Positive Parenting Newsfeed—a Child Trends Project—is Supported by the National Science Foundation

Chaotic Home Bad for Kids

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Every parent wants their child to thrive. But did you know that the environment in your home could affect your kids’ emotional development? Here’s more on how to create less chaos and more routine in your family’s day.

Disorganization, noise, and crowding; family life can be hectic. A new study finds that a chaotic home may have a negative effect on kids. Researchers studied more than 380 kids living in poverty and tested their cortisol levels, which are a marker of stress. They found those who lived in homes with more chaos had less emotional regulation, regardless of cortisol levels. Kids in homes without good routines also had trouble controlling their emotions, especially if they had low cortisol levels. Scientists say this suggests that both biological and social factors influence a child’s emotional development.

To make your home less chaotic, create daily routines and stick to them. Have kids wake up, go to bed, and eat at the same time each day. Set out clothes and pack school lunches the night before. Carve out specific times for chores, errands, and fun activities. Remember, a good routine could pay off for your child in the long run.

Experts say kids with behavioral problems have the most difficulty adjusting to regular routines, but it’s important that parents establish these routines because this is the group that benefits the most from stability in the home.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising; Julie Marks, Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

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