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By: Flora Richards-Gustafson

13 June, 2017

Parents tend to underestimate the influence that they have on their children, according to a 2007 study that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation conducted. In 2011, the UK’s Department for Education found that children who are exposed to bad parenting are two times more likely to misbehave. Inconsistent disciplinary approaches, poor supervision and physical punishment are poor parenting attributes that can negatively affect children, regardless of their ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Antisocial Behavior

When a child demonstrates antisocial behavior, she doesn’t consider how her actions may harm others. According to the UK’s Department for Education, severe forms of antisocial behavior can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, poor health, mental health problems, unemployment and adult crime. Parenting styles that could lead to this type of behavior include inconsistent and harsh parenting, as well as parental drug abuse, maternal depression and domestic violence. Adults who are permissive, coercive, negative and have critical attitudes are more likely to have children with antisocial tendencies.

Poor Resilience

Parents  and teenager son having conflict

Psychological Effects of Parental Death

Resilience refers to a person’s ability to cope with social, emotional, behavioral, physical and educational hardships. Parents with poor resilience are more likely to have children who also lack resilience, according to Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Bad parenting in this regard comes in the form of failing to buffer the adverse affects of crisis that a child experiences, not teaching a child coping skills and not being responsive during a time of need. When a child has poor resilience, this can stem from a parent’s inflexibility, inability to handle change well or failure to cope with negative emotions in a healthy manner.

In the article "Parenting and Its Effects on Children: On Reading and Misreading Behavior Genetics" for the psychology journal "Annual Reviews," professor Eleanor E. Maccoby, Ph.D, of Stanford University links parental negativity to child depression and the internalization of behaviors. In the National Institutes of Health journal article "Relation of Positive and Negative Parenting to Children’s Depressive Symptoms" by Danielle H. Dallaire et al, found that harsh and negative parenting behaviors correlated with symptoms of depression in children. Other factors that may contribute to childhood depression include low levels of overall support, parental depression, physical punishment, unhealthy expression of negative emotions and a lack of emotional support.

Parents  and teenager son having conflict

What Are the Causes of Violent Behavior in Children?

In the report "Negative Parenting Style Contributes to Child Aggression" for Psych Central, Rick Nauert, Ph.D., reports that researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the explosive kindergarteners studied had poor relationships with their mothers from an early age. The researchers concluded that bad parenting during infancy contributed to childhood aggression. The mothers studied handled their children “roughly,” expressed negative feelings towards their kids and had escalating conflicts with them. The researchers concluded that negative parenting caused the children studied to demonstrate "higher levels of anger," which made the mothers more hostile. What was not studied was the relationship between the mother and the father, and how that might have influenced the mother's feelings or behavior.

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  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Parenting and the Different Ways it Can Affect Children’s Lives: Research Evidence
  • Annual Reviews: Parenting and Its Effects on Children: On Reading and Misreading Behavior Genetics
  • National Institutes of Health: Relation of Positive and Negative Parenting to Children’s Depressive Symptoms
  • Psych Central: Negative Parenting Style Contributes to Child Aggression

poor parenting essay introduction

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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  • Introduction
  • Towards a national parenting strategy
  • Parenting - early years to teenage years
  • Parenting under pressure
  • Supporting families through transition
  • Some practice examples
  • Editing notes

Clare Simpson: project manager, Parenting across Scotland

Policy panacea to cure all society's ills or the cause of them? Parents and how they parent have been under scrutiny in recent years. Parents get a negative press; overwhelmingly, that standards in parenting are declining. Is this the case? Or, in fact, is the job of parenting getting harder in an increasingly complex world? Whichever is right, both suggest that parents could do with more help.

The Scottish Government is committed to introducing a national parenting strategy and making Scotland the best place in the world to bring up children. If the government stated its intention to intervene in the economics of the country, to improve the nation's health, to prevent crime or to educate its young, people would regard these as natural functions of government. And yet, the very mention of a national parenting strategy, is likely to bring with it knee-jerk accusations of 'nanny state'. But supporting families is exactly about all those functions that we generally accept as being the job of government - rebuilding our failing economy, improving our health, preventing crime and educating children. We need to recognise the value of good parenting more and provide more support to parents before they fail rather than picking up the pieces afterwards. It is critical to the future of our country that we do so; beyond this, it is the right thing to do - Scotland's families deserve no less.

In order to encourage people to discuss, debate and contribute to the national parenting strategy, Parenting across Scotland, invited a wide variety of organisations and individuals to submit an article about any aspect of parenting. When we asked people for contributions, we did not know what to expect. What we got was impressive: passionate essays from people who really care about parenting and who want to see Scotland change how it supports families. They highlight the hot topics and also the many challenges to designing a more coherent approach to supporting families.

Although the subject matter in this collection is wide, it does not cover the full picture. Some gaps reflect the lack of services or inclusion in current policy thinking and research; for example, there are few articles about parenting teenagers (though a third of all calls to ParentLine are from parents of teenagers) and none at all about parenting in black and minority ethnic families. These are important topics for the parenting strategy.

Neither does the collection consider parenting in its wider context - it would have doubled or trebled in size. Parenting isn't a discrete activity isolated from the environment - where we live, how work is configured, the childcare available, and whether we can get on a bus with a buggy - the list goes on - all make a difference.

We did not specify topics for contributors and the submissions cover a wide variety of subjects including personal accounts of the pleasures and problems of parenting; the findings from research; and practical examples of supporting parents drawn from Scotland and abroad. All make a vital contribution to developing a national strategy. And together they provide a vision for the future.

Although we have presented each article as standalone, they are interconnected, and sometimes the same information is repeated by different contributors. Although we have grouped the articles into the six themes below, this is more to do with ease of reading than to demarcate articles. Many of them fit all the themes, simply because parenting cuts across so many aspects.

Theme 1: Parenting

Being a parent is not about a set of rules to follow to produce a happy, well-adjusted young person. If it were, in some ways, it would be a lot easier. In others, it would be far less interesting. Whoever the parent is (and I include the state as corporate parent), families are essentially about relationships and how people relate both within their families and from them to the wider world. At its best, parenting is about love, kindness and caring. For many parents, particularly those in difficult circumstances, this is not easy to achieve and they may need extra help. This section looks at what it means to be a parent; being a father; how differing family backgrounds affect people; and how different countries help families.

Theme 2: Towards a national parenting strategy

With the Scottish Government considering a national parenting strategy, contributors discuss what needs to happen to make Scotland the best place in the world to bring up children. Children usually come with families, which is why 'getting it right for every child' generally means getting it right for every family. The critical place of supporting parents in children's early years; the state's role as corporate parent; and the importance of communication are all considered in the light of the proposed parenting strategy and better support for families.

Theme 3: Parenting - early years to teenage years

The early years have received considerable attention as a critical time in child development and a vital intervention point for improving children's lives. Investing in the early years pays considerable dividends later on. While the early years can be difficult for parents, the teenage years throw up their own problems and many parents struggle to manage. Writers in this section look at the importance of these times in a child's life; the research findings; and effective approaches to parenting and family support.

Theme 4: Parenting under pressure

Not all families have equal chances. In particular, children in families struggling with substance misuse, those affected by domestic abuse, and parents with mental health difficulties fare worse than others. More children are affected by a parent's imprisonment than by divorce. Evidence shows that parents on a low income are not worse parents, but they do struggle against greater odds, and with changes to welfare benefits, the pressures on low-income families are set to increase. As well as vital universal services in the early years, families with specific difficulties may need tailored or intensive help. The articles in this section consider the issues for, and ways of helping, families under pressure.

Theme 5: Supporting families through transition

Over the past few decades, there have been fundamental changes to the family. Societal changes, such as the role of women, acceptance of difference in sexual orientation, and policy changes, such as to divorce and employment, mean that families are probably more heterogeneous than ever before. This makes it difficult to design policies responsive to families which are increasingly different, disjointed and yet intimately and complexly connected to other families. In this section, contributors cover the changing shape of the family (for example, lone parents and adoptive parents) and consider what happens when families separate.

Theme 6: Some practice examples

There is much good practice already in Scotland which indicates how families can be supported. This section highlights examples from around Scotland including educational projects, psychology, parenting programmes, helpline practice and work with young offender fathers. Children's educational outcomes vary widely and are closely linked to their backgrounds. Parental involvement in their children's education can make a considerable difference. In this section, contributors consider how this might be achieved and describe various interventions designed to help with children's behavioural problems.

Looking ahead

A parenting strategy has to consider parenting as an activity which takes place within and among families, but must also deal with the wider context within which families operate. It must create a society which is considerate of families and creates conditions in which families can thrive, rather than constantly struggle.

We hope that this collection contributes to the debate on Scotland's national parenting strategy; what it means to be a parent in Scotland today; and how we best support families.

We also hope it goes some way towards answering the question: Scotland: the best place in the world to bring up children?

About the author

Clare Simpson has worked in the voluntary sector in Scotland for over 30 years in organisations including Shelter, the Scottish Refugee Council and Citizens Advice Scotland. She has been project manager at Parenting across Scotland since 2008.

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Parenting Styles: A Closer Look at a Well-Known Concept

Sofie kuppens.

1 Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Eva Ceulemans

3 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Although parenting styles constitute a well-known concept in parenting research, two issues have largely been overlooked in existing studies. In particular, the psychological control dimension has rarely been explicitly modelled and there is limited insight into joint parenting styles that simultaneously characterize maternal and paternal practices and their impact on child development. Using data from a sample of 600 Flemish families raising an 8-to-10 year old child, we identified naturally occurring joint parenting styles. A cluster analysis based on two parenting dimensions (parental support and behavioral control) revealed four congruent parenting styles: an authoritative, positive authoritative, authoritarian and uninvolved parenting style. A subsequent cluster analysis comprising three parenting dimensions (parental support, behavioral and psychological control) yielded similar cluster profiles for the congruent (positive) authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles, while the fourth parenting style was relabeled as a congruent intrusive parenting style. ANOVAs demonstrated that having (positive) authoritative parents associated with the most favorable outcomes, while having authoritarian parents coincided with the least favorable outcomes. Although less pronounced than for the authoritarian style, having intrusive parents also associated with poorer child outcomes. Results demonstrated that accounting for parental psychological control did not yield additional parenting styles, but enhanced our understanding of the pattern among the three parenting dimensions within each parenting style and their association with child outcomes. More similarities than dissimilarities in the parenting of both parents emerged, although adding psychological control slightly enlarged the differences between the scores of mothers and fathers.

Parenting has gained ample research attention from various scientific disciplines. Many theoretical frameworks emphasize that parenting plays a vital role in child development, which has fueled research investigating the impact of parenting on child development for over 75 years. When studying parenting, researchers can take various strategies by considering parenting practices, parenting dimensions or parenting styles. Parenting practices can be defined as directly observable specific behaviors that parents use to socialize their children (Darling and Steinberg 1993 ). For example, parenting practices intended to promote academic achievement are showing involvement by attending parent–teacher meetings or regular supervision of children’s homework. Other parenting practices pertain to positive reinforcement, discipline, or problem solving.

Rather than focusing on specific parenting practices, other researchers have identified overarching parenting dimensions that reflect similar parenting practices, mostly by modeling the relationships among these parenting practices using factor analytic techniques. There is consensus among scientists about the existence of at least two broad dimensions of parenting, labeled parental support and parental control. Parental support pertains to the affective nature of the parent-child relationship, indicated by showing involvement, acceptance, emotional availability, warmth, and responsivity (Cummings et al. 2000 ). Support has been related to positive development outcomes in children, such as the prevention of alcohol abuse and deviance (Barnes and Farrell 1992 ), depression and delinquency (Bean et al. 2006 ) and externalizing problem behavior (Shaw et al. 1994 ).

The control dimension has been subdivided into psychological and behavioral control (Barber 1996 ; Schaefer 1965 ; Steinberg 1990 ). Parental behavioral control consists of parenting behavior that attempts to control, manage or regulate child behavior, either through enforcing demands and rules, disciplinary strategies, control of rewards and punishment, or through supervisory functions (Barber 2002 ; Maccoby 1990 ; Steinberg 1990 ). An appropriate amount of behavioral control has been considered to positively affect child development, whereas insufficient (e.g., poor parental monitoring) or excessive behavioral control (e.g., parental physical punishment) has been commonly associated with negative child developmental outcomes, such as deviant behavior, misconduct, depression and anxious affect (e.g., Barnes and Farrell 1992 ; Coie and Dodge 1998 ; Galambos et al. 2003 ; Patterson et al. 1984 ). While parental behavioral control refers to control over the child’s behavior, parental psychological control pertains to an intrusive type of control in which parents attempt to manipulate children’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings (Barber 1996 ; Barber et al. 2005 ). Due to its manipulative and intrusive nature, psychological control has almost exclusively been associated with negative developmental outcomes in children and adolescents, such as depression, antisocial behaviour and relational regression (e.g., Barber and Harmon 2002 ; Barber et al. 2005 ; Kuppens et al. 2013 ). The three parenting dimensions (support, psychological control, and behavioral control) have been labelled conceptually distinct, although they are related to some extent (Barber et al. 2005 ; Soenens et al. 2012 ).

Other authors have taken yet a different approach to studying parenting by emphasizing that specific combinations of parenting practices within a parent particularly impact child development rather than separate parenting practices or dimensions (e.g., Baumrind 1991 ; Maccoby and Martin 1983 ). Within such a configurational approach, one examines which patterns of parenting practices occur within the same parent and how these patterns—commonly labelled as parenting styles— are related to children’s development. Such parenting styles have the clear advantage of accounting for different parenting practices at the same time within the same person. As such, it comprises a person–centered approach that focuses on configurations within individuals rather than a variable–centered approach that focuses on relationships among variables across individuals as has been used to identify parenting dimensions (Magnusson 1998 ).

Baumrind ( 1966 , 1967 , 1971 ) is commonly considered a pioneer of research into parenting styles. She introduced a typology with three parenting styles to describe differences in normal parenting behaviors: the authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting style. Baumrind ( 1971 ) suggested that authoritarian parents try to shape, control, and evaluate their children’s behavior based on the absolute set of standards; whereas permissive parents are warmer and more autonomy granting than controlling. She considered an authoritative parenting style to fall between those two extremes. Later on in the 1980s, Maccoby and Martin ( 1983 ) attempted to bridge Baumrind’s typology and parenting dimensions. Based on the combination of two dimensions – demandingness and responsiveness – they defined four parenting styles: authoritative (i.e., high demandingness and high responsiveness); authoritarian (i.e., high demandingness and low responsiveness); indulgent (i.e., low demandingness and high responsiveness); and neglectful (i.e., low demandingness and low responsiveness). These two parenting dimensions are similar, yet not identical to the dimensions ‘parental support’ and ‘parental behavioral control’. Based on Maccoby and Martin’s work, Baumrind ( 1989 , 1991 ) expanded her typology with a fourth parenting style, namely the ‘neglectful’ parenting style.

