How What You Say and How You Say It May Affect Your Child’s Temperament
The results of a recent experimental study published in the March 2016 issue of Developmental Psychology found that not only what we say, but how we say it may affect the development of emotional traits of a child starting at a very young age. We once thought that how a person was wired (temperament) was genetically determined but this study indicates that environment plays a big role as well.
The experiment consisted of a researcher teaching children (15 months of age) how to play with toys while the child sat on their parent’s lap. Another researcher sat nearby (the “Emoter”) and would react with either anger (“That’s aggravating” in a stern voice) or neutral affect (“That’s interesting”) while the infants watched the demonstration. Later they let the children play with the toys. The babies who heard an angry reaction were less likely to play with the toys than those who heard the neutral reaction. So what does this mean for parents? First, it shows that what we say and how we say it affects not only a child’s behavior at the moment but how they react to future situations that are similar.
source: Child Development Institute
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