Key to adult happiness is buzzing social life when young
LOS ANGELES, Aug 22 – Attention tiger moms and dads: if you want your kids to grow up into happy, well-adjusted adults, best lay off the academic pressure and focus on fostering a social network full of strong relationships for your children.
That’s the underlying message from a new study out of Australia which found that positive early social connectivity with parents, friends, peers and school – not academic excellence – was more likely to lead to happier adults.
Published in the Journal of Happiness Studies and released earlier this month, the research out of Deakin University in Victoria, followed 804 people for up to 32 years.
Social connectedness in childhood was defined by factors such as a child’s likeability, time spent alone, and their level of confidence.
Social connectedness in adolescence was measured by social attachments via parents, peers, school and confidants, and participation in youth groups and sporting clubs, all rated by parents and teachers.
The results showed that while active social lives during childhood and adolescence led to adult well-being, the same couldn’t be said for pathways between early language development and academic achievement to adult well-being, which were found to be much weaker in comparison.
The latest research counters some of the parenting tenets preached by the now infamous Amy Chua, better known as the Tiger Mom, whose punishing strictness with her daughters, chronicled in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom – including the pursuit of nothing less than academic excellence – stoked a storm of controversy.
Meanwhile, another study published out of the UK last year found a direct connection between children’s happiness and that of their mother’s. As the saying goes, while a happy wife may mean a happy life for husbands, it seems a happy mother likewise may make a child’s life brighter. – AFP/Relaxnews