Maccoby and Martin ( 1983 ) research efforts primarily focused on the configuration of the parenting styles and to a lesser extent on their association with children’s development. Baumrind, in contrast, has also extensively studied the association between parenting styles and child development (1967, 1971, 1989, 1991). This work consistently demonstrated that youth of authoritative parents had the most favorable development outcomes; authoritarian and permissive parenting were associated with negative developmental outcomes; while outcomes for children of neglectful parents were poorest. These aforementioned associations have also been replicated by other researchers. An authoritative parenting style has consistently been associated with positive developmental outcomes in youth, such as psychosocial competence (e.g., maturation, resilience, optimism, self-reliance, social competence, self-esteem) and academic achievement (e.g., Baumrind 1991 ; Lamborn et al. 1991 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ). Findings regarding permissive/indulgent parenting have been inconsistent yielding associations with internalizing (i.e., anxiety, depression, withdrawn behavior, somatic complaints) and externalizing problem behavior (i.e., school misconduct, delinquency), but also with social skills, self–confidence, self–understanding and active problem coping (e.g., Lamborn et al. 1991 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ; Williams et al. 2009 ; Wolfradt et al. 2003 ). An authoritarian parenting style has consistently been associated with negative developmental outcomes, such as aggression, delinquent behaviors, somatic complaints, depersonalisation and anxiety (e.g., Hoeve et al. 2008 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ; Williams et al. 2009 ; Wolfradt et al. 2003 ). Children of neglectful parents have shown the least favorable outcomes on multiple domains, such as lacking self-regulation and social responsibility, poor self-reliance and social competence, poor school competence, antisocial behavior and delinquency, anxiety, depression and somatic complaints (e.g., Baumrind 1991 ; Hoeve et al. 2008 ; Lamborn et al. 1991 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ).

Baumrind’s typology (1966) was initially determined on theoretical grounds, although with time she did conduct empirical validation research (1967, 1971, 1989, 1991). Nonetheless, the empirical studies always started with parenting styles that were predefined in a prototypical score profile in terms of minimum or maximum limit scores (e.g., scores above or below the median) on the different parenting practices; thus parents were first classified using cut–off scores for these predefined parenting styles and afterwards associations with child developmental outcomes were examined. However, such a confirmatory approach is not preferred to investigate parenting styles types (Mandara 2003 ) as it does not allow the identification of the naturally occurring typology, because people are actually forced into some predefined category defined on theoretical grounds. To empirically identify typologies in a certain population an exploratory clustering approach is needed (Everitt et al. 2001 ; Mandara 2003 ). Such clustering methods entail that persons are assessed on different variables (e.g., parenting practices) and patterns that naturally occur in the data are identified. Persons with a similar score profile are classified in the same cluster and those with distinctly different profile scores are classified into other clusters; with the number of clusters and associated score profiles being unknown a priori. The literature shows that researchers started to adopt such clustering methods in research into parenting styles about 15 to 20 years ago (Aunola et al. 2000 ; Beato et al. 2016 ; Brenner andand Fox 1999 ; Carlson and Tanner 2006 ; Chaudhuri et al. 2009 ; Dwairy et al. 2006 ; Gorman-Smith et al. 2000 ; Heberle et al. 2015 ; Hoeve et al. 2008 ; Lee et al. 2006 ; Mandara and Murray 2002 ; Martin et al. 2007 ; McGroder 2000 ; McKinney and Renk 2008 ; Meteyer and Perry-Jenkins 2009 ; Metsäpelto and Pulkkinen 2003 ; Pereira et al. 2008 ; Russell et al. 1998 ; Shucksmith et al. 1995 ; Tam and Lam 2004 ; van der Horst and Sleddens 2017 ; Wolfradt et al. 2003 ). These studies have generally identified three or four parenting styles that resemble the initial theoretical parenting styles.

Although Baumrind’s typology has greatly influenced parenting research, two issues have largely been overlooked in the existing knowledge. A first issue relates to the psychological control dimension which is currently considered the third parenting dimension. Initially, Baumrind paid little attention to the role of psychological control because her control dimension solely referred to parental socializing practices aimed at integrating the child in the family and society (Darling and Steinberg 1993 ). In her later work (1971, 1989, 1991), Baumrind did incorporate aspects of psychological control but the confirmatory nature of that research (cf. using predefined clusters) makes it impossible to determine which parenting styles would naturally evolve when psychological control would be taken into account. Empirical studies have also rarely explicitly included parental psychological control when modeling parenting styles. So far, the limited research including psychological control indices (e.g., Pereira et al. 2008 ; Wolfradt et al. 2003 ) has mostly identified four parenting styles that match the theoretically distinct styles. Within these parenting styles psychological control coincided with behavioral control levels in the authoritarian parenting style, yet cumulative knowledge remains too limited to draw firm conclusions.

A second issue is that existing research provides little insight into the coexistence of maternal and paternal parenting styles and their joint impact on child development. Although Baumrind included both parents in her studies, she assigned a (pre-defined) parenting style to each one separately. In some studies (1991), data was limited to mothers if both parents were assigned a different parenting style; in others (1971) families were entirely excluded in such instances. Not only Baumrind, but research on parenting styles in general has paid less attention to the impact of joint parenting styles on child development (Martin et al. 2007 ; McKinney and Renk 2008 ; Simons and Conger 2007 ), but has mainly focused on the unique, differential or interaction effects of maternal and paternal parenting styles adopting a variable-oriented perspective (e.g., Beato et al. 2016 ; Miranda et al. 2016 ). Children in two-parent households are influenced by the combined practices of both parents (Martin et al. 2007 ); and some studies have clearly shown that mothers and fathers can differ in their parenting style (Conrade and Ho 2001 ; McKinney and Renk 2008 ; Russell et al. 1998 ). Considering how the parenting styles of both parents cluster together, therefore, aligns more closely with the real experiences of children growing up in two-parent households. Only such an approach can shed light onto possible additive and compensatory effects (Martin et al. 2007 ). For example, Simons and Conger ( 2007 ) found evidence for an additive effect as having two authoritative parents was associated with the most favorable outcomes in adolescents, as well as a compensatory effect where one parent’s authoritative parenting style generally buffered the less effective parenting style of the other parent. Similarly, McKinney and Renk ( 2008 ) suggested that in late adolescence perceiving one parent as authoritative while the other parent has a different parenting style, partly buffered for emotional adjustment problems.

Only two studies have simultaneously clustered maternal and paternal practices into joint parenting styles and examined how they are associated with child development (for other approaches, see Martin et al. 2007 ; Simons and Conger 2007 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ). Meteyer and Perry-Jenkins ( 2009 ) modeled the warmth and dysfunctional discipline practices of both parents resulting in three parenting styles that aligned with Baumrind’s typology, namely supportive parents (i.e., similar to Baumrind’s authoritative style), mixed–supportive parents (i.e., mother’s parenting style is similar to Baumrind’s ‘good enough parenting’–style and father’s to Baumrind’s authoritarian style) and non–supportive parents (i.e., similar to Baumrinds’ authoritarian style). Although insightful, this study did not incorporate aspects of psychological control; was limited to early elementary school children (6– to 7– year olds); and was based on a rather small sample size (85 families). McKinney and Renk ( 2008 ) identified four joint parenting styles in their cluster analyses using late adolescents’ (18–22 years) reports of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting: congruent authoritative (i.e., an authoritative parenting style by both parents), congruent authoritarian (i.e., an authoritarian parenting style by both parents), an authoritarian father–authoritative mother combination, and a permissive father–authoritarian mother combination. This study used ratings of parenting styles as input for cluster analysis leaving the role of separate parenting dimensions unclear.

We aimed to extend the existing research on the well-known parenting styles concept by identifying joint parenting styles in an exploratory manner using data on three major parenting dimensions (i.e., support, behavioral control and psychological control) and their associations with child behavioral outcomes in a large sample of mothers and fathers raising elementary school children. In particular, we first examined whether the configuration of exploratory identified parenting styles differed when the – often neglected – psychological control dimension was considered in addition to the support and behavioral control dimensions. Secondly, we identified how parenting practices of mothers and fathers clustered together into joint parenting styles. We were particularly interested in exploring whether similarity or dissimilarity would depict the joint parenting styles. Incongruence could be expected from attachment or gender theories that particularly stress differences between parents’ roles, while assortative or socialization processes could result in highly congruent parenting styles. Thirdly, we associated these joint parenting styles to child behavioral outcomes. For incongruent parenting styles, we particularly examined whether the different parenting styles may buffer each other’s impact on child outcomes. For congruent parenting styles, we looked at additive effects in which parents’ (very) similar styles may reinforce each other’s impact on child outcomes.


Participants were 600 Flemish families with an elementary-school child (301 boys; 299 girls). The children’s age ranged from 8 to 10 years ( M =  9.27, SD  = 0.83). For 556 children both parents participated, while for the remaining children only the mother ( n  = 40) or father ( n  = 4) took part in the study. The participating mothers and fathers were on average 38.09 ( SD  = 4.00) and 40.39 years old ( SD  = 4.85), respectively. Most parents received 12 to 15 years of education. The vast majority of children (92%) were of Belgian origin (i.e., children and both parents born in Belgium). The remaining children mostly originated from another European country ( n =  28); a limited number had an African ( n  = 7), US ( n  = 4), Middle East ( n =  1), Asian ( n =  1) or unknown origin ( n  = 7). Most children (84%) lived in traditional two-parent families with married biological parents; others belonged to a blended family (5%), a household with shared custody (2%), or a single-parent household (9%). In this study, we focused on the subsample of families for which both parents consented to participate. Of the initial 556 families, data were available for a final sample of 527 families due to some non-response.

We used data on parenting collected in a Flemish large-scale study on social determinants of child psychosocial functioning including three cohorts: 8–, 9– and 10– year olds. To safeguard representativeness, a two-stage proportional stratified random sample of elementary school children enrolled in mainstream Flemish schools was drawn. In a first stage, 195 Flemish schools were randomly selected taking into account the distribution of schools across the five Flemish provinces and the Brussels region of which 55 schools agreed to participate. In a second stage, 913 children (2nd to 4th grade) were randomly selected within the participating schools. Parents received an introductory letter and consent form via the teachers. Informed consent to participate in the study was obtained for 600 families with both parents participating for 556 children. We used information on parenting practices collected from both parents. The parents received their questionnaires via the teacher during the second trimester and were asked to complete them individually and independently of each other. Given that 583 mothers (98%), and 538 fathers (96%) actually completed the questionnaire, non-response was fairly low.

Parental behavioral control

Parental behavioral control was operationalized via 19 items of the subscales Rules (8 items; α mother  = 0.79; α father  = 0.82)), Discipline (6 items; α mother  = 0.78; α father  = 0.80) and Harsh Punishment (5 items; α mother  = 0.76; α father  = 0.80) of the Ghent Parental Behavior Scale (Van Leeuwen and Vermulst 2004 ). Each item was scored on a 5–point Likert scale from 1 = never true to 5 = always true. The subscale Rules reflects the extent to which parents provide rules for their children’s behavior (e.g., “I teach my child that it is important to behave properly”; “I teach my child to obey rules”). The subscale Discipline pertains to effective punishments after unwanted behavior (e.g., ‘…taking away something nice’; ‘… give him/her a chore for punishment); whereas the subscale Harsh Punishment points towards parental physical punishment when children misbehave (e.g., “I slap my child in the face when he/she misbehaves”; “I spank my child when he/she doesn’t obey rules”; “I shake my child when we have a fight”). We included multiple subscales to represent the multidimensional nature of the behavioral control dimension, as demonstrated by others (Van Leeuwen and Vermulst 2004 ). In addition, we consider aspects of adequate (i.e., subscales Rules and Discipline) and inadequate behavioral control (i.e., subscale Harsh Punishment) in this study, given the differential association with child outcomes. While the first has been linked to positive child development, the latter has commonly been associated with negative child outcomes. Correlations between maternal and paternal reports were moderate for the subscales Rules ( r  = .31; p <  .001) and Discipline ( r  = 0.47; p <  0.001), but strong for the subscale Harsh Punishment ( r  = 0.52; p <  0.001). Within each parent, weak-to-moderate positive correlations were found between the subscales Rules and Discipline ( r mother  = 0.32; r father  = 0.26; p <  0.001); weak positive correlations between the subscales Discipline and Harsh Punishment ( r mother  = 0.22; r father  = 0.22; p <  0.001); and small negative correlations between the subscales Rules and Harsh Punishment ( r mother  = −0.14, p  = 0.009; r father  = −0.11; p =  0.001).

Parental support

Parental support was operationalized by 11 items (1 = never true to 5 = always true) of the subscale Positive Parenting of the Ghent Parental Behavior Scale (Van Leeuwen and Vermulst 2004 ). This subscale (α mother  = 0.85; α father  = 0.88) pertains to parental involvement, positive reinforcement and problem solving (e.g., “I make time to listen to my child, when he/she wants to tell me something”; “I give my child a compliment, hug, or a tap on the shoulder as a reward for good behavior”). Maternal and paternal reports were moderately correlated ( r  = 0.35, p <  0.001).

Parental psychological control

Parents assessed their own psychologically controlling behavior by means of a Dutch version of the Psychological Control Scale (Barber 1996 ; Kuppens et al. 2009a ) via a 5–point Likert scale from 1 = never true to 5 = always true. This scale (α mother  = 0.70; α father =  0.71) included 8 items pertaining to invalidating feelings, constraining verbal expressions, personal attack, and love withdrawal (e.g., “I am less friendly with my child when (s)he doesn’t see things my way”; “If my child has hurt my feelings, I don’t speak to him/her until (s)he pleases me again”; “I change the subject when my child has something to say”). Correlations between maternal and paternal reports were moderate ( r  = 0.32, p <  0.001).

