June 29, 2012 - Cufflinks Blog

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Are you over or under parenting your child?

Friday, June 29th, 2012

 

 

 

Are you over or under parenting your child?

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There have been numerous reports throughout the past century regarding the proper parenting techniques. Is it possible to spoil an infant (under 1 yr.)? (The answer is a resounding no.) But what about when the child gets older…can you smother him/her with parental affection and attention? The answer is a resounding yes.

Askmen.com has a new article discussing this issue. In a recent study, results have shown that fathers who don’t try to hard, end up being better parents. You know, the fathers that like to compete with each other, “Oh Tommy’s better at this…I take him here everyday…” Studies have shown that Little Tommy will grow up better with a less worried and stressed father, than an over-protective one trying to keep up with the Jones’ family.

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“Coping With New Parenthood”

“The latest research out of Ohio State University, which appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, suggests that parents who feel pressure to be perfect parents can work at cross purposes. Called the “New Parents Project,” this study is one part of a longitudinal look at how working parents cope with new parenthood. The researchers studied 182 couples who became parents between 2008 and 2010, and found that external pressure to be perfect parents affects parenting skills differently than self-directed, internal pressure to be a good parent.

The difference was most striking for fathers. If new fathers were particularly worried about living up to the social ideals of their peer group, they tended to do worse than fathers who put the pressure on themselves. Mothers, on the other hand, showed more parental stress no matter where the pressure came from. One other interesting note is that fathers who responded to self-directed, internal pressure and didn’t give a hoot about keeping up with the Joneses tended to be better fathers. The researchers added that they weren’t sure what the long-term effects on parenting this kind of internal pressure would have, but for newborns it can be a good thing”

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In a recent article published by Psych Central, By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor, Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 30, 2011:

“Parents of newborns show poorer adjustment to their new role if they believe society expects them to be “perfect” moms and dads, a new study shows.

While stress upsets each parent, stress influences each parent in different ways. Moms showed less confidence in their parenting abilities and dads felt more stress when they were more worried about what other people thought about their parenting skills.

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However, self-imposed pressure to be perfect was somewhat better for parents, especially for fathers, according to the results.”

Nauert also claims that “Societal-oriented perfectionism is “being concerned about what other people think about your parenting,” Schoppe-Sullivan said. It was measured by asking people how much they agreed with statements like “Most people always expect me to always be an excellent parent.”

So next time you want to coddle your 12 year old son, think again fathers. The trick is to be stress-free, a mean between extremes, and always keep your cool.