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How does Mothers’ Behavior Affect Children’s Social Understanding

by Ana

Mothers are the first institution where kids get to learn a lot of things; from mannerism and etiquettes to realities of mothers-behaviorlife and importance of being truthful. Since long, mothers are accredited for their kids’ brilliance or dullness. This concept is not solely dependent upon illogical beliefs, rather there is much truth related to it. A recent study from UK has added worth to this concept by establishing that the kids’ social skills in later childhood are much affected by the way their mothers used to talk to them in the early childhood.

This research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. In this study, it was noticed that those children whose mothers talked to them about what the people believed in, what there norms were, what were the intentions and what were the demands; developed really fine understanding of society and related feelings. In the research, some tasks were assigned to mothers of 3 years old kids.

They were provided with a series of pictures, portraying e.g. people waiting for their turn standing in a queue, or a kid coming out of the school after the school finished. The mothers were told to talk to their kids about those pictures and to make them understand those pictures well. What was noticed in this test was that those kids whose mothers talked to them about the feeling of people portrayed in the pictures performed really well     on social understanding tasks.

This research was based on many years’ study including almost 57 families. It was also noticed that the socio-economic status of families and the mothers’ IQ levels were not very much related to the way kids behaved in later childhood. Mothers’ influence remains active on the kids till about the age of 9-10 years. Beyond this age, this effect gradually diminishes, perhaps because of the lesser amount of time spent at home with their moms by the children. It was observed that at the age of 12, children were able to perform as well as their mothers did, thus establishing that at 12, they can be as “socially sophisticated” as the adults.

This study began 14 years ago. Then, fathers were not involved as they spent lesser time with their kids, but it is possible to find such fathers these days, according to the researchers. They suggested that it was better to talk to children about the bad feelings of the kid from whom their kids snatched away a toy, instead of scolding him harshly and ordering him to give it back to him. So, watch out mothers; your slang will make your kids use it, too!

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1 comment

loving nanny March 1, 2012 - 1:47 pm

I work as a nanny for the past 5 yrs I have a question about the recent family I work with- I have notices the older child has had several fits @ home when he has difficult homework,Mom tends to be a perfectionist so she puts quite a bit of presure on the 9 yr old espsicialy when he has a report due,he is under so much presuar & yelled at almost everyday.The 6 yr old is yearning for attachment with Mother as well, she has mentioned she does not like to be with them very much & has little patience with there curious world,Mom tries to be gone as much as possible & as often as she can. When the Dad is on Business trips the Mom goes out almost every day until about midnight. What approuch should I take to address & How can I help this Family ? G.

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