TEENAGERS are more likely to do their homework and tidy their room if asked in a soft and supportive way, a study suggests.
Researchers say pushy mums who bark orders get their child’s back up, provoke negative emotions and drive a wedge between them.
Teens are more likely to do their homework and tidy their room if asked in a soft and supportive way, a study suggests[/caption]
They are more likely to cooperate when addressed with a sense of encouragement – even if the words used are exactly the same.
The findings should help parents and teachers manage their children and pupils more effectively, Cardiff University boffins say.
They examined how 1,000 kids aged 14 and 15 responded to instructions from a woman when delivered in different tones.
The 30 messages included “it’s time now to go to school”, “you will read this book tonight” and “you will do well on this assignment”.
The students were quizzed after each instruction on how they would feel and respond if their mum had spoken to them that way.
‘SUPPORTIVE’ IS BEST
Those delivered in a “supportive” way were rated highest and those conveyed in “controlling” manner fared worst.
Dr Netta Weinstein said: “If parents want conversations with their teens to have the most benefit, it’s important to remember to use supportive tones of voice.
“It’s easy for parents to forget, especially if they are feeling stressed, tired, or pressured themselves.
“Adolescents likely feel more cared about and happier, and as a result they try harder at school, when parents and teachers speak in supportive rather than pressuring tones of voice.”
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Prof Silke Paulmann, who worked on the study at the University of Essex, added: “These results nicely illustrate how powerful our voice is and that choosing the right tone to communicate is crucial in all of our conversations.”
The researchers will now investigate how tone of voice affects heart rates, sweating and other physical responses.
The findings are published in the journal Developmental Psychology.
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