Home Psychology Scientists Find That Parents Who Do These Two Things Raise Happier Children

Scientists Find That Parents Who Do These Two Things Raise Happier Children


A must-read! It’s not money and things, and it’s got nothing to do with impossible feats. In fact, these two things are so essential, we all possess them already. You just need to start using them.

Toxic parenting leaves a scar on the child which resonates till the rest of their lives as much as the death of their loved ones. The problem is that parents are usually unaware if their behavior is toxic or not.

It’s a fact that every parent wants the best for their child and their future, and whatever they do, they do it out of love. If they knew better, they would do better than what is their current best without any second thoughts.

And while parenting is something very individual, as it depends on more than just the parents, there are some general traits that could improve it by a million.

A few longitudinal studies, which have tracked a total of 5,362 people since their birth in 1946, have focused on the link between positive mental well-being and parent-child relationships. Sixty years later, 2,000 of the participants in the study were given follow-up surveys, among which there was one focusing on how controlling their parents were.

Published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, the results showed that parents who were overly controlling and lacked the necessary parental warmth damaged their children with the same effect as the death of a loved one – and this damage remained to haunt them even in their 60s.

These parents interfered in their children’s decisions and didn’t allow them to make one, disregarded or denied their right to personal opinion, and invaded their privacy. This, in turn, fostered dependence, lack of self-confidence, and the inability to create strong and healthy bonds with people.


Just as the negative factors leave a trace for life, their opposites create a strong foundation for a positive mental well-being and a higher life satisfaction that follow the person for the same amount of time.

The key ingredients to good parenting are warmth and responsiveness.

These two fabulous parental traits have been found to be the recipe for raising a happy individual who will make confident and happy choices in their lives and who will know how to rely on themselves more.

Instead of being the parent who dictates the tempo and lifestyle of your child, being able to perceive and respond to their cues, as well as observe and respect their preferences, is what means to be a responsive parent.

Warmth is another trait which needs to be very present in the day-to-day interaction between the parent and the child. Tough love will not teach them anything but how to close themselves off from the world.

The security they feel from a warm and loving parent is what will make them persevere in the tough world which is waiting ahead. Children need to be loved and respected as complete individuals and their preferences need to be noticed and acknowledged.

These children feel supported and understood and are thus happier with the life they live. Which is more, it has been found that parental warmth and responsiveness positively contribute to the child’s health-related behavior.

A study which has focused on the relation between parental warmth and responsiveness and the child’s health-related behavior has found that these two things were strongly associated with the child’s choice of nutrient-dense food intake and meal frequency.

On the other hand, parents who weren’t as warm and responsive fostered a choice of energy-rich food and increased screen time in their children.


The University of Edinburgh
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Mary Wright


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