Advertisement

Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 315–326 | Cite as

How do parents guide children towards ‘playing to learn’? Reflections on four studies in a special issue on self- and co-regulation in early childhood

  • Claire HughesEmail author
Article
  • 28 Downloads

Abstract

This special issue on early self- and co-regulation addresses a topic that is founded on a rich mix of theoretical perspectives, including self-determination theory, socio-cultural theory, attachment theory and artificial intelligence. Reflecting this diversity, the papers adopt a diverse range of approaches to cutting-edge questions regarding self- and co-regulation. At the same time, the papers share a number of common themes, of which the first is a downwards expansion of the developmental scope of existing research on children’s ability to delay gratification to encompass findings from infants and toddlers. A second common theme is a careful attention to issues of ecological validity. Alongside these commonalities, the papers also show complementarity in their focus on the parent or the child. In this commentary I seek to identify both common and specific strengths and limitations and offer suggestions regarding fruitful avenues for future research in this field.

Keywords

Scaffolding Autonomy support Beliefs and cognitions Self-regulation Children Parents 

Notes

References

  1. Belsky, J. (1984). The determinants of parenting: A process model. Child Development, 55, 83–96.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1129836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belsky, J., & De Haan, M. (2011). Annual research review: Parenting and children's brain development: The end of the beginning. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 52, 409–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernier, A., Carlson, S., & Whipple, N. (2010). From external regulation to self-regulation: Early parenting precursors of young children's executive functioning. Child Development, 81, 326–339.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01397.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernier, A., Carlson, S., Deschênes, M., & Matte-Gagné, C. (2012). Social factors in the development of early executive functioning: A closer look at the caregiving environment. Developmental Science, 15, 12–24.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01093.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernier, A., Perrier, R., & McMahon, C. (2017). Maternal mind-mindedness and children's school readiness: A longitudinal study of developmental processes. Developmental Psychology, 53, 210–221.  https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Białecka-Pikul, M., Byczewska-Konieczny, K., Kosno, M., Białek, A., & Stępień-Nycz, M. (2018). Waiting for a treat. Studying behaviors related to self-regulation in 18- and 24-month-olds. Infant Behavior and Development, 50, 12–21.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2017.10.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crittenden, P. (1992). Quality of attachment in the preschool years. Development and Psychopathology, 4, 209–241.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579400000110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2015). Self-determination theory. In J. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second ed., pp. 486–491). New York: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Devine, R., & Hughes, C. (2018). Family correlates of false belief understanding in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Child Development, 89, 971–987.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Devine, R., Bignardi, G., & Hughes, C. (2016). Executive function mediates the relations between parental behaviors and children's early academic ability. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, art. no. 1902.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01902.
  11. Devine, R., Ribner, A., & Hughes, C. (2019). Measuring and predicting individual differences in executive function at 14 months. Child Development. Google Scholar
  12. Duckworth, A., Gendler, T., & Gross, J. (2016). Situational strategies for self-control. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 35–55.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615623247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fagan, J., Day, R., Lamb, M., & Cabrera, N. (2014). Should researchers conceptualize differently the dimensions of parenting for fathers and mothers? Journal of Family Theory & Review, 6, 390–405.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Friedman, N., Miyake, A., Robinson, J., & Hewitt, J. (2011). Developmental trajectories in Toddlers' self-restraint predict individual differences in executive functions 14 years later: A behavioral genetic analysis. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1410–1430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fujita, K. (2011). On conceptualizing self-control as more than the effortful inhibition of impulses. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15, 352–366.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868311411165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gärtner, K., Vetter, V., Schäferling, M., Reuner, G., & Hertel, S. (2018). Training of parental scaffolding in high-socio-economic status families: How do parents of full- and preterm-born toddlers benefit? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 300–322.  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.1221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gregory, E., Ruby, M., & Kenner, C. (2010). Modelling and close observation: Ways of teaching and learning between third-generation Bangladeshi British children and their grandparents in London. Early Years, 30, 161–173.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2010.484799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hughes, C. (2015). The transition to school. Psychologist, 28, 714–717.Google Scholar
  19. Hughes, C., & Devine, R. (2019). For better, for worse: Positive and negative parental influences on preschoolers’ executive functions. Child Development, 90, 593–609.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12915.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hughes, C., & Ensor, R. (2009). How do families help or hinder the development of executive function? New Directions in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Special Issue on social interaction and the development of executive function, 123, 35–50.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cd.234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hughes, C., Lindberg, A., & Devine, R. T. (2018a). Autonomy support in toddlerhood: Similarities and contrasts between mothers and fathers. Journal of Family Psychology, 32, 915–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hughes, C., McHarg, G., & White, N. (2018b). Sibling influences on prosocial behavior. Current Opinion in Psychology, 20, 96–101.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.08.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jeong, J., Obradović, J., Rasheed, M., McCoy, D., Fink, G., & Yousafzai, A. (2019). Maternal and paternal stimulation: Mediators of parenting intervention effects on preschoolers' development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 60, 105–118.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2018.12.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Landry, S., Smith, K., & Swank, P. (2006). Responsive parenting: Establishing early foundations for social, communication, and independent problem-solving skills. Developmental Psychology, 42, 627–642.