Our Preliminary Findings…
Children’s temperament characteristics make them respond differently to parenting: What parenting strategies work to
promote social competence in preschool-age children depends on
the children’s own temperament or personality characteristics. This reflects how parenting
every child is a unique experience!
Parents help promote effortful control in their children whiletheir children also affect their parents: Parents who provide consistent information about expectations with the right balance of providing children with structure and independence tend to have children with higher self-control. And children with higher self-control draw more positive interactions with their parents. It takes two to tango! Parents help their children develop self-regulation skills and as children develop these skills, they elicit different types of parenting.
Children’s executive function helps with emotion regulation: Thanks to the many families who participated in the additional EEG session we were able to look at how brain activity associated with self-control contributes to emotion regulation! Children who are able to focus their attention and give the correct response when we tried to distract them during the EEG computer games also tended to feel less frustrated when they were trying to get a prize that was either locked in a box or tied in a bag. Those children's mothers also reported that the children showed lower levels of frustration at home. This suggests that the ability to control your attention and focus during difficult cognitive tasks might also translate into being better able to control emotional responses.
When children experience heavy loads of stress, they can have lower self-control: We have found that the mores stress children experience in their lives, the lower their self-control tends to be. The more stress children experience, the more likely they are to have disruptions in their stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn also relates to lower self-control. But parents can play a critical role in protecting their children from the effects of stress.