Moody Kids Need Supportive Parents


Are your kids moody? A pill is probably not the answer, but your parenting style could help. A new study found that kids who are moody can become more stable and more positive when they are parented in a warm and positive environment.

Some children have a gene variation that makes them prone to lower serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels are linked with bad moods and depression. The study focused on nearly 1,900 children, aged 9 to 15, who all had that gene variation.

The study asked parents how they parented, observed parenting behaviors and asked the children if they had warm and supportive parents. It seems obvious, but the kids were more likely to maintain happier emotions when exposed to positive parenting, while those who experienced unsupportive parenting showed fewer positive emotions.

“A weed will grow anywhere,” said Benjamin Hankin, an associate professor of clinical child and developmental cognitive neuroscience psychology at the University of Denver. “But if you’re an orchid, you’re probably more reactive and responsive to your environment. If you have a really negative, punishing environment, you’re probably not going to grow up to be a beautiful orchid.”

Obviously, this shows that environment does impact how kids turn out. It puts responsibility on the parents to create a homelife that is positive and encouraging. Of course, we aren’t always going to be positive and upbeat, but we can work to do better.

What do you think of this study? Do you agree that parenting has an impact on kid’s emotions?


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