This extremely healthy practice during pregnancy is almost always overlooked

Could simply changing your outlook make all the difference in your child's behavior?

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  • The woes of parenting include anything from picky eating to tantrums.

  • If there was something you could do during pregnancy that would influence your child's behavior for the better, would you actually do it? What if it wasn't even something all that difficult?

  • Turns out, there is something you can do.

  • What can you do?

  • This is going to seem really simple, because it is. A new study suggests that you can prepare for raising well-behaved children by having a pro-active outlook on life. It may seem too easy, but it makes a lot of sense.

  • In a Science Daily article, Stephen Norwicki, Professor of Psychology at Emory University states, "We find that the greater the degree of externality (the belief that there is little or no connection between what we do and what happens to us) rather than internality (the belief that what happens to us is connected to what we do) of parents before children are born, the greater the likelihood that children will have greater difficulties in behaving, sleeping and eating during their first five years of life."

  • Norwicki explains that internally controlled parents possess certain traits that prepare them better to raise children. Those characteristics include persistence, feeling of responsibility, pursuit of information, ability to tolerate a longer delay of gratification and resistance to being coerced.

  • External parents

  • Parents with "external" traits are those less or not likely to take steps to gather new knowledge about caring for children. These parents weren't as likely to attend parenting classes, to breastfeed infants or participate in routine vaccinations, according to Smart Parenting. The correlating results were children with more behavioral problems, and increased sleeping and eating difficulties during the first five years of life.

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  • Internal parents

  • Parents with a more "internal" view see that what they do can have an impact on life. Taking pro-active steps proved to have "positive effects on their kids' social, eating and sleeping behavior even with just one parent with an internal personality," stated Smart Parenting. Being more positive and pro-active seems to correlate with better sleeping and eating habits and fewer tantrums.

  • If you tend to be more external, you can work to become more internal as a parent. Take parenting classes, work toward becoming more motivated and exercising more self-control. With a positive attitude and being more pro-active rather than reactive, you can raise children who will do the same. The outcome of being more internal will have an overall healthy impact on your child's life and development.

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Wendy is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Website: for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: Twitter: @WendyJessen


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