Previous studies have depicted “helicopter parenting,” or being too involved in your child’s life, as a negative way of rearing kids. However, a new report on Science Daily says that although extreme parenting may have adverse repercussions on family dynamics, parents who effectively prioritize their children may be happier and find life more meaningful.

Researchers Claire E. Ashton-James, Kostadin Kushlev, and Elizabeh W. Dunn worked with 322 parents on two different studies. The first study had the participants complete a scale to measure how child-centric their parenting styles were. They were also asked about the feelings of fulfilment they got from being hands-on with their kids. The second study had the parents recount the activities they did with their kids the previous day and how they felt during the time they spent together.

The results revealed that those who were more child-centric had a more positive outlook, showing that being hands-on may improve parental well-being.

“These findings suggest that the more care and attention people give to others, the more happiness and meaning they experience. From this perspective, the more invested parents are in their children’s well-being--that is, the more ‘child-centric’ parents are--the more happiness and meaning they will derive from parenting,” the authors conclude.

(Photo by Tommy Wong via Flickr Creative Commons)

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