Being affectionate can make your child more sociable and less aggressive, study reveals

Mums and dads take note: you can never be too affectionate with your kids!

A new study has found that parents who are affectionate and warm with their children make them more sociable and less aggressive as people.

mum kissing daughter
Source: Pixabay

Being affectionate can make your child more sociable and less aggressive, study reveals

Researchers at the University of Michigan studied 227 identical twin pairs. They analysed the small differences in parenting that each twin received and assessed each child’s behaviour.

They found that those who were stricter and less emotionally warm with their twins had children that had a greater chance of showing aggression than those whose parents were more lenient.

Associate professor at the University of Michigan and co-author of the study, Luke Hyde said: “The study convincingly shows that parenting – and not just genes – contributes to the development of risky CU traits. 

“Because identical twins have the same DNA, we can be more sure that the differences in parenting the twins received affects the development of these traits.”

How a Parent’s Affection Shapes a Child’s Happiness for Life

Another study on the behaviour of children who were adopted supports this research.

“We couldn’t blame the children’s anti-social behaviour on genetics because they don’t share genes with their parents,” says Rebecca Waller, lead author and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“But it still didn’t rule out the possibility that something about the child’s genetic characteristics was evoking certain reactions from the adoptive parent.”

Affectionate parents create kids that can cope better with life

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5 ways you can be more affectionate with your kids

Not all of us are touchy feely type people, and that’s okay. Here are five ways you can bring more affection into your family’s day.

1. If you have a newborn or baby, try and hold, touch or rock them in your arms as much as possible. Giving baby a bath or a massage is a great way to have skin-to-skin contact.

2. Make sure that before you drop kids at school or daycare you give them a hug. Also do this at bedtime or when you see them after school. Ensure hugging is part of your daily routine.

3. If being affectionate doesn’t come naturally, set a reminder on your Fitbit to remind yourself to randomly give your child a hug or kiss.

4. When disciplining your child, give them a hug as reassurance at the end. Or you could put your hand on their shoulder, gently to show you still love them despite their behaviour.

5. Another way you can get some one-on-one time with your children is to get busy in the kitchen. We don’t suggest you put them to work without you, but sharing special moments making pancakes for breakfast or packing school lunches.

While we’re on the subject of the dreaded school lunch. If you want some fresh ideas then the Healthy Mummy’s Healthy Kids Lunch Boxes eBook!

kids lunch box book

This eBook contains 100 great recipes and ideas to help fill those boxes full of goodness that your kids will LOVE!

The recipes are quick and easy to make and they often use leftovers to also save you time and money.