Parents interact with children physically in many ways. Just because a parent isn't physically touching a child does not mean that the parent isn't physically interacting with their child. Physical interaction is an important factor in assessing parenting, and includes both touching and non-touching. Non-touching physical interaction is sometimes referred to as nonverbal interaction or body language. The quality of physical interaction is an important factor in child-parent attachment.
KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research
This week I read an article in the Health & Wellness section of the Wall Street Journal, titled, Badly Raised Kids? Sweden Has a Word for That. This article discussed a controversial book by Swedish psychiatrist David Eberhard (currently being translated to English) who is concerned that children have become the major decision-makers in many families, such as selecting the dinner menu, choice of TV programs and vacation destinations. He worries that Swedish parents’ hyper-sensitivity and unwillingness to discipline children in the early years may be harmful to their later social-emotional development. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Eberhard is concerned that Sweden’s child-friendly policies (e.g., long parental leave, state-funded infant child care, legal protection from spanking, and strict child welfare laws), may have created the grounds for an unwise transfer of power from parents to young children with dire consequences. Some think these policies may have also created a climate in which children do not learn empathy and respect for other people’s wishes. Apparently, the reactions to his book in Sweden have been 50% for versus 50% against.