“Now that I’m a lot older I‘d like to be more independent,” Tate says. “I don’t spend much time with my family. I spend enough as it is. Yet, [because] I’m older, I appreciate [family time] more.”
Christopher, however, says that such growth should not be left unchecked; too much independence can be detrimental to a child’s relationships.
“Ideally what happens as someone moves forward in their life is that they establish themselves, they grow…into a healthy sense of who they are as a separate individual while maintaining a healthy relationship with their original family,” Christopher says. “It shouldn’t be so much that somebody completely separates; it’s more that they learn to develop their own identity while maintaining that sense of who their family is and where that fits in their life.”
By the same token, children who spend too much time with their families may be negatively influenced if some family members aren’t the role models they should be, according to Davidson. Even if their family members do steer them in the right direction, spending an inadequate amount of time with those outside of their families can be detrimental.
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