KU psychologist: Don't tell your kids they were an 'accident'

Kara Marxer
August 16, 2018 - 7:54 am

A new study says telling your children they were unwanted or unplanned could cause serious psychological damage.

University of Kansas Psychology Professor Omri Gillath started to notice a pattern among his patients who struggled with anxiety about their relationships.

"Basically, their parents either didn't want to have kids at all, so they were unwanted, or their parents wanted to have kids but it wasn't the right time," Gillath said.

That anecdotal evidence led to an initial study of 350 adults. The results showed that people who found out, either as children or adults, that they were unwanted or unplanned, showed attachment anxiety, often worrying that they would be abandoned or rejected, or they avoided close relationships altogether.

"It's how much you're willing to trust others, to depend on others and let others depend on you, how comfortable you feel with closeness," Gillath said. 

It is important to tell your children that they are loved and wanted, Gillath said.

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