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Monday, September 27, 2021

Giving children more freedom can improve family wellbeing, says study

The study found that parents who gave their children more autonomy discovered they did better emotionally, their own needs were fulfilled to a greater extent, and the family itself was more emotionally bonded.

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |
August 2, 2021 8:00:58 pm
parents and children, parents and kids in the pandemic, autonomy for kids, family, family in lockdown, study, parenting study, parenting, indian express newsThe study suggests that parents let go a little and allow the children to make a few choices, so as to feel less stressed. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Parenting is not an easy task, and it was made all the more difficult by the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic. Parents had to manage their work from home, and children had to learn to get used to their online study routine. While this may have naturally led to a lot of initial stress and chaos, a lot of families managed to stay on track and even focus on the well-being of all members.

According to Psychology Today, a recent study, which will be published this year in the Child Development journal, families that gave children autonomy (more freedom to make their own choices) were associated with improved well-being for everyone — parents and children alike — during the pandemic.

The study found that parents who gave their children more autonomy discovered they did better emotionally, their own needs were fulfilled to a greater extent, and the family itself was more emotionally bonded. In fact, it was particularly found that parenting involving “choice within certain limits seemed to be optimal” during this time.

According to the Psychology Today report, the study included 496 school-age children (between 6 and 19 years) in Germany, from March to April of 2020. Their parents reported on their parenting practices every day over the course of the study period.

And while there is a lot of pressure right now on parents to manage office and work, and give time to their kids, keep them productively engaged and make sure they focus on their online classes, this study suggests that they let go a little and allow the children to make a few choices, so as to feel less stressed. Doing it can prove to be effective for the well-being of both parents and kids.

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