[dropcap type=”1″]W[/dropcap]e are constantly bombarded with perfect images of supermoms being successful career women and fully involved mums.Most adverts and magazines, literally,  depict the modern mother as a superwoman with amazing abilities; She manages to create super delicious healthy meals and snacks for the whole family, while keeping  a cozy beautifully decorated house in order  and having a successful power job in which she usually is the boss or has a similar high profile position.

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Do picture perfect families exist?

Besides, despite all that, she still finds the time to work out at the gym and apply the latest trendy foundation on her flawless skin. One of the most misleading  falsities,  is the claim that her children are fulfilled, happy and have all the love they need.

Popular media and society in recent years are desperately trying to depict devoted highly-involved parents negatively. These parents are somehow called ‘helicopter parents’ or ‘tiger moms’ and they are thought of as ‘abnormal’ and a bit over reacting, often spoiling their children with  ‘bad’ practices such as co-sleeping, etc.  But how does placing your children at the center of family life really affect parental well-being?

‘New research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science finds that parents who prioritize their children’s well-being over their own are not only happier, but also derive more meaning in life from their child-rearing responsibilities’.

Child-centered parenting

These findings stand in contrast to claims in the popular media that prioritizing children’s well-being undermines parents’ well-being,” the researchers wrote.

It is quite impossible for a woman to have a very successful full time career life while at the same time is 100% involved in her children’s life. Something has to give and this recent study emphasizes the fact that ‘tiger moms’ are indeed the happiest.

Researchers Claire E. Ashton-James, Kostadin Kushlev and Elizabeth W. Dunn conducted two studies with a total of 322 parents. The researchers found that more child-centric parents were significantly more likely to report higher levels of happiness in their study while a sense of purpose in their  life derived from having children.

In addition, these parents’ well-being was not affected negatively throughout the rest of the day which suggested that this child-centric approach to parenting doesn’t really hurt parental well-being when parents are not taking care of their children.

The scientists also discovered that  “the more invested parents are in their children’s well-being — that is, the more ‘child centric’ parents are — the more happiness and meaning they will derive from parenting.”

The more invested parents are in their children’s well-being, the more happiness and meaning they will derive from parenting

Every family develops their own unique network of communication and as a unit they find the most efficient way of co existing, bonding and evolving.

As parents, our role is to enhance and promote such effective ways within our family circle and make sure we provide for the best ever possible care of our children , while covering their most basic needs including emotional and mental health and well being.

Unfortunately for some, a fulfilling successful career and personal and social  life does not go hand in hand with a full on, child centered way of parenting and this is a reality that every parent needs to comprehend and take very seriously when making life decisions that will affect their children’s development and happiness.

[quote_box_center]Picture perfect families might be hard to find or they might not even exist and although this is not necessarily bad, one thing is for sure; a child-centered approach to parenting, not only gives gives children more stability, focus and all the care they need, it also makes for happier , more fulfilled parents ![/quote_box_center]

Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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