Home | Research: Effect of Mother’s Moods on Long-Term Health of Children
Research: Effect of Mother’s Moods on Long-Term Health of Children
Was your mother sad when you were young? Her old moods could still be affecting you today.
People usually assume that a mother’s mood affects her child. Now, scientific evidence links the two in surprising ways.
A study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics showed a connection between maternal anxiety and depression and problem behaviors in children as young as 18 months old, all the way through adolescence.
Young children that exhibit problem behavior are more likely to have symptoms of depression and other emotional problems later on in life. The research also points out that girls are more susceptible to these emotional health issues.
Emotional Health of Mothers and of Sleep Disruptions in Children
Children who have irregular sleep patterns or poor quality of sleep were prone to crankiness and tantrums. In fact, studies show that poor sleep disrupted a child’s circadian rhythm and affected their developing brains.
As sleep deprived children get older, the side effects build up and behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, issues with peers, and emotional difficulties get worse. One of the potential causes of poor sleep in children is the emotional state of the mother.
Additionally poor sleep quality means fewer hours of sleep, which hampers brain maturation and renders children unable to regulate certain behaviors.
Early Prevention Possibilities
1. Training children to have regular, consistent sleep times helps them to learn to be sleepy and restores the body’s natural rhythm. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep for your children (and yourself).
2. Another helpful step would be for mothers to take care of their own emotional health. This is where it all begins. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking time for yourself away from the kids? Is your spouse helpful? Does he know what you need?
Is it Ever too Late to Recover?
“Tell me about your mother….”
This famous line, attributed to Sigmund Freud, is justified by scientific evidence. The relationship you had with your mother determined so much about your past and present health.
If things weren’t ideal and you believe you are still suffering the effects, it is not too late to heal. If don’t know how your mother affected you, it is important to discover.
How do you feel, right now, about your mother?
For many people – far too many –feelings of emotional conflict arise in response to this question. This is a sure sign that you are harboring hidden (or not so hidden) negativity toward her. In other words, you have not made your peace. This is extremely important to do!
The residual negativity, rest assured, is affecting your health. The inner conflict causes chronic stress. The underlying stress actually causes genetic changes lead to physical inflammation. In other words, chronic stress wreaks havoc in your mind and body.
Still, most people are reluctant to deal with their mom issues, even though it appears that their health is at stake. Don’t let this be the case with you! Mother issues are not as complicated to resolve as you might guess. In fact, you could say that ignoring them is self-sabotage.
As you know (if you have been reading this site for a while) recovering from self-sabotage is what we do around here. It’s not only possible, it is probable if you practice the AHA Solution. Thousands of students attest to that!
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.