ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — Researchers have found that parents who anger easily and over-react are more likely to have toddlers who act out and become upset easily.
They followed the children at nine, 18 and 27 months of age, and found that adoptive parents who had a tendency to over-react, for example, were quick to anger when children tested age-appropriate limits or made mistakes. These over-reactive parents had a significant effect on their children, who exhibited "negative emotionality," or acting out and having more temper tantrums than normal for their age.
Genetics also played a role, particularly in the case of children who were at genetic risk of negative emotionality from their birth mothers, but were raised in a low-stress or less-reactive environment.
"Parents' ability to regulate themselves and to remain firm, confident and not over-react is a key way they can help their children to modify their behavior," she said. "You set the example as a parent in your own emotions and reactions."