Child behavioral outcomes

Both parents completed the 20-item Dutch Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; van Widenfelt et al. 2003 ) using a 3–point scale in order to assess child psychosocial behavior (0 = not true to 2 = certainly true). Externalizing problems were operationalized via the subscales Conduct Problems (5 items; α mother  = .60; α father  = 0.61) and Hyperactivity (5 items; α mother =  0.80; α father  = 0.76), while internalizing problems were reflected by the subscale Emotional Symptoms (5 items; α mother =  0.73; α father  = 0.72). We also included the subscale on Prosocial Behavior (5 items; α mother =  0.67; α father  = 0.64). Because high correlations ( r =  0.54–0.71; p <  0.001) between mother and father reports was obtained, an average parental score was created for each subscale.

Data Analyses

To identify joint parenting styles, we conducted cluster analysis in MATLAB. Cluster analysis is an overarching term for procedures used to identify groups or clusters of individuals based on their scores on a number of variables (Everitt et al. 2001 ). Greater similarity emerges between individuals of the same cluster (or who lie geometrically closer according to some distance measure) than between individuals from different clusters (Steinly and Brusco 2011 ). We first ran a cluster analysis based on the four parenting subscales of mothers and fathers (i.e., eight variables as input) that reflect parental support and parental behavioral control to identify joint parenting styles based on these two parenting dimensions (i.e., without considering parental psychological control). To gain insight into the role of parental psychological control in identifying joint parenting styles, we subsequently conducted a cluster analysis on all five parenting subscales of mothers and fathers (i.e., ten variables as input) representing the three parenting dimensions.

We used the conceptual framework of Milligan for a stepwise implementation of cluster analysis (Steinly & Brusco 2011 ) by (1) determining the observations to be clustered; (2) selecting the variables to be included in the clustering procedure; (3) determining whether and how the selected variables should be standardized; (4) selecting a cluster algorithm and association measure (e.g., a distance measure); (5) determining the number of clusters; and (6) validating clustering (i.e., interpretation, testing, and replication). During steps 1 through 3, we performed analyses on the sum scores of the different parenting subscales which were standardized to give each variable equal weight in the analysis. In step 4, we chose Mac Queens K–means cluster algorithm which aims to identify K –clusters with the largest possible between–cluster differences and the smallest possible within–cluster differences (Everitt et al. 2001 ), while the value of K is specified by the user. K-means consists of a reallocation procedure by which persons, starting from an initial random or rational clustering, are reallocated in clusters as long as this yields a decrease in the loss function (i.e., sum of squared Euclidean distance from the corresponding cluster mean). Because the resulting clustering strongly depends on the initial clustering (Steinley 2003 ), we used 1000 random starts and retained the clustering with the lowest loss function value. To determine the optimal number of clusters in step 5, or in other words to define the value of K , we used the CHull procedure (Ceulemans and Kiers 2006 ; Wilderjans et al. 2013 ). CHull is an automated model selection procedure that scans a complexity versus fit plot to find the model with the best complexity versus fit balance. Applied to K-means clustering, this means that we look for the model after which allowing for additional clusters does not substantially decrease the loss function. To interpret the resulting clusters (step 6), we visually inspected the pattern emerging in the cluster profile plots. When comparing the cluster-specific profile scores between parents, we focused on the position of the corresponding profile scores compared to zero (i.e., the standardized mean of the sample) and differences in its substantial interpretation. For example, the terms above and below average mean that a parent scores higher or lower than the standardized mean of the sample.

To assess the validity of the empirically identified joint parenting styles representing all parenting dimensions, we examined their association with child behavioral outcomes via four analyses of variance (ANOVA) using SPSS Version 23 with the SDQ-subscales as dependent variables and the identified joint parenting styles based on the three parenting dimensions as the independent variable. Analyses of residuals did not reveal meaningful violations of model assumptions.

In the following sections, the empirically identified joint parenting styles based on the four subscales reflecting the two parenting dimensions ‘support’ and ‘behavioral control’ are first presented; followed by the results of analyses also considering ‘parental psychological control’ as input behavior. We end with linking the identified joint parenting styles based on three parenting dimensions to child behavioral outcomes.

Clusters with Two Parenting Dimensions

In a first step, we conducted a K –means cluster analysis on the maternal and paternal ratings only using the four parental support and behavioral support subscales for each parent (i.e., eight variables) as input, representing the two parenting dimensions. The analysis was conducted for 1 to 8 clusters each with a 1000 random starts. The corresponding number of clusters versus loss function plot is shown in Fig. ​ Fig.1. 1 . Applying the CHull procedure to this plot pointed towards a solution with four clusters.

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Number of clusters vs. loss function plots for the cluster analyses based on the two parenting dimensions (left) and on the three parenting dimensions (right)

Parents belonging to the first cluster (Fig. ​ (Fig.2) 2 ) scored above average on positive parenting, rules and discipline; and scored below average on harsh punishment. A visual inspection of the cluster plot did not reveal notable differences between mothers and fathers. These parents show warmth and involvement in their interaction with their child, but at the same time set clear rules and expectations for children’s behavior. They also discipline the child’s undesirable behavior, but rarely use strict physical punishment when doing so. Because these parents demonstrate elevated support and (adequate) behavioral control levels, we labeled this parenting style as the congruent authoritative parenting style.

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Cluster profiles of the analysis based on two parenting dimensions

Parents belonging to the second cluster (Fig. ​ (Fig.2) 2 ) also scored above average on positive parenting and rules, but clearly below average on effective (subscale Discipline) and harsh disciplining (subscale Harsh Punishment). Based on a visual inspection, levels of positive parenting and providing rules of mothers seemed somewhat higher, while effective discipline was somewhat lower compared to fathers, but the substantive interpretation was similar across parents. These parents show warmth and involvement in their parenting while also setting clear rules for children’s behavior, yet they hardly discipline their child in any manner after showing unwanted behavior. Because these parents showed elevated support levels combined with aspects of behavioral control that focus on promoting desired behavior (instead of discouraging unwanted behavior), we labeled this cluster as the congruent positive authoritative parenting style.

The third cluster (Fig. ​ (Fig.2) 2 ) included parents who scored clearly above average on harsh punishment, above average on discipline, and below average on positive parenting and rules; without any notable visual differences between mothers and fathers. These parents are therefore less warm and involved in the relationship with their child. Their parenting is particularly characterized by strict physical punishment following unwanted behavior, without setting clear rules for their children’s behavior. This cluster reflected the congruent authoritarian parenting style .

A fourth cluster (Fig. ​ (Fig.2) 2 ) was identified that yielded below average scores for both parents on all subscales; without salient visual differences between mothers and fathers. These parents do not show marked warmth and involvement with their child, and also do not prominently provide rules or discipline unwanted behavior. Because these parents demonstrated below average scores on both dimensions, we labeled this cluster as a congruent uninvolved parenting style.

Clusters with Three Parenting Dimensions

In a second step, we performed the same K –means cluster analysis, but now psychological control was included as a third parenting dimension. The analysis was again conducted for 1 to 8 clusters each time using 1000 random starts. Applying the CHull procedure to the number of clusters versus loss function plot (Fig. ​ (Fig.1) 1 ) pointed toward a solution with 2 or 3 clusters. However, to enable comparisons between the cluster solution based on the two parenting dimensions, we again selected the solution with four clusters of which the cluster profiles are visualized in Fig. ​ Fig.3 3 .

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Cluster profiles of the analysis based on three parenting dimensions

When comparing both cluster solutions, a remarkable similarity in the cluster profiles was observed with the cluster scores on parental psychological control for the congruent authoritative, congruent positive authoritative and congruent authoritarian parenting styles covarying with scores on harsh punishment. These three clusters could thus be interpreted and labeled in a similar manner as earlier. For the congruent uninvolved parenting styles, the pattern for parental support and behavioral control remained fairly unchanged, but both showed slightly above-average psychological control scores. It seems that these parents are thus less supportive and behavioral controlling, yet showing somewhat elevated levels of psychologically intrusive practices. As such, we relabeled the congruent uninvolved cluster as a congruent intrusive parenting style. Adding the psychological control dimension slightly enlarged the differences between the scores of mothers and fathers within each parenting style, but the substantive interpretation remained similar across parents

Given the substantial similarity in emerging parenting styles after including two or three parenting dimensions, we computed the agreement in classification of the corresponding parents. Analyses revealed that parents were generally assigned to the same parenting style if psychological control was taken into account, (Cramer’s V  = .87). Note that the agreement was substantial regardless of the retained number of clusters (2 clusters: V =  .77; 3 clusters: V =  .86; 5 clusters: V =  .83; 6 clusters: V =  .69; 7 clusters: V =  .68; 8 clusters: V =  .65).

Parenting Styles and Child Behavioral Outcomes

The four joint parenting styles were associated to significantly different behavioral outcomes: Prosocial Behavior [ F (3, 520) = 20.15, p <  0.001, R 2 = 0.10]; Hyperactivity [ F (3, 520) = 12.98, p <  0.001, R 2 =  0.07]; Emotional Symptoms [ F (3, 520) = 3.77, p =  .011, R 2 = 0.02]; and Conduct Problems [ F (3, 520) = 20.15, p <  0.001, R 2 = 0.10]. The mean subscale score per joint parenting style are presented in Fig. ​ Fig.4. 4 . To gain more insight into the nature of the differences, pairwise contrasts (Tukey–Kramer) were computed for each ANOVA.

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Mean subscale scores on child behavioral outcomes per parenting style

For each child behavioral outcome, a significant difference ( p  < 0.05) was established between the congruent authoritarian parenting style and at least one other parenting style. Children of authoritarian parents demonstrated more negative (i.e., hyperactivity, conduct problems, emotional symptoms) and less positive (i.e., prosocial behavior) child outcomes compared to children whose parents belonged to another parenting style. For conduct problems, the associated standardized mean difference involving authoritarian parents was most pronounced compared to positive authoritative parents ( d =  1.06, p <  0.001), whereas a medium difference (range d =  0.67 – 0.73, p <  .001) with the authoritative and intrusive parenting styles was found. Similarly, for hyperactivity standardized mean differences involving authoritarian parents were large ( d =  0.85, p <  0.001) compared to positive authoritative parents; and medium (range d =  0.60 – 0.63, p <  0.001) compared to authoritative and intrusive parents. Standardized mean differences involving authoritarian parents were large (range d =  0.83–0.93, p <  0.001) for prosocial behavior, but only a small difference ( d =  0.37, p =  0.031) with the intrusive parenting style emerged. Standardized mean differences for emotional symptoms between the authoritarian parenting style were small in magnitude (range d =  0.40 – 0.43, p <  0.05), except for a non-significant ( d =  0.28, p =  0.159) difference with the intrusive parenting style.

In addition, the congruent positive authoritative parenting style yielded significantly lower conduct problem levels in children (range d =  0.33 – 0.39, p <  0.05) compared to authoritative and intrusive parents. In contrast, significantly less prosocial child behavior (range d =  0.46–0.56, p ≤  0.001) was found for the congruent intrusive parenting style compared to (positive) authoritative parents.

With this study, we aimed to add to the parenting styles literature by identifying empirically derived joint parenting styles based on data regarding the three major parenting dimensions as perceived by both mothers and fathers raising elementary school children. These resulting joint parenting styles were subsequently associated with child behavioral outcomes. As highlighted in the introduction, the commonly used parenting typologies have a theoretical underpinning, although empirical studies have generally identified three or four similar parenting styles. Our empirically derived parenting styles based on the two parenting dimensions Support and Behavioral Control bear resemblance to the initial authoritative, authoritarian, and neglectful parenting styles, yet some differences also emerged.

The authoritative parenting style was further broken down into a disciplinary and non-disciplinary subtype. Similarly, although differences between parents within each parenting style were minor, they were more pronounced for the non-disciplinary than for the disciplinary control strategies. These findings highlight that all parenting practices aimed at controlling, managing or regulating child behavior are not necessarily simultaneously used by the same parent, suggesting that considering a variety of parenting practices is crucial to identifying naturally occurring parenting substyles. Some parents seem to provide clear rules, guidelines and expectations for child behavior, but hardly have deviant child behavior followed by an effective disciplinary strategy. One subgroup appears to reflect parents that mostly adopt positive parenting practices (i.e., high support, high rule setting), whereas another subgroup uses a combination of positive (i.e., high support, high rule setting) and negative (i.e., high effective discipline) parenting practices. The latter closely resembles the authoritative parenting style as originally defined (Baumrind 1966 , 1967 , 1971 ), while the former clustering aligns more with a second–order positive dimension obtained in research adopting a variable–oriented approach (Van Leeuwen et al. 2004 ).

In this study, the positive dimension tapped into parenting practices such as parental involvement, positive reinforcement, rule setting, and autonomy–stimulating behavior, while the negative dimensions pertained to negatively controlling efforts such as effective discipline, ignoring or harsh punishment following children’s unwanted behavior. In the uninvolved parenting style, parenting practices bear a resemblance to the neglectful parenting style given the below average scores on all subscales suggesting that parents show less warmth, place fewer restraints on and display little monitoring of children’s behavior. However, we did not identify extreme low scores on parenting dimensions that would suggest a truly neglectful parenting style as originally defined; thus an uninvolved parenting style seems a more appropriate label. Although parent self-reports could overestimate scores of positive parenting and underestimate scores of negative parenting due to social desirability bias, it should be noted that a previous study using adolescent reports also did not find extreme scores for the parenting style clusters (McKinney and Renk 2008 ).

We were not able to empirically identify the originally proposed permissive parenting style reflecting parents that are very loving, warm and involved (high support), yet have relatively few rules for children’s behavior and hardly discipline (low behavioral control). This finding diverges from some previous empirical studies in which the latter parenting style did emerge using an a theoretical (Aunola et al. 2000 ; Carlson and Tanner 2006 ; Shucksmith et al. 1995 ; Wolfradt et al. 2003 ) or empirical clustering approach (McKinney and Renk 2008 ). Our operationalization of the support dimension via the positive parenting subscale of the Ghent Parental Behavior Scale could underlie this divergent finding, because the subscale does not only pertain to warm and responsive parenting practices, but also includes items on problem solving. In contrast to other studies tapping only into warmth and responsiveness, lower scores on solving problems together with the child can attenuate overall scores on parental support. As a result, the pronounced scores on parental support which typify a permissive parenting style may have been somewhat masked in the present study. Alternatively, the parent self-reports may not accurately reflect their actual parenting practices due to a social desirability bias, hampering the identification of the permissive parenting style.

