Child Led Parenting

Child Led Parenting – Research conducted by Stanford education professor Jelena Obradovic found that excessive parental involvement when children are focused on an activity can undermine behavioral development.

Parents these days are often looking for teachable moments, and opportunities abound. For example, reading a book with a child can mean discussing stories with them. If you can’t play a video game, that means explaining why.

Child Led Parenting

Child Led Parenting

There’s a good reason for this: Research has shown that engaged parenting helps children develop cognitive and emotional skills.

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But too much parental control can sometimes backfire, according to a new study by Stanford Graduate School of Education assistant professor Jelena Obradovic published March 11.

In this study, researchers observed parents’ behavior while preschool children actively played, cleaned toys, learned a new toy, and discussed a problem. The children of those parents who came the most for instructions, corrections, suggestions and questions—even though the children were doing well—had difficulty controlling their behavior and emotions at other times. These children also performed worse on tasks that measure delayed gratification and other executive functions, skills related to impulse control, and the ability to switch between competing demands on their attention.

“Parents are pressured to find ways to be involved, even when children are on task and They are actively playing or doing what is asked of them . . . However, too much direct involvement can damage children’s ability to control their attention, behavior and emotions When parents allow children to take the lead in their interactions, children practice self-regulation skills and develop independence.

Obradovic’s research, which introduces more accurate measures of parental involvement than traditional methods, sheds light on how parents help and hinder their children’s development during the transition to primary school.

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Today’s parents, increasingly derided as “helicopter” and “snowshoe” caregivers, also spend more time with their children than their moms and dads — even before the COVID-19 pandemic turned many parents into preschoolers and schoolchildren.

Obradovic, whose research examines how care settings contribute to children’s health, learning and well-being over time, says finding the right balance is important when working with children, especially in preschool. The start of primary school is a difficult time when children are expected to manage their attention, emotions and behavior without direct help from parents.

Obradovic and her colleagues — SPARK researcher Michael Sulick and University of Georgia associate professor of psychology Anne Shafer — brought together a diverse group of 102 children ages 4 to 6 for their research. Keepers at Stanford Labs

Child Led Parenting

For two and a half hours, the children worked on a series of tasks that child development experts have used for decades to measure self-regulation and “fast” executive functions (when emotions don’t matter). “Hot” (when emotions are high). Along with their parents, children also participated in structured activities that required varying degrees of adult interaction.

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In a new approach, scientists observed each parent and child separately. Using video recordings, interactions were broken down second and scored independently. This allowed Obradovic and his team to detect subtle changes in the way parents interact with their children. For example, in a 25-minute activity, a mother might follow her son for 13 seconds, then back off for 5 seconds, then lead him for 35 seconds.

When researchers study a specific aspect of parenting, they usually provide a single rating for the entire interaction. But this approach can be distorted by the researcher’s general perception of the parent-child relationship.

Most caregivers seem supportive and caring, Obradovic said. “On average, you don’t see a lot of parents yelling at their kids or pushing or checking their phones,” he said. “But there’s a lot of variation in these averages, and our goal was to find more subtle differences between parents who typically do well.”

These moment-to-moment changes are considered for parental involvement. “Those are good things, but the message the kids are getting is maybe not so good,” Obradovic said.

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For their analysis, Obradovic and colleagues defined a measure they called “parental overinvolvement.” Moments when the child worked independently or led an activity were recorded, and the proportion of times the parent intervened in some way (non-violent or manipulative) compared to when the parent followed was calculated. An example of a child.

Researchers have found a link between high levels of parental involvement when a child is focused on a task and children’s self-regulation and other behavioral problems. This was more evident in the “hot” executive functions of children.

When the child was passively involved, researchers found no association between parental overinvolvement and children’s self-regulation. According to Obradovic, this shows that it is good for parents to intervene when children are not actively working.

Child Led Parenting

According to Obradovic, the purpose of this study is not to criticize parents. “When we talk about excessive parental involvement, we’re not saying it’s bad or overtly intrusive,” she said. It is good to give ideas or advice to children.

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But it’s important for parents to know that teachable moments have their place, she said. For example, helping a preschooler solve a puzzle helps cognitive development and independence. And when kids aren’t paying attention, breaking rules, or half-heartedly participating in an activity, guidance is important.

However, sometimes children just need to be left alone or allowed to be the boss. Obradovic noted that this message may be especially important during the pandemic, when parents may wonder how much direct involvement their children need, especially as they balance all the new responsibilities.

“Be honest with yourself, especially if your child is doing well,” she said. As stressful as this time is, try to find opportunities to let them take the lead.

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In recent decades, new types of parents have emerged. From anxious helicopter parents to pushy tiger moms, these different styles have one thing in common: they tend to over-parent. This is where parents micromanage their children’s lives – giving them little autonomy, pressuring them to succeed academically and personally, while giving their children little opportunity to experience failure and disappointment.

These are the parents who go to school when their kids forget their sports gear, do their homework and ask others to do their homework in parent WhatsApp chats when their kids don’t bring it home. These parents believe their children are right. If the child feels they are being treated unfairly, they will confront the teachers, or they will confront the other parent if, for example, their child is not invited to a party.

Child Led Parenting

When their children grow up, these parents decide which bachelor’s degree their children will take and do not allow their teenagers to travel alone for fear of being kidnapped. These parents can accompany their children in university admission interviews or even in job interviews. And they are parents who see themselves as their child’s best friend rather than their own parent.

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While there is no doubt that these parental behaviors are expressions of love, the problem is that by making sure that children never fail an assignment, experience detention or the disappointment of not being invited to a party, these parents do not allow them. give fails As a result, they effectively slow down their child’s development.

By learning to overcome failure, children develop resilience. They learn to manage frustration and regulate their emotions. And it is essential that children develop these skills in childhood to lead a successful life.

Most research on overtraining has focused on how it affects students. But the link between overly involved parenting and negative outcomes can be found when examining children of any age. In fact, preschool and elementary school children of overinvolved parents tend to experience high levels of shyness, anxiety, and poor peer relationships.

Examining teenagers and students, these negative results persist. For example, 16- to 28-year-old students who reported helicopter parents were more likely to have low self-efficacy—a person’s confidence in their skills and abilities—and poor peer relationships.

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In similar research, youth who reported that their parents were too involved experienced higher levels of depression and stress, and were less satisfied with life.

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