We all have our own unique parenting styles when it comes to raising our children but according to new research published in the Journal of Social Sciences and Medicine, harsh parents should think twice.
Researchers at Iowa State University say that harsh parenting may increase a child’s risk of developing obesity and may also impact their overall longterm health.
Now before you go and get worried about yelling at your kids for drawing all over the walls with permanent marker (just me?) take note of how the team defined ‘harsh parenting’. “Parents who reject, coerce, are physically aggressive and are self centred” says lead author and Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family studies, Thomas Schofield.
According to Schofield, harsh parenting creates an environment for children which is filled with ‘chronic stress’, a factor previously demonstrated to have an impact on the developing brain throughout childhood and adolescence through hormone production and inflammation of the brain tissue. Children who experience environments of chronic stress also demonstrate lower cardiovascular activity than their peers.
Interestingly, the research team also looked at whether not the impact was minimised by having a ‘good cop, bad cop’ parenting style. What they found was that even with a ‘nice’ parent acting to even out the balance within the family, the harshness of the parent still had a significant impact on their likelihood to develop obesity and poor health.