Is there a better parenting style?
A study called Growing Up In Ireland conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute and Trinity College Dublin found that children under an authoritative parenting style did better, compared to those under an authoritarian parenting style or with neglectful parents.
What’s an authoritative parenting style again? It’s the one where parents establish rules and carry out punishments while providing emotional support to children. This means that reasons behind said rules and punishments are explained to the child.
Are there additional findings? You bet.
After working with 8, 500 Irish children, along with their parents and teachers using detailed interviews, the study found that:
- 1 in 5 Irish children had an emotional or behavioral problem
- Boys were more susceptible to behavioral problems such as fighting and hyperactivity
- Girls were more susceptible to emotional problems such as feeling anxious and being sad because they internalize problems
- Closeness to mom was necessary for the well-being of girls – not boys
- Level of closeness to dad had no impact on social or emotional problems
- Other issues that led to developing behavioral problems were:
- being a boy (sorry moms, it’s likely that your prince will have a tougher time compared to your princess)
- having learning or developmental disorders
- if children were from very low-income homes
- if children were from single-parent homes
If you’re dwelling on item number 6, especially the last few items… don’t. The study also showed that despite less-than-ideal circumstances, what’s more likely to influence the development of emotional or behavioral problems are children’s:
- temperament and
- relationship with parents
Therefore, whatever situation you’re in, improving the quality of your parent-child relationship may decrease the development of emotional or behavioral problems in your children.
What does this study mean to me?
You may be from another corner of the globe but this study supports another recent research which found that nurturing has a positive impact on child development.
It means that there might be something right about authoritative parenting, which is why we encourage parents to offer more emotional support to children. (By the way, here’s a quick guide on how to provide a nurturing environment for your kiddos.)
What do you think of the study? Do you agree or disagree?