An old TV commercial series from the 1970s used to poke fun of chaotic home life: a crying baby, a barking dog and flying feathers from spur-of-the-moment pillow fights. The commercial was for a bath product designed to take the harried mom away from all this chaos. A chaotic home is no joke. Chaotic homes can affect school performance and can lead to withdrawal behavior in children.
The Chaotic Home
If you have a toddler or preschooler, you will have chaos. But a world of difference lies between an occasional toddler tantrum and the kind of craziness that can harm kids’ self esteem. Alan Kazdin, director of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, told the “Atlanta Journal Constitution” that household chaos is a matter of degree.
Chaos becomes problematic when there’s shouting, video or a blaring TV, toddlers making incessant demands, crying infants and angry teens. Chaotic homes also tend to lack schedules, such as mealtimes and bedtimes, which is not good for small children, who thrive on routines.
A study published in the November 2011 “Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry” found that children from quiet, organized homes who followed a routine tended to do better at school. The children who lived in noisy, disorderly environments, with lots of people coming and going, tended to withdraw from academics, particularly from early reading skills. One explanation, according to the study, is that children in chaotic homes who don’t have regular bedtimes don’t establish regular sleeping patterns. Therefore, they might not sleep as well, which would cause them to be tired during the day and less able to concentrate on schoolwork.
Having the TV on constantly, which often occurs in chaotic homes, can also disrupt sleep patterns. As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, your little one isn’t in school yet, but these are issues to think about for the future.
Some children withdraw to escape from chaos, according to the “Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry” study. When they withdraw at home, they often carry the withdrawing behavior to social situations and what they’re learning at school. The children who “tune-out” at home use that strategy as part of their overall behavioral pattern. Children who live in chaos feel as if they don’t have control over their lives, says Gary Evans, professor of design and environmental analysis and human development, in Cornell University’s “Chronicle Online.”
Though chaos can happen in any home, it’s more likely to occur in families of divorced parents, in families where the work schedules are unpredictable and in low-income neighborhoods, says Evans. Low-income neighborhoods experience more crowded conditions and are twice as loud as middle-class neighborhoods, said Evans. Children also might be unsupervised more in chaotic homes, and they might lack energy and cheerfulness, says Evans.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More