What is “Good Child Syndrome”? What are its causes and how can parents prevent it from happening?

2021.02.26

In today’s stressful society, not only adults but even children feel stress and pressure. Depending on his/her environment, this stress and pressure can put a heavy burden on a child’s mind.
In recent years, concerns about “good child syndrome” have been increasing. Let’s look at the symptoms, causes, characteristics, and preventive measures of “good child syndrome”.

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What is “good child syndrome”?

As the name implies, “good child syndrome” refers to a child who tries to be good as his/her parents envision. At first glance, this type of child may seem to be smart and hands-free. However, when children try too hard to meet the expectations of others and hold in their feelings it can have negative effects on their growth and development.

What are the symptoms of “good child syndrome”?

Children with “good child syndrome” are not selfish and do not say what they want to do or share their opinions. This is because they are afraid that they will be disliked by adults if they express their true feelings or give up.
Sometimes, they are unable to have their own ideas and cannot decide what to do without listening to their parents’ opinions. They are also not good at expressing their feelings freely. Unlike other children, children with “good child syndrome” do not go through a rebellious phase during which they rebel against their parents and surrounding environment. Without the experience of a normal childhood, children with “good child syndrome” may grow up to become an “adult child” who has difficulty living normally.

What causes “good child syndrome”?

Excessive expectations and desires of parents are the number one cause of “good child syndrome”. When parents impose their values and proactively make all choices for their child this causes their child to slowly lose his/her independence. It is important for parents to give their child choices and value his/her opinion.

How can we prevent “good child syndrome”?

To prevent children from developing “good child syndrome” is important that parents respect their child’s opinions and intentions. Please try to let your child do things at his/her own pace.
Parents should avoid trying to control their child or forcing them to be a “good boy or good girl”. Instead, try to respect their personality and accept them for who they are.

Children with “good child syndrome” act based on the look on their parent’s face or their parents’ expectations. If this continues, they may become poor communicators and unable to express their ideas and opinions when they get older. Providing children with a fun learning environment at home and at mommy & me and preschool classes is a good way to prevent “good child syndrome”. Attending classes or preschool will give children the opportunity to improve their self-affirmation skills and gain new experiences.

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