Pushy parents can harm kids social skills

"Pushy" parents in this context implies parents that use psychological mind games to get their children to comply with their wishes. To me 'pushy' is not really the right word for this kind of persuasive technique. I see this more as 'manipulative' in nature and fundamentally distasteful. Its a kind of emotional blackmail to control kids using guilt as a weapon.

That said this is an interesting piece and well worth a read.

"Initially 184 13-year-olds filled out multiple surveys, including one to assess how often their parents employed psychologically controlling tactics, such as inducing guilt or threatening to withdraw affection. The kids rated, for example, how typical it would be for Dad to suggest that “if I really cared for him, I would not do things that caused him to worry” or for Mom to become “less friendly [when] I did not see things her way.”

pushy parents

The researchers then followed up with the same kids at ages 18 to 21. The idea was to find out whether these kids could 'navigate a disagreement' in a healthy way as opposed to the manipulative techniques used by their own parents.

They did this by asking the young adults to bring along a close friend and, later, a romantic partner if they had one. These pairs were asked to answer hypothetical questions that were purposefully written to provoke a difference of opinion. “We wanted to see whether they could navigate a disagreement in a healthy way,” says study leader Barbara Oudekerk, now at the U.S. Department of Justice's bureau of statistics.

"In the October issue of Child Development, Oudekerk and her colleagues report that the 13-year-olds who had highly controlling parents floundered in friendly disagreements at age 18. They had difficulty asserting their opinions in a confident, reasoned manner in comparison to the kids without controlling parents. And when they did speak up, they often failed to express themselves in warm and productive ways.

The researchers suspect that manipulative parents undermine their child's ability to learn how to argue his or her own viewpoint in other relationships. Although parents do need to set boundaries, domineering tactics imply that any disagreement will damage the bond itself. Separate findings suggest that parents who explain the reasons behind their rules and turn disagreements into conversations leave youngsters better prepared for future disputes." It's crucial to increase your kids coping skills.

Check out this article on positive parenting.

This is a really great article and food for thought as parents. Hit the button below to read the full article. There's also a great book about kids social skills in the Amazon link below. Enjoy!

social skills
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