Parenting Tips

How parental influence affects children’s happiness

All parents have a busy life, but they should realize that one of the most important things to do is to stop and give their children love. Research over the past decade has highlighted the relationship between childhood parental illness and the future happiness of children.

How important is parental affection for children’s happiness?

Studies support the idea that the warmth and affection expressed by parents results in long-term benefits for their children. Increased self-esteem, better academic performance, better communication between parents and children, and fewer psychological and behavioral problems have been associated with this type of condition. On the other hand, children who do not have loving parents tend to have low self-esteem and to feel alienated, hostile, aggressive, and antisocial. A series of studies have been conducted that highlight the relationship between parental affection and children’s happiness and success.

In 2010, researchers at  Duke University Medical School found that babies with very loving and caring mothers grow happier, more resilient, and are at a lower risk of developing anxiety.

The study involved about 500 people who were analyzed from childhood to the age of 30. When the children were 8 months old, psychologists noticed the mothers’ interactions with them. They assessed mothers’ level of affection and attention on a five-point scale, from negative to extravagant. Almost 10% of mothers had a low level of the disease, 85% showed a normal condition, and about 6% showed a high level of the condition. Then, after 30 years, the same people were interviewed about their emotional health. Adults whose mothers showed excessive affection had a lower risk of feeling stressed or anxious. They were also less likely to report hostility, social interactions, and psychosomatic symptoms.

The researchers involved in this study concluded that oxytocin may be responsible for this effect.

Oxytocin is a chemical in the brain released when a person feels love and connection. It has been shown to help parents connect with their children, adding confidence and extra support. This connection most likely helps the brain to produce and use oxytocin, causing a child to feel more positive emotions.

Then, a study conducted in 2013 found that unconditional love and affection from parents can make children happier emotionally. This is because their brains change as a result of the condition.

On the other hand, the negative impact of child abuse and lack of affection affects children mentally and physically. And this leads to all sorts of health and emotional issues throughout life. What is really fascinating is that scientists believe that parental affection can actually protect people from the harmful effects of childhood stress.

Then, in 2015, a study by the  University of Notre Dame showed that those children who receive affection from their parents are happier than adults. More than 600 adults were interviewed about how they were raised, including how much physical condition they received. Adults who reported receiving more illness in childhood were less likely to experience depression and anxiety.

Those who received less illness had to deal with mental health issues and said they were more upset in their social situation and less able to look at things from the perspective of others.

How parental influence affects children's happiness

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