Regarding the role of psychological control in empirically deriving parenting styles, cluster analyses revealed a very similar configuration with four parenting styles when parental psychological control was taken into account. Thus, its addition did not lead to the identification of additional parenting styles, but the third parenting dimension did enhance our understanding. Results clearly pointed toward a substantial overlap between parental psychological control and parental harsh punishment for the congruent authoritarian, authoritative and positive authoritative parenting styles. This finding coincides with research suggesting that inadequate behavior control (e.g., physical punishment) and psychological control by parents are correlated, whereas parental psychological control and adequate behavioral control are considered orthogonal dimensions (Barber 1996 ; Gray andand Steinberg 1999 ; Steinberg 1990 ). For example, Pettit et al. ( 2001 ) found that parental psychological control was preceded in adolescence by harsh, restrictive disciplinary parenting during childhood. Barber and Harmon ( 2002 ) have further argued that parental psychological control may be a marker of a hostile and dysfunctional parent – child relationship, including the use of harsh disciplinary parenting practices.

For the congruent uninvolved parenting style, including parental psychological control actually led to an improved understanding of the previously considered uninvolved parents. As it turned out these parents did use psychologically controlling strategies to some extent, regardless of their lower levels on the other parenting dimension. This pattern could mean that in the parents–child relationship these parents are not so much concerned with the child and their behavior, but with manipulating children’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings to fit their own. It is commonly recognized that by using psychologically controlling strategies, parents intrude into children’s ‘psychological world’, exert parental authority over the children’s own life, and intervene in the individuation process (Barber and Xia 2013 ; Steinberg 2005 ). A recent study by Zhang et al. ( 2015 ) also demonstrated that parental psychological control indeed positively correlated with parent–centered intentions, implying that parents intend to satisfy their own needs by applying controlling behaviors with their children.

Several theories point towards differences in parenting between mother and father (McKinney and Renk 2008 ). For example, psychoanalytic theory argues that mothers are children’s primary attachment figure whereas a greater distance between fathers and their children occurs; the gender and role theory link differences in child rearing to male and female characteristics (e.g., expressiveness and instrumentality) with the traditional mother role as caring figures and fathers taking on the role of authority figure and family provider. The literature also indicates that differences in parenting between mothers and fathers may arise if one parent wants to compensate for the other parent (Meteyer and Perry-Jenkins 2009 ; Simons and Conger 2007 ). Nonetheless, our results revealed more similarities than dissimilarities in the parenting styles of both parents, despite small-to-moderate correlations between mother and father reports. These similarities may reflect an assortative process when choosing a partner, meaning that people tend to look for a partner with similar characteristics (Botwin et al. 1997 ; Buss 1984 , 1985 ; Larsen and Buss 2010 ). Similarity in parenting could also result from socialization processes (Simons and Conger 2007 ); through a process of mutual influence or reciprocity partners gradually form similar views and beliefs on parenting. The slight differences that emerged pertained particularly to a dissimilar position on positive parenting and rule setting. Although less pronounced, this finding aligns with the study by Meteyer and Perry-Jenkins ( 2009 ) that yielded congruent parenting styles for mothers and fathers of 7-year old children, except for a dissimilar position on self-reported parental warmth. Another study using adolescent reports of parenting (McKinney and Renk 2008 ) found more pronounced sex differences. Perhaps sex differences in parenting styles become more apparent as children grow older or when children’s perspectives are considered.

Results on associations between the joint parenting styles and child behavioral outcomes indicated that children of two authoritarian parents showed the poorest behavioral outcomes. These children were perceived as showing significantly more internalizing and externalizing problem behavior and less prosocial behavior compared to children of parents adopting other parenting styles. In contrast, children of two positive authoritative parents demonstrated the lowest levels of conduct problems. These findings could suggest an additive effect in which the impact of similar parenting styles is reinforced as having two authoritarian and two positive authoritative parents was associated with the least and most favorable child behavioral outcomes, respectively.

The obtained associations between parenting styles and child behavioral outcomes partially align with previous research. Firstly, it has repeatedly been demonstrated that an authoritative parenting style coincides most with positive developmental outcomes in children (e.g., Aunola et al. 2000 ; Baumrind 1967 , 1971 , 1989 , 1991 , Darling and Steinberg 1993 ; Dornbusch et al. 1987 ; Lamborn et al. 1991 ; Querido et al. 2002 ; Shucksmith et al. 1995 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ; Steinberg et al. 1992 ). Our findings confirm this pattern for the children having parents who employ an authoritative parenting style, but children with parents both using a positive authoritative parenting style even showed less conduct problems. This finding could point towards the value of rule setting – in contrast to disciplinary strategies – in preventing behavioral problems. However, as parenting is a reciprocal process with children and parents mutually influencing each other, it is equally likely that parents show less disciplinary strategies simply because their children pose fewer behavior problems as demonstrated by others (Kerr et al. 2012 ; Kuppens et al. 2009b ; Laird et al. 2003 ).

Secondly, previous research has repeatedly linked an authoritarian parenting style with externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in children (e.g., Hoeve et al. 2008 ; Lamborn et al. 1991 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ; Williams et al. 2009 ; Wolfradt et al. 2003 ). The present findings extend this body of research, although the association was most pronounced for externalizing behavior problems which may be due to children’s age (8 to 10 year olds). In younger children, having authoritarian parents may be more strongly associated with externalizing problem behavior, whereas the association with internalizing problems only emerges as children grow older. The shift in the nature of behavior problems as children age has been linked to the physical, cognitive and social maturation of children and the associated changes in social demands and expectations.

Thirdly, the neglectful parenting style has been associated with the poorest developmental outcomes in children (Baumrind 1991 ; Lamborn et al. 1991 ; Mandara and Murray 2002 ; Shucksmith et al. 1995 ; Steinberg et al. 1994 ). As this parenting style did not emerge in the present study, we were not able to model its association with child outcomes. Even children having parents who were less involved, but intrusive, were doing better than children having authoritarian parents. Findings did reveal that prosocial behavior and conduct problems were significantly lower for children having parents who adopted an intrusive parenting style compared to children of (positive) authoritarian parents. This findings coincides with a growing body of evidence on the deleterious of impact of psychologically controlling parenting in children and adolescents adopting a variable approach (Barber et al. 2005 ; Kuppens et al. 2013 ; Soenens et al. 2012 ), but likewise extends this evidence-base with person-oriented findings on the impact of an intrusive parenting style on child development.

Limitations and Future Research

Although the present study has several merits, it falls short in that only parent self-reports were used to assess parenting and child behavioral outcomes; children’s perspective on their parenting practices may be quite different. For example, Smetana ( 1995 ) found that adolescents perceived their parents as being more permissive and authoritarian compared to parents’ own view on the matter, whereas parents perceived themselves as being more authoritative than their adolescent children. Although a significant convergence between child and parent reports on parenting dimensions has been established in elementary school (Kuppens et al. 2009a ), future research should explicitly take a multiple informant approach when identifying parenting styles as informant perspectives on parenting styles in this age period may differ. In a related vein, multiple informant assessments of child behavioral problems have been shown to be context–specific with differences occurring according to the context (e.g., home, school) that forms the basis for informant’s assessment (Achenbach et al. 1987 ). Involving informants other than parents in the assessment of child behavioral outcomes therefore seems particularly interesting in future research on parenting styles.

Furthermore, inspecting a normally developing sample generally results into a low occurrence of inadequate parenting practices and child behavioral problems. Studying parenting styles in a clinical sample could certainly supplement this view because more variation in parenting practices may yield more or different parenting styles. Hoeve et al. ( 2008 ) have conducted one of the few studies using a sample of children with a high or low risk of antisocial and behavioral problems; and they were able to identify a neglectful parenting style. In addition, the role of parental psychological control in identifying parenting styles may be more pronounced in a clinical sample; an issue that to date remains unresolved.

The present sample closely resembled the population distribution with regard to family composition and paternal educational level, but it was rather homogeneous for ethnicity and mothers were more highly educated. As such, the present findings may not generalize to minority groups or families with less educated mothers; an issue that should be resolved by future studies. For example, previous research has demonstrated that harsh punishment and psychological control are more common among lower SES parents (e.g., Eamon 2001 ; El‐Sheikh et al. 2010 ) and that Caucasian caregivers were more prevalent in an authoritative parenting style cluster (van der Horst and Sleddens 2017 ). The present study clearly complements the scarce body of research on naturally occurring joint parenting styles conducted in US samples, but additional research is needed to replicate these findings. Moreover, as parenting occurs within a cultural belief system that influences attitudes towards particular parenting practices (Durrant et al. 2003 ), cross-cultural research could further clarify the role of culture in identifying naturally occurring (joint) parenting styles incorporating three parenting dimensions. Finally, the cross-sectional associations among joint parenting styles and child outcomes should be complemented by longitudinal research to gain more insight into the directionality of these associations. Longitudinal research covering the entire childhood and adolescence period could also increase our understanding of age-of-child and sex-of parent differences in naturally occurring parenting styles.

Despite these limitations, this study adds to the literature by further empirically validating well-known parenting styles and by increasing our understanding of the role of parental psychological control and joint parenting. The overlap between harsh punishment and parental psychological control in congruent parenting styles and its unique role in the uninvolved parenting style suggests that this intrusive parenting dimension should be routinely considered in practice settings. We also found that adequate behavior controlling practices may be particularly interesting in preventing behavioral problems; and that not only an authoritarian but also a (psychologically) intrusive parenting style can impede upon child development.

Author Contributions

SK: designed and executed the study, conducted part of the data-analysis, and wrote the paper. EC: conducted the cluster analyses, and collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the KU Leuven (University of Leuven) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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429 Parenting Essay Topics & Examples

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🔮 Top 10 Parenting Topics to Write about

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Sometimes, finding the right idea is half the battle. It can be the case when it comes to writing about parenting. Topics on this subject can cover anything from parent-child relationships to children’s behavior and parenting styles. Thus, picking one good title to discuss, research, and write about can be essential. That’s why our experts have gathered this list of topics on parenting. Find your perfect idea on this page!

