As a parent, how much should you help pay for your child's college education? How much should you help with their homework? The parent-child relationship is based on parent's helping their child. But sometimes parents can help too much. A recent article in the New York Times examines "helicopter parents" and how parents can help so much, that it actually hurts the child.
Entries in helping behavior (4)
Chances are that at some point, you wanted to become closer friends with someone you liked but didn’t know well. How should you go about building the relationship? For example, if you and your potential new friend were going to an event together, do you offer to pick him or her up or should you ask for a ride? What if instead you were going with someone who is already your best friend? How likely is it that your choice to offer versus ask for a ride would change? A study by Yale University researchers on how people provide support in friendships illuminates why the closeness of a friendship may influence people’s likelihood to offer versus request support in everyday situations.
Researchers examined whether subtle reminders of love increase men’s willingness to help. Men who had been approached by a woman asking for directions to Valentine Street were willing to help a different woman retrieve her cell phone from “thieves”, helping her almost 37% of the time. Men asked for directions to Martin Street only helped 20% of the time. The simple mention of “Valentine” unconsciously motivated men to behave in a more chivalrous manner.
Lamy, L., Fischer-Lokou, J., & Guéguen, N. (2010). Valentine Street promotes chivalrous helping. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 69, 169-172.
Researchers had teenagers and their parents read about situations in which the parents asked their kids for help, requiring the kids to give up their own plans with friends. Parents and teenagers agreed that the teenagers should help their parents, particularly when the parents really needed the help. In situations where the parental request for help was not particularly urgent, however, the teenagers reported feeling more responsibility to help than the parents thought they should.
Smetana, J. G., Tasopoulos-Chan, M., Gettman, D. C., Villalobos, M., Compione-Barr, N., & Metzger, A. (2009). Adolescents’ and parents’ evaluations of helping versus fulfilling personal desires in family situations. Child Development, 80, 280-294.
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