As children grow up, they become increasingly distant from their parents and while some parents think that the dwindling time spent with their teenager is simply a sign of their child’s budding independence and evolution into adulthood, new findings suggest that private parents-child encounters during the time of adolescence are especially important for an individual’s development.
Researchers studied 200 families over seven years and found that teenagers who spent more time with their parents were more likely to have better social skills and higher self-esteem, especially if its time spent with Dad.
The study published in the journal Child Development finds that while the time teenagers spent with their parents from early to late adolescence declined overall, the time was mostly “social time”, that was shared with other relatives or friends.
However, surprisingly, results from the study revealed that one-on-one time with a parent, whether completing homework assignments, watching television or going out actually increased in “early to middle adolescence” at the age of about 15.
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Lead author Professor Susan McHale believes that the one-on-one time children spend with parents is crucial to wellbeing in adolescence.