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.42.4.627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Landry, S., Smith, K., & Swank, P. (2009). New directions in evaluating social problem solving in childhood: Early precursors and links to adolescent social competence. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Special Issue on social interaction and the development of executive function, 123, 51–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ma, F., Chen, B., Xu, F., Lee, K., & Heyman, G. (2018). Generalized trust predicts young children’s willingness to delay gratification. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 169, 118–125.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.12.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Matte-Gagné, C., Bernier, A., & Gagné, C. (2013). Stability of maternal autonomy support between infancy and preschool age. Social Development, 22, 427–443.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2012.00667.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McHarg, G., Fink, E., & Hughes, C. (2019). Crying babies, empathic toddlers, responsive mothers and fathers: Exploring parent-toddler interactions in an empathy paradigm. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 179, 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mermelshtine, R. (2017). Parent–child learning interactions: A review of the literature on scaffolding. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 241–254.  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Metcalfe, J., & Mischel, W. (1999). A hot/cool-system analysis of delay of gratification: Dynamics of willpower. Psychological Review, 106, 3–19.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.106.1.3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Michaelson, L., & Munakata, Y. (2016). Trust matters: Seeing how an adult treats another person influences preschoolers' willingness to delay gratification. Developmental Science, 19, 1011–1019.  https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miller, J., Vrtička, P., Cui, X., Shrestha, S., Hosseini, S., Baker, J., & Reiss, A. (2019). Inter-brain synchrony in mother-child dyads during cooperation: An fNIRS hyperscanning study. Neuropsychologia, 124, 117–124.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.12.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mills-Koonce, W., Willoughby, M., Zvara, B., Barnett, M., Gustafsson, H., & Cox, M. (2015). Mothers' and fathers' sensitivity and children's cognitive development in low-income, rural families. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 38, 1–10.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2015.01.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mulder, H., Pitchford, N., Hagger, M., & Marlow, N. (2009). Development of executive function and attention in preterm children: A systematic review. Developmental Neuropsychology, 34, 393–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nordahl, K., Zambrana, I., & Forgatch, M. (2016). Risk and protective factors related to fathers’ positive involvement and negative reinforcement with 1-year-olds. Parenting, 16, 1–21.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2016.1116891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Paunesku, D., Walton, G., Romero, C., Smith, E., Yeager, D., & Dweck, C. (2015). Mind-set interventions are a scalable treatment for academic underachievement. Psychological Science, 26, 784–793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pettygrove, D., Hammond, S., Karahuta, E., Waugh, W., & Brownell, C. (2013). From cleaning up to helping out: Parental socialization and children's early prosocial behavior. Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 843–846.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2013.09.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Prime, H., Pauker, S., Plamondon, A., Perlman, M., & Jenkins, J. (2014a). Sibship size, sibling cognitive sensitivity, and children's receptive vocabulary. Pediatrics, 133(2), e394–e401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Prime, H., Perlman, M., Tackett, J. L., & Jenkins, J. M. (2014b). Cognitive sensitivity in sibling interactions: Development of the construct and comparison of two coding methodologies. Early Education and Development, 25(2), 240–258.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2013.821313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sethna, V., Perry, E., Domoney, J., Iles, J., Psychogiou, L., Rowbotham, N., et al. (2017). Father-child interactions at 3-months and 24-months: Contributions to children's cognitive development at 24-months. Infant Mental Health Journal, 38, 378–390.  https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Smetana, J. (2017). Current research on parenting styles, dimensions, and beliefs. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 19–25.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.02.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Song, J.-H., Miller, A., Leung, C., Lumeng, J., & Rosenblum, K. (2018). Positive parenting moderates the association between temperament and self-regulation in low-income toddlers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27, 2354–2364.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1066-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sonuga-Barke, E., Kitsakou, P., & Thompson, M. (2010). Beyond the dual pathway model: Evidence for the dissociation of timing, inhibitory, and delay-related impairments in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 345–355.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-201004000-00009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sullivan, O., Coltrane, S., McAnnally, L., & Altintas, E. (2009). Father-friendly policies and time-use data in a cross-national context: Potential and prospects for future research. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 624, 234–254.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716209335138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Volling, B., Cabrera, N., Feinberg, M., Jones, D., McDaniel, B., Liu, S., et al. (2019). Advancing research and measurement on fathering and child development. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 84, 7–160.  https://doi.org/10.1111/mono.12404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Watts, T., Duncan, G., & Quan, H. (2018). Revisiting the marshmallow test: A conceptual replication investigating links between early delay of gratification and later outcomes. Psychological Science, 29, 1159–1177.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618761661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Whipple, N., Bernier, A., & Mageau, G. (2011). Broadening the study of infant security of attachment: Maternal autonomy-support in the context of infant exploration. Social Development, 20, 17–32.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2010.00574.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. White, N., & Hughes, C. (2017). Why siblings matter: The role of brother and sister relationships in development and wellbeing. Oxford: Psychology Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wood, D., & Middleton, D. (1975). A study of assisted problem-solving. British Journal of Psychology, 66, 181–191.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1975.tb01454.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem-solving. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 17, 89–100.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1976.tb00381.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Family ResearchUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations