Could Your Parenting Style Determine Your Child's Financial Success? This Study Says Yes

Is your parenting style setting your child up for a bright financial future?

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill

Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill

If you want to teach your children early about money and finances, you may encourage them to put money in their piggy bank, talk to them about the value of a dollar, and give them tips on investing the cash they received from their birthday. Parents hope that these little life lessons will help their kids grow into financially secure and successful adults. However, a new study suggests that a child’s financial success may actually be predicted based on the way you parent your child.

According to a study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, out of a variety of parenting styles, the sensitive and responsive style of parenting had a direct correlation with positive mental and physical health, but also financial benefits. This was especially true in early childhood.

First, before we break down the study, what are the types of parenting styles? According to the study, there are four:

Permissive/Indulgent: This style is characterized by an overabundance of responsiveness, also called sensitivity, coupled with low demands.

Neglectful/Uninvolved: This one is characterized by low demands and low responsiveness.

Authoritarian: This type of parent is highly demanding, with low responsiveness.

Responsive/sensitive: This style provides a balanced amount of demands and responsiveness. In simple terms: love and limits.

After researchers studied 170 kids and their parents, they concluded that the sensitive and responsive parents often raised happier kids who ended up doing better in school, not causing trouble, and actually saved the family money as opposed to children raised in the other parenting styles.

Sensitive parenting is often described as heightened parental sensitivity and responsiveness to child distress. Parents use firm rather than harsh discipline and are more in-tune with their kids' needs.

"We have known for some time that the quality of early parenting is associated with behavioral health and physical health in children, as well as success in school and in the peer group," said Tom O’Connor, Ph.D., a researcher on the study.

The benefits don’t stop when these kids enter college and beyond. When kids who were raised with sensitive parenting grow into adults, they are more equipped to be successful. They have better social skills, have healthier relationships, and are more equipped to handle the pressures of school and work. All of these combined lead to a recipe for better financial gains as adults.

While previous studies have associated sensitive parenting with improved mental health for kids and parents, this is the first study to show that sensitive parenting can help kids and parents financially as well.


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