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Good Housekeeping
Belle Yambao, Contributor
September 23, 2011

New Study: Being a Supportive Mom Makes Your Kids More Commitment-Ready as Adults

Want to make sure your kids grow up fully capable of loving others? Research shows you can do this by being an encouraging mom. By Belle Yambao
supportive_mom.jpgAs a mom, you probably dream about having your kids grow up to be well-rounded, happy adults who can enter into committed relationships and be successful at a job they're passionate about. And at least one part of this formula, research shows, is something you can actively contribute to. A new study published in Psychological Science says you can trace how well individuals commit to how supportive their moms were when they were kids.

The researchers from St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois examined 78 young adults and their romantic partners. They looked at data from when the participants were two years old, when they performed a difficult task in the presence of their moms who had been instructed support them. They also retrieved data from when the participants were 16 and were asked to relate an argument with their best bud and how they were able to resolve it.

The results showed that individuals whose moms ignored them or laughed at them when they were two were more likely to be less committed in their relationships. The same was true for those who reported they couldn't solve their conflicts with their friends at 16.

"The takeaway for me is that early relationships set the stage for current relationships,” Minda Orina, lead author and assistant professor of psychology at St. Olaf College, is quoted as saying on “If people have been somewhat punitive in the past toward you or you have had relationships where there is always a winner/loser, it's less likely you will enter a romantic relationship with an attitude of trust and willingness to work through problems."

So take note, FN moms! You can build your children's self-esteem and make them more ready to face the world by guiding them through their difficulties when they're still young. This will help them develop problem-solving skills of their own and make them more accepting of love in the future.

Need more tips for raising happy children? Try these articles on FN:

(Photo by theqspeaks via Flickr Creative Commons)
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