By Staff Blogger
Experienced parents will give you all the advice in the world on how to raise your child in the best way possible and how to be a positive influence on them for life. One thing that many parents commonly miss in their list of ways to be a better parent however is sensitivity. It is too bad too because this is one of the absolutely best things that you can do that will impact your child in a positive way for the rest of their lives.
It can be frustrating being a parent and can be very hard at times. Sometimes we tend to take out our frustrations when we display emotions to our children. A new study out of Minnesota called the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation has shown that sensitivity towards your child when they are very young will help them incredibly when they are older. They collected data from 243 different children who were infants and toddlers. During their first 42 months of life they got together with the mother four times to watch how the mother and child interacted during feeding times and play times.
Once the children were older and in school their teachers submitted evaluations on how well they played with their peers and interacted with other people. They also reported the children’s standardized test score results. After the children were grown and were in their 20s and 30s the researchers followed up with questions about their educational records and their relationships.
What the researchers found was that the children that had parents who were more sensitive to their needs had better relationships later in life as well as better academic progress. They ended up with romantic relationships that were stable and happy. They did well in social settings and had high marks on tests.
The children who had parents that tended to be more hostile or disengaged with them when they were young had poor relationships with their peers in school. They also tended to get grades that were average or below average. When they were older they would have trouble maintaining romantic partners.
The mothers and children that were included in the study were all living below poverty levels but the researchers stated that this should not make a difference as to whether the parents are more sensitive to their children or not.