  • Discussing Boundaries with Kids.
  • Link Between Marriage and Children.
  • Choosing a Parenting Style.
  • When You Realize Yourself as a Parent.
  • Explaining Divorce to Children.
  • Important Aspects of Family.
  • How to Influence Your Teens.
  • Improving Parent-Child Relationships.
  • Steps to Adulthood.
  • Loveless Marriage vs. Single Parenthood.
  • Teenage Alcoholism: Parental Influence and How to Get Rid of Vice The teenagers are in the process of emulating or declining the parental guidance since they need their freedom and at the same time are trying to win the parental support and acceptance.
  • Psychological Effects of Parental Employment and Early Childcare Currently pneumonia is the most common cause of infant death, other major causes of death are: Congenital defects These are birth defects and they occur while the fetus is still in the womb, they affect […]
  • Parenting’s Skills, Values and Styles Subtopic 2: Parental Values and Attitudes That Accompany Stages in the Development of the Child Description of Concrete Experience: I learnt that in the early stages of development, the child is in most cases preoccupied […]
  • How Does Society View Single Parents? A single parent refers to one who cares for one or more children without the help of one of the biological parents of the child or children. It is therefore important to note that society […]
  • Are Parents Responsible for Their Children’s Behavior? Consequently, parents should create time for their children in order to establish a close relationship that can have a long influence on the child’s behavior.
  • Are Women Better Parents Than Men? Essay Another reason why women are better parents is that they are more conscious and conscientious to the needs of their children than men.
  • Parents Should Spank Their Children While some parents uphold spanking as the most appropriate mode of disciplining their children, others argue that inflicting physical pain to the child can lead to negative consequences in the future. The parents should be […]
  • Parents as Failed Role Models: A Doll’s House and Fight Club The drinking culture of parents revealed in the story of the Fight Club underscores the elements that increase children’s exposure to alcohol and drug taking.
  • Family Issues: Parents Should Stay at Home When They Have Babies When a family has a newborn baby, the choice to have one parent or both of them to stay at home to care for the infant during this crucial period is a family decision.
  • The Impact of Media on Adolescents, and the Roles Played by School and Parents Since media has a negative impact on adolescents, both teachers and parents have a role to play in addressing the resultant issues of media exposure on adolescents.
  • How Parents in Different Cultures Scaffold Their Children’s Learning Playing with the children is one of the most significant foundation for learning among young children, where learning of the child basically takes place through observations and associations with vastly skilled and highly developed members […]
  • Good Parent-Children Relationship Characteristics of the children compared to those of the parents can also influence the relationships between the parents and the children.
  • Adopted Children With Gay Parents Have Better Chances of Succeeding Consequently, gay parents taking care of adopted children tend to build a strong attachment with their children and other adoptive and heterosexual parents who are sharing the same experience and vision for their children.
  • The Three Parenting Styles This style of parenting is where the parents let their children to make decisions on their own. The good thing about this style is the fact that communication is always open and parents are able […]
  • Role of Parents in Physical Education and Sport The involvement of parents in physical education and sports is viewed differently in regard to how it affects the child’s participation in sports even later in life.
  • Effects of a Parental Death on Younger Children The impacts of paternal and maternal death on young children are premised on the child’s health, school enrollment and educational attainment of the child in comparison to adverse poverty.
  • Four Styles of Parenting The authors continue to explain that parenting styles are affected by children’s and parents’ dispositions and mainly based on the influence of one’s culture, traditions and origins. The four types of parenting styles include Authoritarian […]
  • Are Peers More Important Than Parents During the Process of Development? On the other hand, children need to understand that they are under the authority of the parents. In the life of a human being, most of his/her time is spent with peers and not the […]
  • How Divorce and Single Parenting Affects Children With the disturbances in the homeostatic balances in the family, there is a need to set up a new balance in at least the following important areas: The loving relationships between the single parent and […]
  • Parents’ Influence on a Child Essay: How Parents Affect Behavior and Development Education level of the parents If the parents are well educated, they ought to understand the importance of education and will encourage their child to study better and up to high levels.
  • Cooperation Between Teachers and Parents To guarantee the parents’ responsiveness and interest in the children’s activities, it is necessary to inform them about all the significant events and children’s successes.
  • Parental Care and Responsibilities In such a case, it is only logical for both parties to be involved in fending for, and taking care of the family.
  • Single-Parent Families The chief materials that are to be used in the proposed experiment are the measurement scale to evaluate changes in adolescents’ attitudes towards single-parent families and the source of information about single-parent households.
  • Gay Marriage and Parenting Despite these difficulties, same-sex partners deserve the right to get married and legitimize their relationships for the benefit of their children.
  • Parent Involvement and Educational Outcomes The family is a moving system meaning that it copes with changes that come along, but in the process relevantly maintain a stable positive effect on the children’s academic performance.
  • Should Justin Ellsworth’s Parents Have Been Given Access to His Email? However, the character of email as the electronic correspondence and as a box for saving the private files, letters, and photographs prevents researchers and specialists from concluding strictly about the laws and ethical norms which […]
  • Harsh Parenting: Emotion Regulation and Aggression In addition, the studies establish the relationship between parenting and personality of a child as well as decisions they make in life. In the Heidgerken and Hughes study, the subjects were of different races.
  • Harsh parenting in relation to child emotion regulation and aggression. The researcher’s question was: “examining children’s emotion regulation and aggression in mediating the effect of harsh parenting”. The main conclusion shows existence of a relationship between harsh parenting and aggression in a child.
  • Parents’ Influence on the Life of the Main Characters This is one of the main aspects that should be identified because it illustrates in the difference in the worldviews of Toby, Nell, and Eva.
  • Social Network and Personal Loss Among Young Adults With Mental Illness and Their Parents: A Family Perspective This leaves the parents of young adults with mental illness depressed and hopeless. In fact, young adults with mental illness and their parents need support from all members of the society.
  • Parental Issues in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Reading the Science of Law Into a Cautious Tale About the Return Into the Lapse of Nature When Literature Meets Jurisdiction: The Mother, the Father and the Child As it has been mentioned above, the play incorporates the elements of a moral dilemma concerning who the parent of a child should be […]
  • The Relationship Between Parental Influence and Juvenile Delinquency Parents that do not allow their children to play with their neighbors, or discourage their children from associating with particular families lead to the children developing a negative attitude towards the families.
  • How Do Teenagers Deal With Problems and Consequence Without Parent’s Support? This is because the parents are not in a position to be of good guidance during the period of the problems and they are not reliable and therefore teenagers tend to rely on themselves.
  • Freakonomics and Parenting: A Position Paper The claim that has been extracted for the focus states that parenting cannot alone predict the future of a child and that the genes of parents can best predict the future. The economists have claimed […]
  • Effects of Parental Promotion of the Santa Myth The Santa myth might lead to a decrease in the trust that children have in their parents. The reason for this is that the parents, who often have the full trust of their children, are […]
  • Parent Involvement Interview The teacher notes, “the Children’s daily report is effective means of communication between the class teacher and the parent because both parties must comment on a daily basis about the learner”.
  • A Dysfunctional Behavior Involving a Drunkard Parent The most immediate response to the behavior will be a positive reinforcement of classical conditioning which refers to a method of learning where the conditioned response is supposed to initiate the occurrence of an unconditioned […]
  • How Does the Gender of Parent Matters? In response to the controversial debate about the role of gender in parenting, this article contains a review of 81 studies that explore the role of gender in parenting.
  • Chinese Mothers and Their Incredible Parenting Despite the fact that there are a number of peculiar features of the Chinese upbringing to consider, though, the idea of pushing a child to his/her limits does not seem reasonable either.
  • What Defines Parental Techniques and Strategies: The Case of Soccer Moms However, it seems that Crohn’s idea of positive stepmothering is more relatable to the topic, since the technique of Chinese mothers, in fact, proves positive and does not seem to have any tangible effects on […]
  • The Relationship Between Shin and His Parents. Escape From Camp 14 One of the most important details is that the rulers of the prison camp deliberately made people hostile to one another.
  • The Mothers Who Are Not Single: Striving to Avoid Poverty in Single-Parent Families In the present-day world, single-parent families are under a considerable threat due to the lack of support and the feeling of uncertainty that arises once one of the spouses leaves, whether it is due to […]
  • Parents Need Help: Restricting Access to Video Games If a parent watches video games in the presence of the children, he can not be able to restrict the children from doing the same.
  • Psychology: Parents’ Decisions on Having the Second Child In examining the character of the first child as the basis of this hypothesis, the author refers to the British Millennium Cohort Study and examines the effects of infant temperament, childhood socioemotional and behavioral characteristics […]
  • Parents Attitude Towards the Importance of Childhood Nutrition In most of the cases, the attitude of the parent towards childhood nutrition may be influenced by factors outside the scope of the parent.
  • Milwaukee Parental Choice Program The introduction of the choice programs and vouchers provoked a competition among traditional public schools and one of the basic questions related to the choice programs deals with the problem of positive or negative consequences […]
  • The Development Psychology: Parents’ Probability of Having Another Children In conjunction to this argument, the purpose of the study topic is to create awareness to the people in the society that the characteristics of the first born child affects siblings birth in the family […]
  • Plans for Caring for Elderly Parents Davis in his article, “Caring for the Elderly”, brings up 4 specific points that he states need to be addressed when taking care of the elderly, namely: the financial status of the parents that need […]
  • Principles of Parenting in Psychology The ego is the component of the psyche that interfaces and coordinates the super-ego and the id in the harmonization of the conflicting sexual instincts and cultural sexual constrains in the process of psychosexual development.
  • Personal Reflection on Parenting It is important for the parents to ensure that they are open-minded to their children. Therefore, it is important for the parents to ensure that they do not dictate everything to their children.
  • “Against the Grain: Couples, Gender, and the Reframing of Parenting” The soundness of this suggestion can be explored in regards to Gillian Ranson’s book Against the grain: couples, gender, and the reframing of parenting, concerned with exposing the actual motivations behind the process of parental […]
  • Comparison Parenting between Asian Parents and Western Parents Concerning authoritarian parenting, children are expected to be submissive to their parents and the demands of their parents; in this regard, the parents are supposed to be strict and emotionally detached.
  • Families and Young Children: What Constitutes Effective Parental Discipline? In advising parents about effectiveness, methods of instilling discipline in their children the relationship between the parents and the children, importance of good behaviours and consequences of bad behaviours are of great concern.
  • Parenting: Managing and Controlling Behavior of a Child The main objective of the author is to inform the public about the parenting needs and challenges faced by parents in bringing up children.
  • Why Chinese Parents Are Superior They deny their children many forms of popular leisure, are not shy to criticize them when they fail and drill them until they are perfect at whatever given task.’Western parents’ on the other hand, the […]
  • Parents and Families as Partners According to Morrison, this is the education and the knowledge acquired by both the parents and the family as a whole of how to bring up their children.
  • Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, And America’s Children The key concept of this reflective treatise is an explicit analysis of same sex marriage and parenting in order to establish possible reasons for their increasing number in the modern society and how the same […]
  • Helicopter Parents In the event of a problem, such parents are usually available to save the situation and ensure that the issue is solved amicably on behalf of the child.
  • Reflective Entry of “Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing Children, Parenting and the Family Series” and “Udaan” In the process, Rohan’s trauma turns him wild that he engages his father in a physical fight and exchange of insults.
  • Analysis of Psychoeducational Program for Parents of Dysfunctional Backgrounds The author disapproves of such a situation despite the fact that in some cases children are not suppose to side with their parents without questioning the legitimacy of their stance.
  • When Couples Become Parents The added responsibilities of parenthood lead to a permanent change in the relationship between the couple. Division of work and responsibility based on the gender may the source of initial problems in the transition to […]
  • Parental Differential Treatment and Favoritism As such, parents embrace differential treatment and favoritism of children based on age of the child, gender of the child, the personality of the child, or order of birth.
  • Problems Experienced by Children of Homosexual Parents The study intends to employ descriptive survey technique to collect data that will assist the researcher fulfill the objective of the study, namely to determine the problems and challenges facing children from homosexual family backgrounds.
  • Does Parental Involvement and Poverty Affect Children’s Education and Their Overall Performance? The discussion will look at the various ways in which parents are involved in the academic performance of children and also whether poverty affects the involvement of parents in the academic performance of their children.
  • Role of Parents in the Education of Young Children The paper will examine the role of parents in the education of young children. It is therefore, the conscientiousness of parents to provide these basic needs to their children.
  • Parental Involvement in Adolescent’s Life: Contributing to Identity Formation The aim of the paper will be to explore the role of active involvement of parents in raising their children through adolescence and the impact on the formation of identity.
  • How Children of Incarcerated Parents Are Affected Among these factors include: the living arrangement before incarceration of the parent, the degree by which the parent was involved in the life of the child before incarceration, the age of the children, the gender […]
  • Teach Your Parents Well In other words, parents’ education acts as a fundamental agent for parents to help their children in their studies through active discussion of the learning content.
  • The Effects of Parental Involvement on Student Achievement The scholars single out several elements of parental involvement, such as discussion of activities or particular interests of the child, discussion of those things which children studied during classes, attendance at school meetings, or participation […]
  • Abortion and Parental Consent This choice can also “snowball” into a political event if the government steps in to control the access to abortion, and the “terms” involved and required when terminating a pregnancy.
  • The Role of Parents in Children’s Life The effect that was brought up in the life of Lopez is that of a person who became bitter with life and looked forward to developing the life that he would value.
  • Relationship Between Parental Involvement and Children’s Motivation Parent will respect the teachers, the profession, the school and the teacher will perceive parents as supporters and partners in the provision of education to the students.
  • First Time Parenting The seminar is equally important to both the male and the female parents. It is also necessary for parents to evaluate the effectiveness of their parenting styles.
  • Should Parents Be Allowed to Choose the Characteristics of Their Children Through Genetic Manipulation? At the outset, genetic manipulation might be important to many parents as it trims down the prospects of grave infections in the newborn babies. The disadvantages of parents going for genetic manipulation seem to outweigh […]
  • Parenting for Healthy Emotional Development The development of emotions gives one the ability to be empathetic to others, handle conflicts in the right way, and understand the importance of regulating emotions.
  • Designing Educational Spaces: A Birth-to-Eighteen-Year-Old Training for a Rich Parent As for the scope of the research, it will be necessary to embrace the specifics of the development of the students of specified age.
  • “Dating and the Single Parent” by Deal Deal postulates some of the factors to consider during dating like its purpose, how to groom oneself and children, and the challenges that can be faced in the process. Pastors would provide the illustrations used […]
  • “Dating and the Single Parent” by Ron Deal The features involved in any premarital counseling include steps to bring the couples together, issues that entail the roles of the couples, occurrences of grounding the religious marriages, and the resources helping pastors during counseling.
  • Effective Responses to Challenging Parental Behaviors Additionally, the people present at the time of a confrontation can be dispersed and leave behind only the ones the parent and the child are comfortable around.
  • Single Parents Raise Kids Similarly, the research by DeJean et al.reports that the attitudes toward single parenting are negative in regard to the parent’s stability and the personalities of the children.
  • Parent–Child and Sibling Relationships In the literature on quality of sibling relationships, the focus has been made on studying psychological implications of sibling relationships, variations in sibling relationships in societies, and the implications of their successful and unsuccessful development.
  • Parenting Variables in Antenatal Education In turn, the duration of breastfeeding is the timeframe within which the mother breastfeeds the child. This is one of the assumptions that are going to be tested in this research.
  • Parental Involvement in Education From the analysis of the positive relation, research studies make of two-parent families and student achievement, it is correct to note that parental involvement in two-parent family setups is more preferred to single-parent family setups.
  • Suggestions for Future Strategies in Analysis of Parental Involvement in School Administration The objectives of this proposal include the following: Identify the current roles of stakeholders; Trace the tendencies in academic administration; Suggest possible ways for combining the roles of parents with educating activities; Analyse the experience […]
  • Importance of Parenting Concepts In this case, the child is aware of the conflict transpiring between parents and may be torn between whom to follow and who not to.
  • Different Parenting Styles The disadvantage of this style of parenting is that it over-estimates the value of discipline and forgets to highlight the importance of independence and self reliance, which is vital for maturity of an adolescent child.
  • Parents’ Involvement and Factors Important for Children’s Growth and Development The concentration on the elements which should be associated with the start of the children’s life is essential because each parent should choose the ideal combination of factors to provide a child with the harmonious […]
  • The Lived Experiences of Native American Indian Women Parenting off the Reservation On the same note, the study will try to bring determine the attitudes and perceptions that women have with regards to raising their children on and off the reservations.
  • Children Obesity Issues and Role of Parents in It The US tops the list of countries in the world with the highest rate of people with obesity, and it has reached to the extent that this public health problem threatens to overtake smoking as […]
  • Parenting Behavior Supporting Obesity in School-Aged Children The researchers conducted a study to examine whether the feeding behaviors and parenting styles influenced the body weight statuses of school-aged children.
  • What Is a Parent? In the cases wherein the egg and sperm do not come from the couple, and a surrogate is used to carry the child, who is the real parent of the child?
  • Parents Conferences Role in Education It is important to inform the parent about the scheduled conference with the help of the phone call and ask to propose any changes in the schedule with the help of the e-mail.
  • Academic Performance and Parental Influence This paper will explicate the idea that the approaches, used by Chinese mothers to foster the performance of their children in academics, are effective.
  • Chinese Parenting Style in Raising Successful Children The parenting approach by a large number of Western parents influences children to embrace the notion that their abilities have limits and promotes the development of characters who quit on every difficult task.
  • Parents Need Help on Snow Days At first, it is important to examine the use of ethos or the appeal to the credibility of the speaker. For example, in the beginning, the writer attempts to secure the trust of the readers […]
  • Child Obesity and Parental Negligence Purpose of the study The proposed study is aimed at establishing the influence of neglect on the part of the parents to childhood obesity.
  • Children Learning Activities and Parental Involvement The parent can ask the child to predict events in the book, explain something or describe somebody. The parent puts books and encourages the child to choose a book and tell about its content.
  • Parents Impact on Children Obesity – Nutrition This paper looks at the impact of parents on the prevalence of obesity among children, the implication of taxation on the prevalence of obesity and the impact of obesity in countries around the world.
  • The Teacher Speech With Parents These instances are broadly meant to ensure that the parents get the best understanding of the information concerning the school and more importantly enable them to fully participate in the education of their children.
  • Cross-Cultural Study: Parenting and Psychological Disorders in Adolescents Dwairy seeks to ascertain the hypothesis that the parental factors and their influence on the health of the adolescents differ across the cultures.
  • Styles of Parenting as a Psychological Strategies In the third style of parenting, which is indulgent parenting, the parent is responsive but not demanding. In this form of parenting, the parent is detached and uninvolved.
  • Why Are Young People Living Longer With Their Parents? When referring to a young adult, who is “living at home with their parents,” “living at parental home,” “stays with parents,” the research means that the mentioned adult is a child or a stepchild of […]
  • Parenting and Its Major Styles Relations between the children and their parents are the basic criteria on which the development of the child is based. In the course of a month or two, an infant begins to show the affection […]
  • Children Mental Illness and Its Effects on Parents There is a dearth of research on the effects of childhood mental illnesses on the parents. In this view, the impact of childhood mental illnesses on the lives of the parents appears to be underestimated.
  • Parents’ Depression and Toddler Behaviors The article “Longitudinal Contribution of Maternal and Paternal Depression to Toddler Behaviors: Interparental Conflict and Later Depression as Mediators” by Sheehan, Rebecca, Michael, Robin, and Stuart tested the effects of paternal depression on toddler behaviors.
  • Parent Interview and Infant Observation Describe your diet regimen during pregnancy The mother ensured a steady and consistent intake of a balanced diet during pregnancy. According to her, the intake of a balanced diet helped in reducing the effects and […]
  • Parental Involvement in Teenage Relationships Parents can monitor their child’s academic progress, engage them in conversations about romance and relationships, and give them career advice and guidance. Parental involvement in their children’s academic and social lives helps parents to understand […]
  • Parent-Teacher Interaction Strategies Despite this fundamental importance, the reality on the ground is that these interactions are often feared by parents and educators alike due to a variety of issues that need to be understood in order to […]
