Do you think you can tell if your own children are happy? Experts are saying parents and kids are saying two different things when it comes to their happiness.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that parents of 10 and 11-year-olds consistently overestimate their child’s happiness. On the opposite end, parents of 15 and 16-year-olds underestimate their kid’s happiness. It seems that parents score their own happiness level instead of their child’s. The bottom line is that parents “rely too heavily on their own feelings in assessing the happiness of the family unit as a whole.”
Although both groups had similar happiness levels, parents of adolescents seemed to have a decline in their happiness. Dr. Belén López-Pérez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Developmental and Social Psychology at Plymouth University said, “Being unable to read children’s happiness appropriately may increase misunderstanding between parents and children/adolescents, which has been shown to have negative consequences for parent-child relationships…Furthermore, parents might not be able to provide the appropriate emotional support or attend to their children’s needs accurately.”
Maybe parents can just ask their kids how they are feeling instead of assuming to know. Do you think your kids are happier or about as happy as you think they are?