Okay, if there is a proven scientific way to raise kids, I want to know. If there is even one approach that is going to give my kids a chance to live a happy life despite all of my mistakes, let me hear it.
If you are like me, you largely parent from the heart but end up thinking, “Am I being too harsh? Am I a pushover?” Where’s the happy balance?
I don’t feel really “balanced” when I trip over my kid’s shoes left in front of the door AGAIN. It would be so easy to pick them up and toss them aside (or out the window). No, that would just be more work for me because I’d have to shop for new shoes. Oh, shopping! I’ve wanted to go shopping on my own for so long. Maybe out the window is a creative consequence after all. Again, I am torn.
While there is no simple and easy way to raise your kids, there are some tried-and-trusted methods that are also backed by solid, scientific evidence. When both experience andscience speak, I pay attention (even when SpongeBob is on; and it’s always distracting). How about you? One such way is called authoritative parenting.
Authoritative parents set clear boundaries for their children but use positive reinforcement and natural consequences rather than punishment. They also nurture close relationships with their kids. And no, throwing the shoes out the window is not a natural consequence.
This type of parent would call the child in to pick up their shoes. While they were there, they would remind them that we don’t leave our shoes there because someone could get hurt tripping on them. They would also help the child think of ways to remember next time. Natural consequences are when the child trips over the shoes themselves.
Authoritarian parents on the other hand, are quite the opposite. They place high demands on their children but do little nurturing and guidance. They practice punishments for offenses and don’t value independence or consider a child’s feelings. The authoritarian parent would make the child clean the entire foyer without any talk about the incident or how to prevent it in the future.
Scientifically proven parenting
As it turns out, authoritative parenting can have a hugely positive impact on a child’s life, and that is a scientific fact. Aside from being well-adjusted, kids raised by this type of parent will also be creative, curious and self-motivated. They will have good social skills and form strong connections with people according to Developmental Science.
Not only is authoritative parenting proven to work, it also aligns with what I feel when I am parenting from the heart. With science on your side, this is one parenting approach that is a no-brainer.