Forget time, your stress is damaging your child

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quality-parenting

Time spent with your children is not as important as the type of time you’re spending with your children.

Mothers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief – sort of!  A new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that American parents are spending more time with their children yet, that time has virtually no effect on them as adolescents.  Both stay at home and working moms increased the time spent with their children in 2014 to 13.7 hours.  And, dads logged an all time record high at 7.2 hours.

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Yet, the study found that those hours spent with a 3-11 year old child had virtually no affect on their academic achievement, behavior and well-being as adolescents.

What makes the most impact when it comes to parenting?  The parent’s, particularly the mother’s, mood.  Mothers who were stressed, sleep-deprived, guilty and anxious caused the most harm to their child.  Also a large contributor in a child’s success, the mother’s education and family’s income level.

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While it is still important to spend time with your children, the study points out that parents should be concerned more with the quality of time.  Activities like reading, sharing meals and engaging in one-on-one conversations should never be discounted.  In fact, the study found that these shared activities take on an even more important role during the adolescent years.  Time spent with both parents as a teenager did have a direct correlation with staying out of trouble.

 

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