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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?


Join The Conversation
telane telane 8 years
I definitely owe that to both of my parents, except they took it a little too far and raised me to be a doormat that respected others and had concern for others' well being much more than my own.... I'm trying to change that into something a little bit healthier.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 8 years
i actaully owe a lot of my social behavior and my ability to communicate to my dad. He insisted on us being very polite, and wellspoken since we were born.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Truthfully, no. My Mom served as a warning rather than a role model. I think I'm fairly well-adjusted socially. It's something I learned on my own, and based on what I witnessed from negative role models (like my Mom). In my opinion, good social skills is based on thoughtfulness. Thoughtless (overly self-centered) people are precluded from developing good social skills. They are deficient in that capacity. Again, this is just my opinion.
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