Autonomy-based parenting techniques support positive well-being for parents and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new study finds that allowing children a little more freedom may be the most effective strategy for adults and children alike.
“We explored whether or not autonomy-supportive parental behavior would facilitate adaptation and better child well-being. We also explored whether such parenting behavior helps to create a positive emotional climate that benefits parents as well as children,” says study co-author Andreas B. Neubauer, of the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education.
The study found that “autonomy-supportive parenting behavior is positively associated both with better child well-being and higher parental need fulfillment.”
Autonomy-based parenting involves allowing a child to operate independently within reasonable boundaries.
With this parenting technique, the adult communicates a nonjudgmental way to the child that allows them to explore their own strategies and solutions without fear of reprisal.
Therefore, the child gains the opportunity to own their actions and consequences. By removing parental micromanagement, autonomy-based parenting promotes a child’s own feeling of competence.
In the context of the current pandemic, autonomy-based parenting means that a child assumes more responsibility for the quality of their remote schoolwork, much as they would be doing if they were on their own in a pre-pandemic classroom.
At the same time, this technique also returns some much needed time to the working parent.
The study also found that autonomy-based parenting improved family cohesion, with parents experiencing enhanced vitality and a reduction in stress.
“In sum,” the study authors conclude, “autonomy-supportive behavior might have positive downstream effects not only on the receiving child, but also on the social system (the family) and the support provider — also in challenging times as during the crisis.”
(Source: Medical News Today)
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