Evidence-Based Parenting

What you need to know to improve the odds for your son or daughter

Parenting advice has too often been based on a nebulous mix of guesswork and opinion. Thanks to researchers around the world, we now have the results of numerous longitudinal cohort studies, in which children have been followed from infancy through adulthood. Following the same individuals for 30 years or longer, researchers have studied what styles of parenting are most likely to lead to good outcomes, to young people who are happy and fulfilled. Researchers have also studied what parenting styles are most likely to lead to bad outcomes: young people who are anxious, or depressed, or unemployed, or incarcerated. From this research, we can distill evidence-based guidelines to improve the odds for your daughter or your son.

In this presentation, I raise and answer questions such as:

  • Why are American kids so much more likely to be anxious or depressed compared with American kids from the same demographic just twenty years ago? (hint: there are four factors in play)
  • What one thing can parents do to greatly improve the odds that their child will grow up to be healthy, happy, and successful? (this isn’t a guess; it’s a robust empirical finding based on multiple longitudinal cohort studies)
  • What is the most important virtue American parents must teach their children? (hint: this virtue is downright un-American)
  • What is the meaning of life? (That’s not a joke – the answer comes at the end of the talk)
Click here to watch highlights of this presentation on YouTube, courtesy of the St Helena Montessori School in Napa County, California.

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