  • Parental Responsibility for Childhood Obesity It is widely known and proven by numerous studies that parents have the most significant influence on their children’s lifestyles, especially their eating habits; in addition to the fact that children copy everything their parents […]
  • Parenting Methods: Pros and Challenges Since the child is born traditionally and in a natural way, they tend to have a sense of belonging and acceptance.
  • Good Parents Traits and Raising Children – Psychology Some of the traits of a good parent include being a good listener, readiness to guide, self-discipline, setting time aside to spend with the children, and meeting the physical needs of children. In addition, good […]
  • Aspects of Parenting Infants and Toddlers It is obvious, that there is a great number of different approaches to the issue of development of an infant and the author suggest only some of them.
  • Parenting Styles: Advantages and Disadvantages Kids do what they are made to do because they want to escape the punishment. As parents support children, they become independent and strong-willed.
  • Group Therapy for Pregnant and Parenting Teenagers It is important for the girls to understand that life still has meaning in spite of their circumstances. If the girls are able to develop a positive perception of life, they will be motivated to […]
  • Association of Parenting Factors With Bullying The lack of the parental support is the main cause of students’ deviant behaviors at school, including the cases of bullying, and those parents who pay much attention to developing their career cannot provide the […]
  • Parenting: Learning that an Adolescent is Gay or Lesbian On the parents’ end, Saltzburg notes that feelings of shame, loss, guilt, cognitive and emotional dissonance are some of the major forces that have, so far, been reported to regulate the lives of parents in […]
  • Cartoons, Young Children, and Parental Involvement This paper claims that parents should be more aware of the type of animations that are being watched by their children and need to become involved in their children’s cartoon experience; the following sections present […]
  • Parenting Styles of Young Adults The authoritative parenting style generates intrinsic motivation in students, which enables them to have better academic performance. Different studies have indicated that better academic performance is not confined to the authoritative parenting style.
  • Parents’ Education and Children’s Achievement The researchers also established that a focus on the role of student characteristics undermined the relationship between the educational background of the parents and a student’s academic performance.
  • Parental Involvement in School-to-Work Transition Therefore, it is essential to engage parents in the post-school transition of their children with hearing impairments to make the transition easier for SHI and improve their postsecondary outcomes and to develop new, effective practices […]
  • Children Reading Skills: Parents and Babysitters Effect This research aims to determine the role of parents and child caregivers in developing a child’s reading style; from the data to be collected and analyzed, an advisory guide to parents will be developed to […]
  • “Parental Choice” of Son-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law The researcher came up with two categories of societies from this data: a category constituting of predominantly agricultural-pastoral societies and a category that was predominantly involved in hunting and gathering.
  • Parents Challenges: Raising Bilingual Children The problem is significant due to the lack of parents’ knowledge about the importance of language development and the absence of efforts on the part of educators with regards to teaching bilingual children.
  • Parent-Teen Relations in the United States and Denmark In this regard, the main aim of the given study is to compare and contrast the main behavioral patterns peculiar to these states and make certain conclusions. These are the level of authority, independence, and […]
  • Parents and Community Involvement In 2013, Abu Dhabi launched the “Abu Dhabi Reads” program, which is a program for students and children to be acquainted with national and world literature and enhances their reading and writing skills.
  • Adolescent Self-Perception and Parental Care Based on this, we will analyze the roles and self-perceptions of teenagers, as well as adults’ perceptions of adolescents, and the parent-child communication styles that are prevalent in the society to understand what communication patterns […]
  • Aljoudah School: Teachers and Students’ Parents Experiences Nonetheless, the pricing policies do not have a significant effect on the way the participants see the school and the performance of teachers and students.
  • Emotions in Parent of a Child With Special Needs It is due to this that parents who have children that have special needs are often relegated to the role of a caregiver resulting in them having to bathe, feed and even change the clothes […]
  • Parental Non-Involvement in Children’s Education The articles under consideration reveal the problem of the involvement of parents in children’s education. The second part of the article is devoted to the ways of parents’ involvement.
  • Parental Involvement and Children’s Aspirations Thus, the primary research question aimed to be answered in the study is whether there is a relationship between parental involvement and children’s aspirations, achievements, and successes with the focus on the context of immigrant […]
  • Nuclear Family vs Single Parenting Effects on Child The family is the main environment that contributes to the behavior of a person. The family environment in which these individuals are is the key contributor to the character and behavior of individuals.
  • Marital and Parental Subsystems in Family In a conventional family system, these members include the husband and wife, the siblings, and the relatives who make up the extended family.
  • Parents’ Reasons Allowing Their Newborns to Die In the aspect of medical intervention, parents have the responsibility of making decisions, which promote the growth and development of their newborns.
  • Parental Participation in Educational Activities The given report is created by Child Trends Data Bank, an organization that fulfills the examination and monitoring of the factors that influence the development of children.
  • Parenting, Divorce, Dating in the Dear Abby Letter The paper at hand discusses the problem of family relations aligning the course materials to the selected letter from the “Dear Abby” rubric.
  • Adolescents’ Decision-Making and Parenting Concerns Parents are to give their children freedom of choice in love life and dating as anyway, teenagers will do whatever they want but without parental notification.
  • Why Young People Live Longer With Their Parents The graph below shows the trend of the population of youths who live with their parents in the United States. A researcher from the Pew Research Center argued that unemployment contributes significantly to the increasing […]
  • Teaching Project: The Tube-Fed Children’s Parents At the second one, the children were introduced to the food to be consumed orally, and the calories they could not manage to take through the mouth were given to them by the tube.
  • Communication Between Parents and Teenagers Communication between parents and their children, especially teenagers, is an ongoing process that can be developed and modified in order to create a sense of openness and support that will become a basis for the […]
  • Parents’ Participation in Cultural Activities To address the problem of parents’ involvement in cultural activities, this paper will investigate the independent variable of parents’ education level and the dependent variable of parents’ participation in cultural activities.
  • Parental Narcissism and Adolescent Development It can be hypothesized that the higher the level of narcissism in parents, the higher the level of narcissism and depression in adolescents.
  • Young Adults Increasingly Moving in With Parents The author explores the influence of the economic situation in the country on the current choices of the Millennials in terms of their housing problems caused by the variety of seemingly non-related economic factors.
  • Parental Control and Young Adult Criminal Behavior The authors of the article were able to analyze the connection between the level of parental control and misbehavior by means of a nationwide longitudinal dataset.
  • Parent-Child Relationship in Early Modern England Moreover, the influence that parents had was significant, and it would not be an easy task for the government to monitor and review all the cases of unfair treatment. The author suggests that parents loved […]
  • Teacher-Parent Collaboration in Special Education One of the current trends in special education is the emphasis on the collaboration between the parents or caregivers of children with special needs and the providers of special education interventions.
  • Parental Care and Its Role in Poor Families The findings of this analysis will explain the protective factors that may minimize the effects of living in poverty on infant development.
  • Child Parenting Guide and Challenges Some parents call their children names and this can be very destructive to the child’s self-esteem. The advice that Brett gives parents is that a parent should only buy what is basic and helpful to […]
  • Spoiled Children and Parenting Mistakes However, in order to bring a child who will earn the respect of the society at present and in the future, it is important for the parents to reverse this trend in spoiled brats by […]
  • Self-Concept, Parental Labeling, and Delinquency The key objective is to point out broader determinants to specify the self and argue the dependence of appraisal from the standpoint of other people on delinquency.
  • Parenting Children With Learning Disabilities A number of parents also feel worthless since they get an impression that the respective learning disabilities portrayed in their children are due to their own genetic malformations.
  • Authoritarian vs. Permissive Parenting Styles Authoritarian and permissive styles are parenting approaches that are commonly used and that have varied effects on children because they approach the concepts of discipline, warmth, nurturance, and communication differently.
  • Children’s Success Requirements in Parents’ Views Lastly, the interviewer and the questions on the questionnaire were not meant to inflict any form of harm to the respondents.
  • Parenting Styles: China vs. North America Since Chinese parenting styles pay critical emphasis on the role of parents in shaping their children’s outcomes, it may be viewed as better compared to the North American style that only focuses much on self-esteem.
  • Parental Investment Theory In this theory, Trivers linked the levels of parental investment in their offspring with the potential of this offspring’s survival in the future, as well as the parental ability to invest in a new offspring […]
  • Computer Literacy: Parents and Guardians Role Filtering and monitoring content on the internet is one of the most important roles that parents in the contemporary world should play, and it reveals that parents care about their children.
  • Parenting Style and the Development First of all, the effectiveness of the authoritative style has been repeatedly confirmed in the relevant literature; in fact, it is now considered to be the most effective of the three styles.
  • Children’s Right to Be Parented by the Best Parent If we attempt to answer what the parent really is, we are likely to touch upon the assumptions about the grounds, on which the right to parent a child is based.
  • Vegan Parents’ Influence on Their Children’s Diet The first reason why a vegan diet should not be imposed on children is that every parent should pay close attention to the needs of their toddlers.
  • School Communication and Interaction With Parents Communication in education is the connection between teachers, their students, and the inverse process of connecting parents to the school life of their children.
  • Parenting Styles and Academic Motivation Lyengar and Brown conducted a study about the correlation between the academic achievements among the students and the parenting styles. This report paper tries to synthesize the literature review that surrounds the influence of parenting […]
  • Saudi Parents’ Perceptions of Early Intervention
  • The Physiological Impact of Autism on Children and Parents
  • Infant-Parent Attachment: Secure or Insecure?
  • Sources of Conflict Between Parents and Teenagers
  • Child Counseling and Parenting Problems
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences and Their Forms
  • Group Counseling for Children of Addicted Parents
  • Grandparents as Parental Figures in Modern Families
  • Poverty in American Single-Parent Families
  • Parenting Styles and Authority Problems
  • Being a Father: Parenting Roles and Experiences
  • Cybernetics and Parenting Styles in Family Therapy
  • Parent-Child Perceptions: Sexual Discussions
  • Education Effect on Cultural Practices of Parents
  • Parental Uninvolvement in Personality Development
  • “The Economic Benefits of Paid Parental Leave” by C. Miller
  • Disabled Child Guidance Through the Parents’ Eyes
  • Parent Volunteering in the Early Education Centers
  • Parents as Teachers Program From Educator’s View
  • Parenting Strategies for Early Childhood Development
  • Productive Communication With Parents
  • Developing an Effective Parenting
  • The Importance of Right Parenting in America
  • Abbreviated Plans: Parent or Guardian Incarceration
  • Parenting Behaviors Throughout Child’s Life
  • Parent Education and Discipline-Training Programs
  • Relations of Parents and Teenagers
  • Why I Am a Good Son to My Parents
  • Rights of Parents of Students With Disabilities
  • Children With Disabilities and Parental Mistreatment
  • Family, Marriage, and Parenting Concepts Nowadays
  • Parenting, Child Development, and Socialization
  • Parental Responsibilities and Related Conflicts
  • Mental Illness in Children and Its Effects on Parents
  • Parental Disclosure of Artificial Conception
  • Low-Functioning Parents: Resolving the Issue
  • Parenting Topic in Developmental Psychology
  • Schools and Parents’ Fight Against Cyberbullying
  • Parenting Education Programs: Pros and Cons
  • Discharging Minors in a Psychiatric Facility While Parents Feel Unsafe
  • Parental Report of Vaccine Receipt in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Parental Divorce and Its Impact on Teenagers
  • Parental Hopes and Standards for Sons and Daughters
  • Parents’ Role in Youth Probation Outcomes
  • Parental Refusal of Treatment: Ethical Decision-Making
  • Parental Beliefs’ Impact on Children’s Therapy
  • Parenting in “Hey, Kiddo” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • Antibiotic and Analgesic Self-Medication Practices Among Parents for Childhood Problems
  • Parent-School Online Communication Platforms
  • Parent Involvement in the Elementary School Setting
  • Single Parents in the Alcoholic Classification
  • Parent-Child Relations in Poetry
  • Parental Roles and Changes in the Last 50 Years
  • Parenting Style in Japan and USA
  • African-American Community: Parental Involvement
  • Problems of Learning and Mutual Understanding of Students, Teachers and Parents
  • A Critical Review of Corporal Punishment as a Form of Parental Discipline
  • Parenting a Child with a Disability Study Books Used in Class
  • Critical Issues in Education: Parenting and its Implication on Student’s Achievement
  • The Idea of Gay Parenting
  • Male and Female Parents: Is There a Difference?
  • Fine and Lee on Psychoeducational Program for Parents
  • Communication Plan for Students, Teachers and Parents
  • Parental Responsibility for Crimes of Children
  • The Relationships Between Physiotherapists and Educators, Parents, and Service Providers
  • Parental Intervention for Abnormal Pubescence
  • Single Parent and Child Language Development
  • Respect, Honor, & Love Children for Their Parents
  • Parents Influence Sexuality, Based on Two Novels
  • Hamlet’s Parental Relationships
  • Parental Rejection Effects on Homosexuals
  • Parental Rights Terminating: Reasons and Procedures
  • Why Spanking Is Acceptable in Parenting
  • Parental Rejection and Its Severe Consequences
  • “Home, School and Playroom” by Claire Etaugh: The Combined Effects and Interactions Among Parental Child-Rearing Practices
  • The Struggles of Single Parenting
  • Teaching Parents of Schoolchildren on Sex and Sexuality
  • Pilgrims and Puritanism Parenting
  • Parenting Training Classes: A Psychology Experiment
  • Should Parents Use Monitoring Software?
  • “Blood Wedding” by F. G. Lorca and “The Metamorphosis” by F. Kafka: The Impact of Roles of Parents
  • Why Single Parents Should Stop Working?
  • Parent-Child Relationships in “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker
  • The Issue of Parents’ Censorship
  • Behavioral Parenting Training to Treat Children With ADHD
  • Parents’ Duty to Monitor Children’s Online Activities
  • Concern-Based Adoption Model in the Learning Process
  • Gender-Schema and Social Cognitive Theory in Parenting Styles
  • Lone Parents: Social Work and Exclusion
  • Parenting in Battered Women: The Effects of Domestic Violence
  • The Influence of Parents on Schoolchildren and Students
  • Incarceration of a Parent or a Guardian of Recidivist
  • College Planning Brochure for Parents
  • Family Systems Theory: Parenting and Family Diversity Issues
  • “When Couples Become Parents” by Bonnie Fox
  • Toddlers and Tiaras: Have Parents Gone Too Far
  • The Parent-Involvement Research
  • “Gender Differences in Work-Family Guilt in Parents of Young Children”: Quantitative Research Critique
  • Parent Interview: Through the Generations
  • Parent-Teacher-Youth Mediation Program Analysis
  • Teens Talking With Their Partners About Sex: The Role of Parent Communication
  • Ethical Dilemma: Parental Notification
  • The Challenges of Teen Parenting: Socioeconomic Consequences and Child Development Risks
  • Parental Agony in Natal Alienation in Chesnutt’s The Sheriff’s Children & Harper’s The Slave Mother
  • Disability Equality of a Disabled Lone Parent
  • Care Needs of Children Whose Parents Have Incurable Cancer
  • Conjugal Visits: Programs for Inmate Parents
  • Music in Parental Participation in Pediatric Laceration
  • Parenting Styles Concept Comprehensive Study
  • Vicarious Liability of Parents for Their Children
  • Parental Consent in Minors’ Abortions
  • Teen Pregnancy and Early Parental Care
  • Jennifer Morse: Parents or Prisons
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences With Incarcerated Parents
  • Positive Parenting Tips for Young Child’s Safety
  • Parent-School Communication
  • Technology and Parenting: Gaming and Social Media
  • Success: How to Parent?
  • The Importance of Parenting Aspects
  • Childhood Obesity and Parental Education
  • Assessment and Communicating With Parents
  • Parents’ Perception of Attending an ADHD Clinic
  • Parenting Styles and Their Influence on Adulthood
  • Relationship Between Parents and Children
  • The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters
  • Parents’ Immunization Decisions and Complex Issues in Toddlers
  • Autism and Vaccination Refusal Management Among Somalian Parents
  • Parent Involvement and Student Achievement
  • Parent’s Right to Travel Out of the Country
  • Analysis of Bullying and Parenting Style
  • What Is a Concept Good Parent?
  • Infantilization: Adult Children Living With Parents
  • Parenting Styles and Overweight Status
  • What Every New Parent Should Know
  • Collectivist and Individualist Parents
  • Parent-Child Relationships in Later Life
  • A Quality All Parents Should Cultivate
  • Parents Who Teach Their Kids About Self-Worth
  • Single, Low-Income, or Homeless Mothers’ Health and Parenting Problems
  • Empathy in Parent-Child Relationships
  • Parenting Models in Modern Family Unit of Emigrants in the USA
  • The Difference in Parenting an Adolescent
  • Parenting and Its Influence on Adult Children
  • Parental Intervention on Self-Management of an Adolescent With Diabetes
  • The Relationship Between Single-Parent Households and Poverty
  • Raising the Standards for Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • The Sandwich Generation: Caring for Children and Parents
  • The Sandwich Generation: Impact on the Parent Caring for Children and Parents
  • “Home, School, and Community Relations”: The Complex Role Nature of Parenting
  • The Experience of Parents of Children With Disabilities
  • Children and Parent’s Adjustment Process
  • Impact of Free Childcare on Parents Willingness to Go Back to Work or College
  • The Relationships Between Parents and Children and Keys to Their Success
  • Parenting Counseling in the New York City Community
  • How Parents of Color Transcend Nightmare of Racism
  • Conditioning in Parenting: Getting Kids to Do Chores
  • Parenthub as Resource for Parent-Child Relationships Building
  • Parental Corporal Punishment of Young Children
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Parenting Style
  • How Does Having a Child with Autism Affects Parents’ Lifestyle?
  • A Generational Dance: How Parents and Kids Relate
  • Case Study: Parental Dispute
  • The Impact of Parental Incarceration and Foster Children to Delinquency
  • Adolescent Shoplifting: Infographics for Parents
  • Should the Church Baptize Babies of Commited Christian Parents?
  • Parental Differences in Eastern and Western Cultures
  • The Four Basic Parenting Practices
  • Parental Control as a Guarantee of Children’s Safety on the Internet
  • Minors Seeking Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Without Parental Consent
  • How Ineffective Parenting Affects a Child’s Future
  • Parental Leaves for Both Parents in the US and Other Countries
  • Teachers-Parents Partnership and Children’s Literature
  • “Parental Characteristics and Offspring Mental Health” by Jami
  • Education for Parents of Children with Cancer
  • Parental Role in Adolescents’ Phone Addiction
  • Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder: A Guide for Parents
  • Ethical Dilemma of Parental Refusal From Children’s Vaccination
  • Child-Parent Relationships in Contemporary International Cinema
  • “Black Parents Ask for a Second Look” by Adjei & Minka
  • Old-Young and Parent-Child Relationships in Early Chinese Society
  • The Partnership With Parents and Community
  • Parental Education on Overweight and Obese Children
  • Safety Promotion for Parents and Caregivers of Infants
  • The Role of Parental Involvement in School Life
  • Parental Knowledge, Attitudes, and Cultural Beliefs Regarding Oral Health
  • Parents’ Role in Children-Technology Relations
  • Good Parenting and Strong Social Development
  • Parents’ Involvement in Schoolwork
  • Society and Parenting: Survey Results
  • Gay Parenting and the Issue of Adoption
  • Western and Eastern Parenting Styles
  • Foster Parenting Together: Foster Parent Couples
  • The Five Major Parenting Modes and the Most Effective Parenting Style
  • Parenting Techniques and Their Influences on Their Child’s Behavior and Habits
  • Family, Parenting and Child Conduct Problems
  • Social and Legal Obstacles of Gay and Lesbian Parenting
  • Work-Family Conflict and Mindful Parenting: The Mediating Role of Parental Psychopathology Symptoms and Parenting Stress in a Sample of Employed Parents
  • Parenting and Family: What’s Intergenerational Transmission
  • Valuable Strategies for Parenting an Impulsive Child
  • The Correlation Between Cyberbullying and Parenting Style, the Gender Differences in Cyberbullying
  • Same-Sex Couples, Adoption, and Parenting
  • Gender Equality and Inequality in Parenting Other Chapter
  • Parenting Styles According to Social Class
  • Authoritarian Parenting- Negative Effects of Authoritarian Parenting
  • The Relationship Between Teen Pregnancy and Parenting
  • Health and Social Services for Pregnant and High-Risk Parenting Teens
  • Socioeconomic Status and Parenting Styles
  • Different Parenting Styles and Their Effect on Children’s Behavior
  • Economic Deprivation, Maternal Depression, Parenting and Children’s Cognitive and Emotional Development in Early Childhood
  • Single Parenting Versus Double Parenting
  • Low-Income Single Mothers’ Community Violence Exposure and Aggressive Parenting Practices
  • Parenting Stress and Emotional or Behavioral Problems in Adolescents
  • Relationships Between Parenting Style and Self Reliance
  • Homeownership and Parenting Practices: Evidence From the Community Advantage Panel
  • Parenting Styles: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and Uninvolved
  • Parenting and Education During Early Childhood
  • Effective Parenting-Early Development, Various Parenting Styles and Discipline
  • Implementing Parenting Programmes Across Cultural Contexts: A Perspective on the Deficit Narrative
  • The Social Norm for Parenting and the Three Classic Parenting Patterns
  • Family Income, Parenting Styles, and Child Behavioral-Emotional Outcomes
  • Parenting Stress Among Child Welfare Involved Families: Differences by Child Placement
  • Bidirectional Longitudinal Relations Between Parent and Grandparent and Co-parenting Relationships
  • Relationship Between Parenting Styles and Anxiety Sensitivity
  • Attachment Theory and Maternal Drug Addiction: The Contribution to Parenting Interventions
  • Ideal Family and Parenting Configurations
  • Social Behavior, Crime, and Poor Parenting
  • The Psychosocial Variables Associated With the Parenting a Child Having Special Needs
  • Attachment and Parental Reflective Functioning Features in ADHD: Enhancing the Knowledge on Parenting Characteristics
  • Adoptive Parenting and Attachment: Association of the Internal Working Models Between Adoptive Mothers and Their Late-Adopted Children During Adolescence
  • Does Strength-Based Parenting Predict Academic Achievement?
  • What Are the Different Parenting Types Used by Families?
  • How Does Social Class Influence Parenting and Child Development?
  • How Has Parenting Changed Over the Generations?
  • What Challenges Do Parents Face by Their Gender or Sexual Identities?
  • Are the Major Causes of Juvenile Crime Lack of Parenting?
  • How Does Culture Affect Parenting Styles?
  • What Are the Effect of Bad Parenting?
  • What Unites All Parenting Styles?
  • Are Testosterone Levels and Depression Risk Linked Based on Partnering and Parenting?
  • How Parenting Styles Around With How Culture and Religion?
  • When Children Rule: Parenting in Modern Families?
  • How Has Technology Impacted Parenting?
  • When Behavioral Barriers Are Too High or Low – How Timing Matters for Parenting Interventions?
  • Does Parenting Style Matter?
  • Does Mothers Self-Construal Contribute to Parenting Beyond Socioeconomic Status and Maternal Efficacy?
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Jim Taylor Ph.D.


