Let go, kids will do better in school
What can parents do to help children who are doing poorly in school? To investigate this question, we conducted two studies examining interactions between mothers and their elementary school-aged children over simulated schoolwork and after real-life failures.
In the first study, we evaluated 110 mothers’ use of control and their support of autonomy as they assisted their children with a simulated homework task. When the mothers assisted in a controlling manner, such as directing their children’s behavior, children who initially did poorly at the tasks became disengaged, showing a lack of concentration. In contrast, when mothers supported their child’s autonomy, such as offering nods of approval for their children’s independent work, the struggling child’s performance improved.
Karen Melnyk | EurekAlert!
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