NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Moms and dads who both offer lots of support and reassurance when their young children express negative emotions may not be doing them a favor, new research shows.
Studies in four- and five-year-olds found that the children whose parents reacted with differing levels of support to their emotional setbacks were actually more emotionally mature and handled conflict better, Dr. Nancy L. McElwain of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her colleagues found.
"It's good to give your child some support, but also at the same time some space to manage the problem," McElwain told Reuters Health.
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I could have told them that without them having to conduct this study! The school of hard knocks is the best teacher for any kid! :-)
Of course I am not saying parents should not encourage their children or give them the support they need, but the reality is children like adults need to learn to depend on themselves sometime and learn from whatever difficulty they think they may be facing.
Children need to know that they are not always totally helpless, that they too are endowed with a strength that need to be honed by hard circumstances.
In praising and giving our children the emotional support they need, balance is the key. I think as adults we know, if we have learned from our personal experiences, what the right balance is.