Parents: Are you too supportive?

ORLANDO, Fla. - Parents are told to support their children academically, emotionally, and socially. But now a new study shows 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 too much support might backfire.

Researchers studied 203 third graders and their mothers. 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 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. So some practices are not as effective for older children. 

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

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