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Experts Say: Religion is Good For Kids

I spent a lot of time blogging yesterday so I was determined to play catch up with a great many tasks awaiting my attention. Then I saw this.

Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children, according to a new study that is the first to look at the effects of religion on young child development.


Kudos for religion from the MSM are few and far between so we should celebrate this. Of course, I am not surprised by the results of the study. The sociologist who conducted the study had this to say:

Bartkowski thinks religion can be good for kids for three reasons. First, religious networks provide social support to parents, he said, and this can improve their parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also “take more to heart the messages that they get in the home,” he said.

Secondly, the types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family, Bartkowski told LiveScience. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response,” he said.

Finally, religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance, he said.


Of course they are still scratching their head to figure out why religion seems to work better than a secular organization.


But as for why religious organizations might provide more of a boost to family life than secular organizations designed to do the same thing, that’s still somewhat of a mystery, said Annette Mahoney, a psychologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, also not involved in the research. Mahoney wondered: “Is there anything about religion and spirituality that sets it apart?”

Perhaps the Grace of God comes into play?

Comments

Michelle said…
My experience with secular moms' groups has been that they are as pro-family as the local area in which they exist. When my oldest was a baby, I was desperate for friends - I knew nobody who had little children and my church didn't have a support group (they did within the year, thank God!). I joined a group, and it just so happened that most of the members of the subset playgroup to which I belonged were "Catholic." Pro-birth control, pro-abortion, pro-Dad-does-his-fair-share-of-the childcare, pro-I-need-some-time-to-persue-my-own-interests, pro-how-soon-will-these-kids-go-to-school-so-I-can-get-a-real-life Catholics. They were in SHOCK when I announced my THIRD pregnancy, and offered their condolances. I was so happy to find some other friends - pro-family Catholics!

Why are religious support groups better at producing good parents (and good children) than secular groups? They don't care too much if you don't get to the gym for your workout every day or have a girls' night out. They want you to do things together as a family and focus your priorities on raising future citizens of heaven. Secular groups don't use vocabulary words like sacrifice (unless they're complaining!).
Jay Anderson said…
"Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children ..."

So what happened to my kids? And why does it seem that their behavior at Mass is even worse?

;-)
Sharon said…
Very interesting article. I'd love to agree, of course. :)
The final point, religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance, is most striking to me. When I look at the more mainstream society-type parents we know, I just think of the number of times a month they head out w/o their kids for "me time", or the number of times each month the kids are with a sitter. Not that getting away is a bad thing. God knows we all need it. But it is so much more the norm for them reather than the exception. You don't see too many parents acting as though parenthood ia a vocaion and something sacred. Too mnay act burdened b ythe "chore" of it.
Great post!
Rosemary Bogdan said…
"But as for why religious organizations might provide more of a boost to family life than secular organizations designed to do the same thing, that’s still somewhat of a mystery.."

Yes. Grace is a mystery. Where two or three are gathered in my name..... May those who seek the answer to the above question find it.
Anonymous said…
"Kudos for religion from the MSM are few and far between so we should celebrate this." -- Dr. Hunnell

I am relatively new to blogging, which should be evident by the fact that I have to ask the following question, but does "MSM" mean Mainstream Media?

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