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Structure 'more important than warmth when raising kids'

Structure 'more important than warmth when raising kids'

Parents should focus on giving their children structure rather than lots of affection, a psychologist claims.

Dr. Lisa Damour, based in New York City, insists that routine is key for youngsters to develop into content individuals, with warmth from parents important but less crucial.

Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Dr. Damour listed four types of parents; authoritative (high on warmth and structure), authoritarian (low on warmth and high on structure), permissive (high on warmth and low on structure), and neglectful, who are low in both areas.

She insists mothers and fathers who are authoritative best prepare their children for adulthood and are the most 'optimal' out of the four categories. As for the second best, Dr. Damour noted kids with strict rules will benefit more, as despite a lack of affection, they will be better equipped for life in the future.

"Children and teenagers need both warmth and structure at home," she told the outlet. "Some days most parents find themselves being more structured, and on other days they'll find themselves being very warm. It's the mix of the two that we hold out as the ideal in parenting.

"Kids really deserve to get warmth at home, but these children and teenagers do gain the benefit of having high and clear expectations at home."

She continued to point out the issues with too much warmth from parents in the home, noting that this behaviour may lead to the children struggling with "demands of the outside world" as they lack understanding of rules and expectations.

Dr. Damour even went as far as to suggest fewer rules in a household could potentially stunt childhood development, though she insisted the worst outcome would be when a child has neither warmth nor structure.

"Not surprisingly," she said of neglectful families, "They tend to be the kids who are most likely to struggle."

So, new parents or mums and dads to be may want to take note of Dr. Damour's theory, though always make sure you do what is best for your own set-up and circumstances - and never let your kids forget how much you love them!

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