Listen up, helicopter parents. A new study described in Science Daily claims that not only are you smothering your children, you are also opening them to being bullied. After analyzing data of more than 200,00 children, researchers at the University of Warwick (UW) found that negative parenting—which not only covers abuse and neglect but also overprotection—increases the odds that these kids will be bullied by peers.
Published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect, the study also found that such children were more likely to be both bullies and victims than those subjected to more moderate parenting styles.
"The long shadow of bullying falls well beyond the school playground—it has lasting and profound effects into adulthood," said UW Professor Dieter Wolke. "We know that victims and bully-victims are more likely to develop physical health problems, suffer from anxiety and depression and are also at increased risk of self-harm and suicide."
So this study highlights the role of parenting, since many people consider bullying to be a problem restricted to school walls. And parents who smother are doing their kids no favours. In fact, they are inadvertently helping the kids become targets since their kids fail to develop assertiveness and independence necessary to fend off prospective bullies.
"Although parental involvement, support and high supervision decrease the chances of children being involved in bullying, for victims overprotection increased this risk," said Wolke. "Children need support but some parents try to buffer their children from all negative experiences. In the process, they prevent their children from learning ways of dealing with bullies and make them more vulnerable."
Researchers suggest parents allow kids some leeway in solving their own (small) conflicts while keeping lines of communication warm and open.
It used to be that parents were distraught when their kids finally flew the coop, and said kids couldn't wait to flee the nest. Not so anymore. What with the of higher cost of living and a flaccid job market, many young adults just aren't leaving home in droves. According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 42 per cent of Canadians aged between 20-29 are still living at home.
No wonder when it costs an average of 5,397.50 to move out, according to the infographic at getoutofmyhouse.ca.
“We’re trying to bring a little levity into a more serious situation, which is that economic times are tough right now for young adults just starting out,” says RateSupermarket.ca President Kelvin Mangaroo. “We’re shining a light on the issue, while underscoring the importance of financial literacy for young people.”
To underscore and make light of the housing 'problem,' the company launched the “I Love You, Now Get out of My House!” giveaway earlier this month. With over 150 entries from parents and grown children alike, six finalists have now been selected and the winner will be chosen via online voting.
On May 12, the winner will take it all—a cash prize totaling $5,000—presumably to put toward those inflated moving costs. So do these poor parents a favour and vote. It could mean one family's freedom!