Parenting: decision making, help your children become good decision makers..

Posted October 19, 2009 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults. Decision making is crucial because the decisions your children make dictate the path that their lives take.

Teaching your children to make their own decisions has several benefits. When they make a good decision, they can gain the greatest amount of satisfaction and fulfillment because they chose it. When your children make bad decisions, they may suffer for it, but they can learn from the experience and make better decisions in the future.

Popular culture wants to take your children's decisions out of their hands—and yours—and make your children's decisions for them. Popular culture short-circuits your children's decision making by pushing their "hot buttons" related to peer acceptance, physical attractiveness , and stimulation. When these hot buttons are pushed, children who are poor decision makers are ready prey to the inevitable bad decisions when they listen to popular culture.

Making Bad Decisions

Whenever I speak to a group of young people, I ask how many of them have ever done anything stupid in their lives. With complete unanimity and considerable enthusiasm, they all raise their hands. When I then ask how many of them will ever do anything stupid in the future, the response is equally fervent. I also ask children why they do stupid things. Their responses include:

  • I didn't stop to think.
  • It seemed like fun at the time.
  • I was bored .
  • Peer pressure .
  • I didn't consider the consequences.
  • To get back at my parents.

The fact is, it's part of your children's "job" to do stupid things. Bad decision making is an essential part of their road to maturity. A problem arises, however, if their poor decision making continues. This usually occurs when parents don't hold them responsible for their poor decisions, instead, bailing them out of the trouble their children get into. These children learn that they aren't responsible for their decisions and can continue to do stupid things without fear of consequences.

Raise Good Decision Makers

Encouraging your children to make their own decisions isn't as simple as saying, "You make the decision. You're on your own." Instead, ceding decision making to your children is an incremental process based on their age and maturity. It would be downright dangerous to give children complete latitude in their decision making. But you can begin to teach decision-making skills in small doses even with very young children.

For example, you wouldn't tell your children they can have any treat they want in a convenience store. They would be overwhelmed with the choices and paralyzed with indecision, or they would want everything in the store. What you would do is give them a choice among jawbreakers, licorice, and bubble gum (or, better yet, sesame sticks, fruit wraps, and yogurt peanuts) and they would then decide which treat they want.

As your children get older, you can expand the number of choices you give them. You can also increase the importance of the decisions they make—for example, what activities they participate in or when they choose to go to bed. With each decision, you want them to recognize whether their decisions were good or bad and that they're responsible for the consequences of their decisions. By making this connection, they can see that their decisions are their own. Of course, you should retain veto power when needed, but it should be used judiciously.

The Process of Good Decision Making

A part of helping your children gain experience with making decisions involves educating them about the decision making process. Good decision making is complex and takes years of experience to master (no one ever really perfects it; even adults do stupid things occasionally).

Because children lack experience and perspective, they tend to make decisions that are impulsive and focused on immediate gratification. The first step is simply to teach them to stop before they leap. With just a few seconds of hesitation, your children can prevent a lot of bad decisions.

Of course, getting children to stop before jumping would require them to think, which is usually not part of their repertoire. You can help your children by "catching them in the act," meaning when you see them about to jump without thinking, stop them. Also, because you can't always be looking over their shoulder, you can use times when they do leap without thinking (and things don't turn out so well) to ask them how they could have made a different choice in hindsight.

poor parenting essay introduction

You can then teach your children to ask themselves several key questions. First, "Why do I want to do this?" You want your children to understand what motivates their decisions. The children I speak to usually know why they make decisions, at least after the deed is done, and they almost always know what the right (and wrong) decision is.

One problem is that children are often faced with conflicting motivations. They may know that doing something is stupid, but they may feel peer pressure to do it anyway. Only a well-learned sense of what's right and wrong and clear consequences can prevent your children from going to the "dark side" of decision making too often.

