Daily Archives: Monday, June 23, 2008

My thoughts can’t be summed up in 140 characters

I got this thing below in an email from my mother.

Squink has hit the freaking ugly three’s (terrible is not sufficient, horrible is not sufficient; when he gets is a “mood” he practically becomes something so awful that I have termed it Squink who should not be named, (awful; plain and sadly not so simple).

I would do his first year in a hearbeat, he was so easy going, he was happy, he just loved being, and his being was always happy. I don’t remember him being seriously colicky or sick… sure, he had a few times where he was not all that pleasant, but NOTHING like his moods now.

So, I suppose I can take solace that as a predictor his behavior in year 0-1 he is destined to become a great kid… my only worry now is my role… I am not so confident that he was “intellectually stimulated” enough. He was not fond of being read to, but was quite happy being quiet while I read myself (I had read somewhere that kids reading was not as good a predictor for reading skills as was the presence of adult readers in the household… which I interpreted as modeling behavior if you read, the kids would know it was a good thing to do)… does that all make sense?

Anyway, my plan was not to freak out about this news piece… but was mainly to complain that this kind of information only serves to make mothers question themselves, which is frankly counterproductive in the whole scheme of child rearing… I am far better off spending my time with the Squink than I am dwelling on this.

Mothers’ influence is decisive in tots’ first year
Study says parenting style and baby’s temperament predict challenging
behavior in later childhood The way mothers interact with their babies in the first year of life is strongly related to how children behave later on. Both a mother’s
parenting style and an infant’s temperament reliably predict challenging behavior in later childhood, according to Benjamin Lahey and his team from the University of Chicago in the US. Their findings (1) have just been published online in Springer’s Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

The researchers looked at whether an infant’s temperament and his mother’s parenting skills during the first year of life might predict behavioral problems, in just over 1,800 children aged 4-13 years. Measures of infant temperament included activity levels, how fearful, predictable and fussy the babies were, as well as whether they had a generally happy disposition. The researchers looked at how much mothers
stimulated their baby intellectually, how responsive they were to the child’s demands, and the use of spanking or physical restraint. Child conduct problems in later childhood included cheating, telling lies, trouble getting on with teachers, being disobedient at home and/or at school, bullying and showing no remorse after misbehaving.

The results indicate that both maternal ratings of their infants’ temperament and parenting styles during the first year are surprisingly good predictors of maternal ratings of child conduct problems through age 13 years. Less fussy, more predictable infants, as well as those who were more intellectually stimulated by their mothers in their first year of life, were at low risk of later childhood conduct problems. Another
observation the researchers made was that early spanking predicted challenging behavior in Non-Hispanic European American families, but not in Hispanic families.

According to the authors, these findings support the hypothesis that “interventions focusing on parenting during the first year of life would be beneficial in preventing future child conduct problems=85Greater emphasis should be placed on increasing maternal cognitive stimulation of infants in such early intervention programs, taking child temperament into consideration.”

Source: Springer