Stock image

When mom’s in control of her emotions and able to problem-solve, there’s a greater chance her kids won’t squabble or throw tantrums, according to a new BYU-led study.

SALT LAKE CITY — Moms who can control their own emotions, solve problems and regulate their reactions are less likely to have squabbling kids or tantrum throwers, according to a new study focused on emotional capacity. And, new findings show those moms are more likely to give their kids the benefit of the doubt.

Mothers who are self-aware and in control of their emotions are less harsh and don’t assign negative intent to their children’s actions when no harm was intended, says Ali Crandall, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of public health at Brigham Young University.

On the other hand, moms who lose control of their own emotions are more likely to be harsh and controlling, both of which contribute to the likelihood of behavioral problems in their children.

The study, which is published in the journal Family Relations, looks at how well the mothers managed their emotions and at their executive function ability. Researchers used a combination of self-reported data and simple tests of executive function that focused specifically on working memory, the ability to shift from one task to another and “inhibitory control,” which Crandall describes as being very similar to self-control.

“Emotion and cognitive control capacities are vital for successful parenting, allowing parents to be perceptive, responsive, and flexible,” the study says. “Parents call on these capacities as they plan and change behavior, respond appropriately to cues, regulate emotion in the face of stress and challenging child behaviors, problem-solve and make decisions.”

Those capacities vary widely among mothers. But the researchers note that the future is not solely controlled by current skills and abilities. Moms can work on weaknesses and make changes that will impact their lives and that of their children. If the women “improve their emotional and cognitive control capacities,” it is very likely they can reduce harsh verbal parenting and child behavioral problems, said Crandall.

“This study demonstrates the importance of our control of our own thoughts, emotions and behaviors in our role as a parent. Our findings fit into a larger body of research showing that a parent will benefit from nurturing their own internal resources of ‘self-control’ of their emotions and behaviors, by paying attention to when they are feeling tired, frustrated and ‘reactive,'” study co-author Kirby Deater-Deckard, who has become a professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since the research was conducted, wrote in an email to the Deseret News. “Doing so can…

Mayra Rodriguez
Follow Me

Mayra Rodriguez

Content Editor at oneQube
Work from home mom dedicated to my family. Total foodie trying new recipes.Love hunting for the best deals online. Wannabe style fashionista. As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.
Mayra Rodriguez
Follow Me