3 Parenting Styles That Can Impact a Child’s Popularity

Many parents worry if their children will be well accepted by their peers once they start preschool and elementary school. New research shows that parenting styles can influence a child’s popularity. Is popularity a goal that’s worth pursuing? Psychologist Mitch Prinstein from the University of North Carolina divides popularity into two groups – status and likeability. The aim is to help a child get good social skills and feel included!

3 Parenting Styles That Can Impact a Child’s Popularity
The First Parenting Tip – Try Not to Be Too Critical

Raising kids in an aggressive social environment can impact their future popularity. If teens intimidate friends by threatening to end the friendship or to spread rumors to get their way, it will make them less likable. This is a trait commonly picked up from home. Studies show that the warmer the parents spoke of their 5-year olds, the less aggressive the kids were at age 7. Being exposed to parenting role models who are altruistic, warm, and kind can help kids develop those same qualities.

Families gather on this family friendly beach.
Intervene Moderately in the Child’s Friendships

In the child’s earlier years, parenting includes facilitating socializing by arranging playdates and inviting kids to your child’s birthday party. Highlight to them the importance of inclusion. As kids grow, it’s important to gradually step back and allow them to manage their own social lives. Always remain available to talk about different social situations and experiences. Help them learn to problem-solve, manage their feelings, and introspect.


Discuss Popularity

One of the most important parenting tricks may be to talk openly with the child about the two different types of popularity. Explain that caring about status among their peers is something all kids worry about, but that status isn’t what will make them happiest. High-quality friendships are the thing to strive for. Understanding this can help most kids change the way they think about popularity. Explain that being cooperative, kind, inclusive, and pleasant to be around will generate likability.