Why it matters
The political leaders, social scientists and professional experts agree that parenting has a powerful positive impact on a range of social outcomes from academic performance and school attendance to health, social confidence, stability of romantic relationships and future career success.
There’s a clear financial impact on the public sector too. A child with conduct disorder at 10 years of age will cost £70,000 in public services by the age of 28, compared to £10,400 for a child with no problems (Scott et al. (2001) longitudinal study, refers to 1998 figures).
There is also a general consensus that the cause of the recent unrest on the streets of Britain was, in part, poor parenting. Children learn to take responsibility and the consequences of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ primarily from their parents
Being a parent of young children is difficult. More than two thirds of parents say their life was easier before having children, one in four admitted they didn't cope easily and nearly one in five worry that other people are more competent parents. Most parents think it's harder to raise children as 'good people' than 20 years ago (BMRB Omnibus Survey, 2006).
It doesn’t have to be so hard. Our research has identified the six parenting priorities: love, managing behaviour, health, communication, learning and handling conflict.
Our research has identified the 6 parenting priorities:
How to be consistent with limit setting
Poor parental discipline and monitoring puts children at risk for later delinquency by setting in motion a chain of impact that progresses the development of antisocial behaviour (Patterson et al., 1989).
How to raise healthy children
Parental intervention such as rewards can be an effective way for parents to improve their children's diet. (Cooke et al, 2011)
How to balance warmth and discipline
Many who are violent or with a history of criminality are so because they have not had meaningful attachment relationships in early life that would allow them to identify with others (Gerhardt, 2004)
How to build a support network for parents and children
Family stressors have been identified as creating pathways to disrupted family management practices putting children at risk for developing antisocial behaviour, including unemployment, family violence, marital conflict and divorce (Patterson, 1998).
How to communicate
Communication such as active listening by parents relieves social frustration later since children find out what they are feeling and how to express it (Gordon, 2000)
How to encourage learning
Parenting influences children to view mistakes as challenges rather than stressors to become resilient learners (Brooks and Goldstein, 2001)