The science behind how parents affect child development - Deepstash
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Good parenting, bad parenting

Parents want what is best for their children. Many parenting books promise to reveal how to achieve the best outcomes. The constant message is that if your child isn't succeeding, you're doing something wrong. 

However, science supports a different message.


170 reads

We don't understand how parenting works

Children are not just shaped by the power of parenting. Children are also shaped by forces like genes, peers, and the culture children grow up in.  This can make it difficult to know which forces influence who children become.

Just because we care about parenting or feel confident about it doesn't mean we understand it. 


141 reads

Parents don't shape their children

Children that are raised in the same house are not noticeably more alike in how successful they are or how happy or self-reliant they are.

One child might find structure in the house helpful. Her sister might find it stifling. One child might think his parents are caring for asking questions. His brother might view it as nosy. But just because an event doesn't shape people in the same way doesn't mean it has no effect. Your parenting does shape your children, just not in ways that lead them to be the same.


102 reads


Though many of us take pride in how different we are from our parents, we are endlessly sad at how different our children are from us.



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Take away thoughts on parenting

  • Parents do matter. But how they matter is complex and difficult to predict. 
  • For any parent, stop blaming yourself. You are not that in control of your child's path. You have influence, but you don't have control. For anyone who has ever been a child, stop blaming your parents. Stop blaming other parents.
  • Appreciate how powerful the moments can be because of what they mean for you and your child right now, not because of what they mean for your child in the long term.
  • We can be less sad if we are more realistic and let go of the idea that our children's futures are in our control.


91 reads



We are all one!


Understanding the science of parents and children can free people to focus on what is meaningful. It can make the experience of being a parent and having been a child more realistic and satisfying.


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