How New Mothers Affect the Quality of New Father’s Parenting

The reactions of new mothers to the father’s interactions with their baby in the early stages of the relationship could have an effect on that father’s parenting quality, according to a new study by OSU researchers. They found that fathers didn’t do as well in their parenting to 9-month-old kids if dads felt mom has been critical of their parenting abilities earlier on.

The study looked at higher income, educated couples who both had careers. Researchers are referring to this affect as maternal gatekeeping. This is due to the fact that in our society moms still have the most respect and control in the sphere of child rearing, according to researchers.

One way researchers measured maternal gatekeeping’s affect was by having dads report how often mom took control of a child rearing task because mom thought the job wasn’t being done well or correctly. Researchers suggested that mom needs to encourage dad by inviting him to do tasks like bathing and letting him know he has done a good job.

The study appears online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.

 

OSU Researchers Find Restriction of “Aggressive” Punishment Helps ADHD Children

Cutting back on yelling, criticism and other harsh parenting approaches, including physical punishment, has the power to calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study.

Researchers from The Ohio State University evaluated physiological markers of emotional regulation in preschool children with ADHD before and after a parent and child intervention aimed at improving family relations. Changes in parenting – including less yelling and physical discipline – led to improvements in children’s biological regulation.

Reductions in negative parenting were found to drive improved biological function in children. Increases in positive parenting had no effect.

The researchers also observed each parent and child during a 30-minute play session in the family home and video-recorded positive and negative parenting approaches. Positive parenting included praise, encouragement and problem-solving. Negative parenting included critical statements, physical discipline and commands that gave children no opportunity to comply.

Less-harsh parenting also was linked to improved behavior in children, a finding that bolsters previous research in this area.