Parents, cut yourself some slack: parenting guru
12:0AM, May 16th 2011
By Amanda Pitcher
Parents have been told they need to stop trying so hard to be perfect parents, and take a more relaxed and easy-going approach.
Parents need to stop trying so hard to be perfect and take a more relaxed and easy-going approach to raising their children, a US economist has said.
George Mason University academic Dr Bryan Caplan has argued "investment parenting", where parents encourage (or force) their children into music lessons, organised sport, and academic pursuits, had been found to have no long-term benefits for children as adults, the UK's Observer reported.
In his recently published book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why being a great parent is less work and more fun than you think, Dr Caplan wrote that parents work too hard to be good parents and should take a backseat role.
"What I'm trying to say is, if you are a person who likes the idea of kids, being a great parent is less work and more fun that you think. Right now, parents are 'overcharging' themselves for each kid," father-of-three Dr Caplan told the Observer.
"Parents can sharply improve their lives without hurting their kids. Nature, not nurture, explains most family resemblance, so parents can safely cut themselves a lot of additional slack."
Dr Caplan's "serenity parenting" style is almost the opposite to the highly publicised "tiger mother" style of parenting, advocated by author Amy Chua who supports tough love and hard work in her recently published parenting book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
But research involving twins and adopted children has found that parenting has zero to low long-term effects on the health and lifestyle of their grown children, Dr Caplan said.
"Quit fretting over how much TV your kids watch. Don't force them to do a million activities they hate. Accept that your children's lives are shaped mostly by their genes and their own choices, not by the sacrifices you make in hopes of turning them into successful adults," Dr Caplan said.
Do your kids have a favourite TV show that you barely tolerate? Read Erin's latest post about her toddler's obsession with Hoopla Doopla.
Our Acting Editor, Erin shares the tearful reality of how her little toddler is growing up
Read our Ed's blog post on her latest, lol-worthy escapades with her toddler, Ethan.
mother and baby "Playing with your children and interacting with them at their level is the perfect way to teach co-operation and self-restraint. You are their role model and someone they aspire to be like. By you modeling the correct behaviour you are teaching your children rules and limits." To read our full article on ways to encourage good behaviours in your children visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search "Well-Behaved"More from the team
mother and baby It's the simple joys when you're a mum. Like enjoying an interrupted, long-deserved shower & washing your hair. 🛀🚿💆 "You dream of the hot jets of water firing out of the shower head, rinsing away the suds and washing away the daily grime and frustration of motherhood." To read our full story visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search "Shower".More from the team
mother and baby New research into diabetes suggests that the daughters of women who develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancies have an increased liklihood of becoming obese during their childhood. Visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search "Diabetes" to read our full article.More from the team
mother and baby Although babies all have unsettled periods, these periods should not be ongoing. If your baby is crying and appears to be in pain and aching their back they may have reflux. Visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search "Surviving Reflux" to read one mum's experience of life with two reflux babies.More from the team