A longitudinal study shows that intrusive parenting can have adverse effects on a child’s development.
Intrusive parenting is also called helicopter parenting and includes manipulative parental behaviors and psychological control.
Previous studies have been performed on college students and teenagers, and now the negative effects have been demonstrated to appear as early as primary school.
The study revealed traumatic mental and psychological effects of intrusive parenting.
Scientists from the National University of Singapore showed that over critical parents can cause anxiety and depression in their children which may lead to them being more self-critical as years pass by.
An expert explained that parents that hover over the lives of their children could make them to fear the slightest mistake and to blame themselves for not raising up to parents’ expectations.
There are two domains of perfectionism in children. One is self-critical perfectionism, which is an attitude towards self, and the second is a socially prescribed perfectionism that describes what a person believes others expect from him or her.
For four years, scientists monitored children with ages between seven and ten years old.
One of the experiments included asking children to solve a puzzle while the parent was watching. An intrusive parent would interfere with the kid’s moves and take over the game.
Out of the 263 children that had intrusive parents, 60% had a self-critical attitude and 78% revealed high perfectionism in regards to social expectations. Both types of negative behaviors were shown in no less than 59% of the participants.
Researchers say that Singapore is an environment that encourages academic excellence and parents may put a lot of pressure on their children to perform. At their turn, kids are fearful of making mistakes and may reject the option of admitting their failures and ask for help, which may augment their emotional issues.
The authors of the study recommend parents to understand that mistakes are an inevitable part of learning. Managing errors can help a person better adjust to their chosen path in life and improve their experience of learning.
Other techniques that can be used are asking more general questions on results and praising before addressing a mistake a child may have made. Supportive parenting has more positive effects on children.
Kids who receive attention from their parents have a stronger sense of happiness, achieve better results in school and have better incomes, and they also exhibit a healthier sense of morality when they become adults.
Image Source: Pixabay
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