cultural differences that are present and how various parenting styles are viewed (Szkody & McKinney 2021).

When discussing the parents’ relationship with one another there has been substantial research indicating that working with one another in couples counseling or exploring the relationship dynamics can create positive influence on the family (Lavner et al., 2019).

Success in this area is focused on teaching parents the effective skills to navigate their relationship, in co-parenting or parenting as a couple (Lavner et al., 2019). 

Further more when discussing elements of connection and foundational relationships focusing treatment or counseling on the marital or couple’s relationship can be an effective way to promote children’s development.

This can be an opportunity to view this as a protective factor in being able to support future generations (Fischer et a., 2021).

Navigating transitions

It can be a challenge for parents to accept the power balance as children become of age and are entering adulthood. Many of these transitions can create friction and conflict due to the role reversal, as teens take on bills or a career. Parents are having to adapt and may acknowledge that they are not prepared for this type of change.

This in turn can create a strain and shift the roles and rules within the family system. 

Research shows that the there is an importance around this season as many young adults need enouragement and autonomy within their relationships with their parents (Szkody & McKinney 2021). 

Adapting and Supporting our children

Children are extremely intuitive and pick up on more than what we realize. Research has indicated that many children struggled to adjust and remain flexible to change when aspects from parents becomes overwhelming in their world (Gao et al., (2021).

As parents we can work towards evaluating our relationships and be intentional about working within the family to model healthy boundaries and communication. It is important to realize that even when we are stressed to be mindful of how we are displaying that to the children within our home.

Counseling can be a great place to start to gain the necessary skills to navigate your relationship with your partner or child. Reach out today and schedule a free consultation to start your counseling journey. 


Cepukiene, V. (2021). Adults’ Psychosocial Functioning Through the Lens of Bowen Theory: The Role of Interparental Relationship Quality, Attachment to Parents, Differentiation of Self, and Satisfaction with Couple Relationship. Journal of Adult Development, 28(1), 50–63. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-020-09351-3

Fischer, I., Schober, P. S., & Nagengast, B. (2021). Parental relationship quality and children’s behavioural problems: Childcare quality as a protective factor? Journal of Family Research / Zeitschrift Für Familienforschung, 33(3), 703–733.

Gao, M. (Miranda), Papp, L. M., & Cummings, E. M. (2021). Typologies of daily relationship quality in marital and parent–child subsystems: Implications for child adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000929.supp 

Lavner, J. A., Barton, A. W., & Beach, S. R. H. (2019). Improving Couples’ Relationship Functioning Leads to Improved Coparenting: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Rural African American Couples. Behavior Therapy, 50(6), 1016–1029. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2018.12.006

Szkody, E., & McKinney, C. (2021). Family communication patterns and relationship quality between emerging adults and their parents. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 38(11), 3177–3197. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075211027217