Bossy moms tend to limit children's creativity

Bossy moms tend to limit children's creativity

Dominating mothers tend to limit their child’s creativity and also instil negative emotions in them, says a new study. Researchers have found that the extent to which mothers try to control the content and pace of young children’s play, varies based on the children’s ages and the mothers’ ethnicities.

When mothers were highly directive during playtime, children expressed less positive regard for their moms and more negative feelings toward them, said Jean Ispa, professor of human development and family studies at the University of Missouri, who led the study, the journal Parenting: Science and Practice reports.

The researchers also evaluated how affectionate the mothers were to their children and found that higher levels of warmth reduced the negative effects of directiveness, according to a Missouri statement.

“Children flourish when they have opportunities to make choices about what they do, particularly in play situations,” said Ispa. 

For example, during play with her child, a highly directive mother might make her toddler put the plastic cow in the toy barn through the barn’s door instead of through its window.
If a child is playing with a pretend kitchen set, the mom might not let the child touch the fake burners on the stove.

Mothers often think they are helping their children by correcting them, but they are  limiting the children’s creativity and possibly making their children enjoy being with them less, Ispa said.

To benefit their children’s development, mothers should show affection to their children while supporting their play and being careful to limit the extent to which they dictate exactly how their children should play, Ispa added.

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