Despite teasing from other kids, it has emerged that mollycoddled children grow up more resilient.
Boys deemed ‘extremely close’ to their mothers at the age of 14 are 41% less likely to have mental health problems.
Daddy’s girls also have extra self-esteem and confidence, with those close to their fathers proving 44% less likely to suffer emotional issues or conflict with classmates.
The findings come from the Marriage Foundation’s analysis of data from 11,000 parents, compiled by the Millennium Cohort Study. It also emerged that boys and girls are especially influenced by their relationship with the opposite sex parent.
Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman of Marriage Foundation, said: “'Mummy’s boys' and 'daddy’s girls' have been known about for generations as something of a stereotypical joke. But girls and boys, as they develop, do indeed have differing emotional needs and expectations and do best when these needs are satisfied.
“A strong relationship with the parent of the opposite sex boosts self-esteem and peer group relationship skills both of which support sound mental health.
The foundation’s research director Harry Benson added: “Our analysis shows once again that family breakdown remains the number one driver of teenage mental health problems”.
Overall, teenagers are much more likely to be close to their mother than their father.
A total of 81% of girls were found to be ‘very’ or ‘extremely close’ to their others, while only 59% were the same with their fathers. But boys get on a little better with both parents, with 86% being close to their mums and 69% to their dads.
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