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A recent study found that intrusive parents who push their kids into being high-achievers on the academic realm may also boost their kids’ risk of being depressed and anxious.
A group of psychologists from the National University of Singapore found that being too intrusive as a parent such overly criticizing a kid for his or her school performance may send the wrong signal to children.
Researchers think that school kids may get the wrong message from their parents and believe that they are never good enough both academically and personally. This may have unexpected repercussions on adult life and may hijack the kid’s future.
Kids coming from these families tend to be overly self-critical and have daily struggles with depression and anxiety, researchers found.
The recent study involved 263 school-age kids from ten schools in Singapore and their parents. In nine of 10 cases the mother was picked for the experiment as she was the most important figure for the kids. Children and their mothers alike were monitored through the 5th grade between 2010 and 2014.
Parents are deemed “intrusive” if they demand high scores in school tests, help kids more than necessary with homework and daily chores, or have an exaggerated reaction whenever a kid makes a simple mistake be it in school or at home.
In the study, parents were qualified as “intrusive” whenever they decided to solve a puzzle themselves as the kid took too long and there was a time limit attached to the assignment.
Kids born to theses parents were most of the times highly self-critical which boosted their depression and anxiety risk. In some severe cases, kids reported suicidal thoughts due to the context in their homes.
Still, study authors acknowledged that they did not found a cause-and-effect relationship between high parental pressures and depression and anxiety risk, but they did found a strong association.
Lead author of the research Prof Ryan Hong explained that this type of parenting may make the kids be afraid to do something, take initiative or even take decision out of fear of making mistakes. Also, the kid will live with a feeling of guilt for not being perfect every time they fail to live up to the standards their parents, society or even themselves have set in place.
The study results were published in the online Journal of Personality.
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