So, recently someone sent me this article: Good parenting helps difficult babies perform well in school. Sigh. Where to start....
So, recently someone sent me this article: Good parenting helps difficult babies perform well in school. Sigh. Where to start. I guess we'll look at the key findings in the "study" and then move on to opinion. This study, recently conducted at Indiana University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found the following:
  • When mothers of six month olds were asked about their baby's temperaments it was noted that, "Children who did not respond well to new situations and people, were very active, had intense emotions, cried a lot, and did not adapt well were classified as having difficult temperaments."
  • Later, teachers of these babies, once they reached 1st grade, also were asked about the child's temperament.
  • What researchers found from both the thoughts of the mothers, teachers, and from observing the mothers, is that, "The key to first-grade adjustment for both difficult and easy infants was good parenting."
Shocking news I know. I doubt it's a huge secret that good parenting supports healthy, emotionally strong children, who succeed in life. There are no guarantees but, mostly, I think we all know this is true. Kids are all about support and care. When they get positive care, attention, and support they thrive. When they don't, well, they may still thrive, but the path is harder. The part that makes me mad about this is that they've singled out babies as difficult. Which honest to god, I don't believe is true. I know parents who have, "difficult babies" and you know, these are always the parents who believe in letting a baby cry it out. These are the parents who spend less time than average with their babies, or try to set them up on rigid schedules. These are the parents who try to force issues like manners on a one year old - who, by the way cannot truly understand manners yet. On the other side are parents who you might call attachment parents - they do stuff like hold their baby often, a lot of time in close carriers or slings, these parents follow their baby's natural schedule, maybe co-sleep, and would never think that picking up a crying baby is spoiling. These parents tend to follow appropriate developmental growth - and don't force issues until their baby is ready. Oh, and of all the parent's I've known like this, not one has ever called their baby difficult. Almost all parents I know have been frustrated at one time or another, or stressed, but that's life - "difficult babies" are a whole other situation. Babies are simply little people with their own personalities. I think, that as soon as scientists start saying that there are easy and hard babies, then that's what they should be studying - the why of that. One good thing to come out of this study is that the research can be used so that, "Physicians can identify parents who perceive their children as temperamentally difficult in infancy and refer these parents for supportive services." So, that's good. But, shouldn't pediatricians be doing this already. I think that difficult baby issue arises when parents don't get the information and support they need to make good parenting choices. Period. I'd wager that a real, honestly difficult babe is very few and far between. What do you think? More help: 10 place to go for parenting help & advice Single mama support

Tags: baby research difficult baby life success parenting skills school success smart babies


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