Parents & Their Child's Relationships


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I've always been "Daddy's Little Girl." Besides my pre-teen rebellious years, my dad and I have always been very close, especially when I came to college. When it comes to me dating, however, my dad is not always supportive. The guy that I choose never seems to be good enough for him. A study done by the University of Bristol helps explain why and how I'm not the only one with this problem.

The study finds that it all roots back to one thing: evolutionary struggle with obtaining resources. Mate selection develops in both the parent and the child, but with slightly different pictures of what that mate looks like. The child tends to look for things such as attractiveness, smell, and sense of humor, but parents are looking for a partner who is going to be able to provide for their child as they did. 

The team conducted their research by building a computer model that reproduces how a parent's behavior evolves as the child begins looking for their partner. The article reporting the study reads, "The model predicts that, when parents distribute resources equally among their children, their mate preferences should coincide exactly. But when parents contribute more to children whose partners invest less, a conflict arises." Basically, parents want for their child what they gave them, if not more. They want a partner who is deeply caring yet also comes from a strong social class and family background. 

Trends of parent's interest in their child finding a proper partner can be seen by the fact that parents have moved online to finding partners for their children. A mom who inspired the development of that site says that here children, "were looking superficially for attraction and they were not looking deep enough to see everything that encompasses a person." This notion, coming from a mother, supports the findings of the study above. 

If you're relationship with your parents is anything like mine, next time they offer "advice" on who you should be seeing, remember that it's biology and evolution telling them to act this way. They want a partner that can share with you as much as they did.

5 Comments

I've always been really interested in what makes other people attractive to us. Fun fact: a general aspect of attractiveness at a biological level happens to be facial symmetry. We're more attracted to people with strong facial symmetry because that indicates a healthy immune system.
When you fall ill as a child, it can have a negative effect on your growth. This can cause minor imperfections, such as the left side of your mouth being slightly higher or one eye appearing a bit larger, indicating to others that perhaps you get sick often or are prone to very long illnesses.
This makes for an unattractive mate because a weak immune system is not a trait you would want to pass on to your potential offspring.
So, while seeking out solely appearances can be superficial, it can also be your body searching for someone to make the best children with. http://www.livescience.com/19553-samantha-brick-beauty.html

This is crazy. I did not know that. I think it's so interesting that there's so much to our relationships that we either subconsciously or biologically decide. We think we decide who we are with and how we deal with relationships, but there are so many factors forcing us to make these decisions that we don't even take into consideration.

The symmetry idea makes a lot of sense. Humans obviously are looking for mates that will produce the strongest and most healthy babies but it's crazy that facial structure alone is an indicator of that.

I almost forgot! If you want to have a little fun and see how symmetrical your face is, click the link. The website will analyze your face and tell you what's good/bad.http://www.anaface.com

I'm actually an only child so I'm really close with my parents. I literally consider my mom to be one of my best friends. I love that I can go to her for anything no matter what it involves and feel more than comfortable talking to her. Both my parents give the best advice and I can always rely on them no matter what. I think because of that I have developed really strong relationships with my friends and I consider them family. I think developing strong relationships with other people is really important and I learned everything from my parent. This article on parental influencereally shows how parents have a huge impact on their children's relationships.

I loved reading this article because I too am "daddies little girl." As much as I love my mom, our personalities tend to clash, while my dad and I always get each other. All of my life I have always clicked with my dad, but I never thought about why this happened. I loved reading this article because it taught me that this connection taps into the subconscious. My dad and I have very similar personalities, while my mom and I are very different. I also liked reading what our parents look for when finding a partner. It's so interesting that both conscious and subconscious factors take place in this decision. The article below, written by Judith Woods, talks about being a "daddies girl" while integrating celebrities who are also suckers for their dad. I found it really interesting so check it out!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1289224/Once-daddys-girl-Its-natural-fall-man-similar-father-hes-hellraiser.html

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