Family environment during pregnancy predicts child’s emotional development in the future

Family environment during pregnancy predicts child’s emotional development in the future

A study has found that family environment during pregnancy indicates child’s emotional development. Here's how you can boost your child's emotional confidence

Every mother wants to create and nurture a happy and healthy family. And if your family environment is supportive and happy, you can easily ensure that.

A 10-year study by the University of Tampere in Finland, has found that family environment during a woman’s pregnancy and the child’s first year can predict his emotional development in the future.

Researchers observed 79 ten-year-olds from different family types and during the experiments, they were shown happy and threatening or angry faces. The research used the dot probe task method to study their reaction. This experiment assessed their attention towards or away from an emotional stimuli.

What the study says

The study distinguished children from three types of families and observed the following:

  • Children from cohesive families: Such children came from families where the parents had a healthy marital relationship and a close relationship with their children. They were able to quickly identify the threatening stimuli and disengaged themselves from it, displaying their ability to emotionally manage negative emotional experiences.
  • Children from disengaged families: Such children came from families where parents had discorded marital ties and little affection towards children. They were able to move away from the threatening stimuli but not disengage, which shows that they follow their automatic emotional experiences.
  • Children from enmeshed families: Such children came from where parents could not define family boundaries and had low self-confidence as parents. They focused their attention on the threatening stimuli and were unable to take their attention away from it. They had difficulties in regulating negative emotions.

The researchers also found that these children exhibited such emotional regulations in order to adapt to their family environment. Their anxiety disorders and difficulty in relationships is directly related to their family environment and mother-child relationship.

How to raise confident children

While raising children in itself is a challenging task, there are certain things you can do to boost their emotional confidence and self-esteem. Remember that there is no magic formula for this to work, just simple things you can do in your home.

  • Express your love through simple gestures
  • Encourage them to stand up for themselves
  • Help them set life goals
  • Do not be over critical
  • Comfort them when they are troubled
  • Talk to them often
  • Compliment them on their achievements
  • Allow them to make their own decisions
  • Remind them of their uniqueness
  • Make them understand that nobody is perfect

By making these small changes in your life and introducing these life-changes sentences in your daily discussion, you not only boost your child's confidence but also create a happy family environment.

(Image courtesy: Chiloka, Cutmirchi)

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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