The science of raising children

Temple University psychologist, Laurence Steinberg, has written a book titled The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting. The principles are based on research in child development. He explains “One of the most encouraging findings from research on children’s development is that the fundamentals of good parenting are the same regardless of whether your child is male or female, six or sixteen, an only child, a twin, or a child with multiple siblings. They are the same regardless of whether the primary parent is a mother, father, or some other caregiver. The basic principles of good parenting have been corroborated in studies done in different parts of the world, with different ethnic and racial groups, in poor as well as in rich families, and in families with divorced, separated, and married parents.”

He goes on to say “In my view, good parenting is parenting that fosters psychological adjustment – elements like honesty, empathy, self-reliance, kindness, cooperation, self-control and cheerfulness.” He provides a scientific background for his criteria in what constitutes good parenting. You can read a brief overview of the ten principles and read the book for more details.

He points out “… no doubt there will be readers who see the ten principles as little more than common sense. But although the principles certainly make sense, their use is anything but common.” There definitely is a big gap between parenting practices that make sense and being able to follow these practices day in and day out!

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