A Project of the Child Trends News Service Supported by the National Science Foundation

Parents: Are You Too Supportive?

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Parents are told to support their kids academically, emotionally, and socially. But now a new study demonstrates that you can overdo it when it comes to support.

You listen to your kids’ problems and you help them find solutions. When you’re a parent, being supportive is part of the job. But new research shows that too much support might backfire. Researchers studied 203 third graders and their moms. They looked at parents’ supportive reactions to children’s negative emotions, and how those reactions affected a child’s social skills. Moms who were more supportive reported greater social adjustment in kids. But teachers reported more problem behaviors and poorer social skills in kids whose moms were more supportive.

Researchers say that support is not a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. It’s a good idea to support your child, but the practices need to fit the needs of the child. As the child ages, he may have other needs. Some practices are not as effective for older children.

A 2015 study out of Brigham Young University found that children of controlling “helicopter” parents are less engaged in the classroom.

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

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

facebook twitter instagram youtube arrow up Play Icon Envelope Arrow Right Arrow Down