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Socially Sophisticated? Thank Your Mom


Last weekend mothers got a big thank you for Mother's Day. If you fancy yourself a person with good social skills, you probably should have given your mom double the love. As you may have guessed, moms play a big role in developing kids' social awareness.

A new study reveals that people whose mothers talked to them about other people's feelings — for example, "When you grab his toy, it makes him sad" versus "Stop it!" — developed better social understanding. Mothers who didn't take a touchy-feely approach were more likely to raise adults lacking social sophistication.

So how did the study measure such skills? It looked at how well children could express a range of emotions, as well as how much they empathized with others. Subjects, who participated in the study for 14 years, were asked to do things like watch The Office and explain the characters' interactions. Sounds fun!

Do you think your mom made you a well-adjusted adult?

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