New research finds that the happiest, wealthiest, most moral and smartest children are raised by parents who:
- Pay their children a lot of positive attention,
- and use supportive child-rearing techniques.
In contrast, parents who combine a strict upbringing with positive attention tend to produce children who are less happy.
These children were, however, just as academically and financially successful.
Naturally, harsh parents produce children with the most negative mentalities who felt the least secure.
Children raised by easygoing parents, though, perform relatively poorly.
They were second only to those raised by harsh parents for low levels of security, financial success, and happiness.
The conclusions come from a Japanese study of 5,000 men and women.
For the research, an online survey asked people a series of question about their relationships with their parents during childhood.
These included statements like:
- “My parents trusted me.”
- “I felt like my family had no interest in me.”
From this, the researchers found six different types of child-rearing:
“Supportive: High or average levels of independence, high levels of trust, high levels of interest shown in child, large amount of time spent together.
Strict: Low levels of independence, medium-to-high levels of trust, strict or fairly strict, medium-to-high levels of interest shown in child, many rules.
Indulgent: High or average levels of trust, not strict at all, time spent together is average or longer than average.
Easygoing: Low levels of interest shown in child, not strict at all, small amount of time spent together, few rules.
Harsh: Low levels of interest shown in child, low levels of independence, low levels of trust, strict.
Average: Average levels for all key factors.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
These findings are from a discussion paper by Professors Kazuo Nishimura and Tadashi Yagi to be presented at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan.