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The next time you want to step in and help your child deal with a situation, consider stepping back instead. A recent study in the journal Developmental Psychology found that controlling parents can affect a child’s ability to manage his or her emotions and behaviors.

In the eight-year study, 422 kids were assessed at ages 2, 5 and 10. Kids and parents were asked to play as they normally would at home. Kids with helicopter parents were more likely to act out in class and have a harder time making friends. Helicopter parenting is described as constantly telling kids what to play with, how to play or how to clean up.

Researchers suggest that parents help kids learn to control emotions and behaviors by talking about their feelings and explaining why they want to act a certain way. Help kids identify what makes them feel better, such as listening to music or coloring. Finally, lead by example and show how you use positive coping strategies when you’re stressed.

 

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