The next question is: "What are my options?" Children often have several possible choices when confronted with a decision. For example, when faced with the possibility of stealing candy from a store with friends, children could a) take the candy, b) not take the candy but ignore the fact that their friends are stealing, or c) try to convince their friends that stealing is wrong. Knowing their options can help your children see clearly what their decisions might be and also will make it easier for them to connect their decisions with what is right.

Then your children need to ask, "What are the consequences of my actions?" (or in their language, "How much trouble will I get into?"). They need to judge the risks and rewards of their decisions in the short run and the long term. The challenge here is that children often underestimate the costs and overestimate the benefits of their decisions. If you set high expectations and enforce tough consequences with them, they may think twice before acting foolishly.

Lastly, perhaps the most important question children need to ask themselves is: "Is this decision in my best interests?" Understanding what is best in both the short and long term, having these concerns outweigh competing interests from popular culture and peer pressure, and making a decision based on their best interests is the culmination of the decision making process.

Coach Good Decision Making

You can help your children learn good decision making by coaching them through decisions. This guidance allows them to see how a decision is thought through and arrived at. During these discussions, you can help your children identify key contributors to the decision and take thoughtful steps to the decision. After the decision, you can help them judge how good the decision was and, if the decision turned out to be a poor one, why it was a bad decision and what they can learn from it.

You can also present your children with hypothetical moral dilemmas, such as what to do when friends are teasing another child, that they are likely to face and engage them in a conversation about how they would make a decision. Of course, children won't always make such deliberate decisions, particularly when they're young, but if you coach them and give them experience with good decision making, they'll use it more as they gain maturity.

Finally, part of your children learning to make good decisions is allowing them to make poor ones. If handled properly, bad decisions can play a powerful role in your children becoming good decision makers. Yes, they should be held accountable for their decisions by providing them with consequences that are commensurate with their offenses. But children must also be required to explore their decisions, understand why they made a poor decision, and ensure that they "get it" so that they don't make the same bad decision again.

Jim Taylor Ph.D.

Jim Taylor, Ph.D. , teaches at the University of San Francisco.

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Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8 (2016)

Chapter: 8 conclusions and recommendations, 8 conclusions and recommendations.

This chapter presents the committee’s conclusions and recommendations. As directed in the statement of task for this study ( Box 1-2 in Chapter 1 ), the recommendations focus on promoting the wide-scale adoption of parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with healthy child development and effective intervention strategies, as well as identifying priorities for future research.


Using existing platforms to promote parent support.

As described in Chapters 4 and 5 , a number of intervention strategies currently have strong evidence of effectiveness for supporting parents’ well-being and their use of practices associated with positive child outcomes. The committee was unable to identify a single intervention that supports all of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices identified in Chapter 2 for all groups of parents. However, intervention research has identified a number of strategies with robust evidence for supporting particular parenting practices in specific settings or among specific population groups. Yet many families who could benefit from these interventions neither seek out nor are referred to them. To better support parents and children, then, improved referral mechanisms are needed. Millions of parents interact with health care (e.g., well-child and mental and behavioral health care), education (e.g., early care and education and formal prekindergarten to grade 3), and other community services each year. Along with improvements in workforce preparation

(see Recommendations 3 and 4 below), better leveraging the services with which many parents already have ongoing connections as points of intervention and referral would help improve the reach of effective strategies.

Recommendation 1: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, state and local agencies, and community-based organizations responsible for the implementation of services that reach large numbers of families (e.g., health care, early care and education, community programs) should form a working group to identify points in the delivery of these services at which evidence-based strategies for supporting parents can be implemented and referral of parents to needed resources can be enhanced. Based on its findings, the working group should issue guidance to service delivery organizations on increasing parents’ access to evidence-based interventions.

Strengthening Evidence on How to Scale Parenting Programs

Research on how to bring effective parenting programs to scale is limited. Although a number of programs are effective in supporting parents, their potential for helping large numbers of families often depends on factors specific to the families served and to the organizations and communities in which they will be implemented ( Axford et al., 2012 ; Katz et al., 2007 ). Additional evidence is needed to inform the creation of a system for efficiently disseminating evidence-based programs and services to the field and for ensuring that a wide range of communities learn about them, are able to assess their fit with community needs, develop needed adaptations, and monitor fidelity and progress toward targeted outcomes.

Recommendation 2: 1 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and private philanthropies should fund research focused on developing guidance for policy makers and program administrators and managers on how to scale effective parenting programs as widely and rapidly as possible. This research should take into account organization-, program-, and system-level factors, as well as quality improvement. Supports for scaling efforts developed through this research might include cost tools, measurement toolkits, and implementation guidelines.


1 This recommendation, along with Recommendations 4, 6, and 10 were modified following the transmittal of the report to the study sponsors. In particular, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was inserted to replace the names of specific agencies within HHS to allow HHS to decide the most appropriate agencies to carry out the recommendations.

Implementation of this recommendation should not delay or preclude implementation of Recommendation 1 . Rather, findings from this research could be used in an ongoing way to inform the integration of evidence-based interventions into widely used service platforms.

Enhancing Workforce Competence in Delivering Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions

A professional workforce with knowledge about and competencies for implementing evidence-based interventions to support parents is essential to the successful scale-up of effective approaches. The committee found that evidence-based parenting interventions often are not available as part of either routine services for parents or services, such as treatments for mental illness and substance abuse, not designed specifically for parents but with the potential to benefit many parents ( Barth et al., 2005 ; Garland et al., 2010 ; Institute of Medicine, 2015 ). One reason for this is that providers of these services often lack knowledge and competencies in evidence-based parenting interventions. Graduate training for providers of children’s services and behavioral health care (e.g., in schools of social work and nursing) generally includes limited or no coursework on evidence-based parenting programs or their core elements. A viable way to increase the availability of evidence-based parenting interventions is to build on the commonality of specific and nonspecific elements across interventions ( Institute of Medicine, 2015 ). Although further research in this area is needed, the common elements approach has been shown to outperform usual care in at least one randomized clinical trial addressing children with mental health problems ( Chorpita et al., 2013 ).

Recommendation 3: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should continue to promote the use of evidence-based parenting interventions. In so doing, it should support research designed to further operationalize the common elements of effective parenting interventions and to compare the benefits of interventions based on the common elements of effective parenting programs with the specific evidence-based programs from which the elements originated. These efforts also should encompass (1) development of a common terminology for describing common elements and creation and testing of corresponding training materials; (2) development of an open-source curriculum, fidelity-checking strategies, and sustainability strategies for use in educating health and human service professionals in the delivery of evidence-based parenting interventions; and (3) creation of a variety of incentives and training programs to ensure knowledge of effective parenting interventions among professional groups working with young children and their families.

Enhancing Workforce Knowledge and Competence in Parent Engagement

Parents’ engagement in young children’s learning is associated with improvements in children’s literacy, behavior, and socioemotional well-being ( Dearing et al., 2006 ; Fan and Chen, 2001 ; Fantuzzo et al., 2004 ; Gadsden, 2014 ; Jeynes, 2012 ; Sheridan et al., 2010 ). Engagement is a process that can be facilitated by provider skills in communication and joint decision making with diverse families about their children’s education ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education, 2016 ). The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (2015) report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8 identifies as important competencies for all professionals providing direct, regular care for young children the ability to connect with families in a way that is mutually respectful and reciprocal, set goals with families, and prepare them to engage in behaviors and activities that enhance children’s development and early learning. However, the committee found that programs designed to prepare individuals to work with young children do not always include evidence-informed strategies for creating successful partnerships with families. Despite growing recognition that partnerships with families contribute to the success of early childhood programs and schools in preparing children for academic success, as well as an emphasis on family engagement in statutes and policies, programs designed to prepare teachers and providers often do not include professional development related to working with parents ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education, 2016 ). Moreover, courses on interacting with diverse families show substantial variation. The committee’s review of state/territory/tribal credentials for early education professionals revealed that only 12 states require a course or workshop on families, and just 5 states require a course on addressing the needs of culturally and ethnically diverse families.

Recommendation 4: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education should convene a group of experts in teaching and research and representatives of relevant practice organizations and research associations to review and improve professional development for providers who work with families of young children across sectors (e.g., education, child welfare, health). Professional development should be evaluated as to whether its core elements include best practices in engagement of and joint decision making with parents, across diverse family structures with other parental caregivers, as well as evidence-informed programs that support parents. The expert group should identify appropriate courses to address issues of parents and develop appropriate course plans and frameworks for professional development where they are lacking. Courses and course

work on parent engagement for educators of young children should be aligned with the knowledge and competencies outlined in the 2015 Institute of Medicine and National Research Council report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8 .

Developing and Disseminating Best Practices in Parent Engagement

Studies have documented the effectiveness of joint decision making (parents as partners) and other approaches to parent-teacher collaboration in education ( Dearing et al., 2015 ; Gadsden, 2014 ; Henderson and Mapp, 2002 ; Sheridan et al., 2010 , 2014 ). Accordingly, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires that school districts develop and implement parent engagement policies designed to bolster student outcomes. Yet despite the availability of evidence-based approaches for increasing parent engagement in children’s learning and thereby improving child development outcomes, limited official guidance is available on how to do so ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education, 2016 ). In addition to obstacles related to workforce preparation, the implementation and sustained use of best practices in parent engagement are limited by a dearth of official guidance at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as a lack of attention to how families’ culture and language may moderate the effectiveness of school districts’ engagement plans ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education, 2016 ).

Recommendation 5: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education should convene experts in parent engagement to create a toolbox of evidence-informed engagement and joint decision-making models, programs, and practices for implementation in early education settings. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education should disseminate this toolbox to support state and district adherence to requirements for parent engagement such as those described in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as to support the effective use of parenting interventions by health, behavioral health, and community programs with which parents and their children often have sustained and important connections. Toolbox development and dissemination efforts should include parents from diverse language and cultural backgrounds.


Parents with knowledge of child development compared with parents without such knowledge have higher-quality interactions with their young children and are more likely to engage in parenting practices associated with children’s healthy development ( Benasich and Brooks-Gunn, 1996 ; Hess et al., 2004 ; Huang et al., 2005 ). Moreover, parents with versus those without knowledge of parenting practices that lead to healthy outcomes in children, particularly practices that facilitate children’s physical health and safety, have been found to be more likely to implement those practices ( Bryanton et al., 2013 ; Chung-Park, 2012 ; Corrarino et al., 2001 ; Katz et al., 2011 ). Although simply knowing about parenting practices that promote child development or the benefits of a particular parenting practice does not necessarily translate into the use of such practices, awareness is foundational for behavior that supports children.

When designed and executed carefully in accordance with rigorous scientific evidence, public health campaigns are a potentially effective low-cost way to reach large and heterogeneous groups of parents. Exemplar public health campaigns have addressed tobacco control, seat belt use, sudden infant death syndrome, and illicit drug use ( Hornik, 2012 ). Moreover, information and communication technologies now offer promising opportunities to tailor information to the needs of parents based on their background and social circumstances.

Several important ongoing efforts by the federal government and private organizations (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016 ; ZERO TO THREE, 2016 ) communicate information to parents on developmental milestones and parenting practices grounded in evidence. Yet communication inequalities exist in how such information is generated, manipulated, and distributed among social groups and also at the individual level in the ability to access and take advantage of the information ( Viswanath, 2006 ). Parenting information that is delivered via the Internet, for example, is more difficult to access for some parents, including linguistic minorities, families in rural areas, and parents with less education ( File and Ryan, 2014 ).

Recommendation 6: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education, working with state and local departments of health and education and private partners, including businesses and employers, should lead an effort to expand and improve the communication to parents of up-to-date information on children’s developmental milestones and parenting practices associated with healthy child development. This effort should place particular emphasis on communication to subpopulations that are often under-

served, such as immigrant families; linguistic, racial, and ethnic minorities; families in rural areas; parents of low socioeconomic status; and fathers. Given the potential of public health campaigns to promote positive parenting practices, this effort should draw on the latest state of the science of such campaigns. The effectiveness of communication efforts also should be evaluated to enhance their success and to inform future efforts.


The committee identified a number of interventions that show promise in supporting the parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices described in Chapter 2 for specific groups of parents and children. Further research is needed to understand whether and how these interventions should be scaled up to serve all parents who would benefit from them.

To best guide policy and practice, it is important that such research focus on major gaps in current knowledge and that it use those methodologies most likely to produce evidence that can inform policy or practice. These gaps include interventions previously subjected to rigorous evaluation but not tested in diverse populations; interventions that may have been limited by their mother-only focus; and the lack of interventions focused on parents needing services for personal issues, such as mental illness.

More research also is needed on cases in which parenting interventions have been layered onto another intervention and (1) their unique benefit (separate from that of the primary intervention) has not been adequately assessed or (2) the parenting component was found to have no impact. Examples of parenting interventions that fall into one or both of these categories are enhanced anticipatory guidance, which can be provided as part of well-child care; parenting interventions delivered in conjunction with treatment for parents who have mental illness or substance abuse or are experiencing interpersonal violence; parenting interventions delivered using new information and communication technologies; and parenting components in Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Although evaluation of these layered parenting interventions has been limited, many of them have shown promising initial findings and been supported by sizable public and private investment; thus it is important for both research and practice to optimize opportunities to learn from these investments and build on this existing work. Each of the above examples offers multiple opportunities for researchers to learn from practitioners and for practitioners to work with researchers to identify possibilities for improving both research and interventions and engaging parents.

To generate research that would produce policy-relevant findings, the federal government could sponsor a relatively small number of studies involving large and diverse samples. Most likely to produce findings that would be cumulative and translatable into policy and practice would be a research agenda based on three to five parenting behaviors clearly related to child outcomes, entailing studies that would utilize the same small number of measures and instruments. This research also could focus on evaluating the cost of programs and avenues through which evidence-based programs could be funded.

The evidence-based process used by the Department of Health and Human Services to design, fund, and implement the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) Program ( Health Resources and Services Administration, 2016 ), described in Chapter 4 , could serve as a model for future research and practice aimed at improving programs designed to support parents and parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with positive child outcomes. MIECHV began with a systematic review of the evidence, followed by a state competition for funding that required the use of a consistent set of performance measures, rigorous local evaluation, and participation in a national evaluation. The Health Resources and Services Administration also has implemented collaborative improvement and innovation networks to facilitate ongoing learning and improve models for supporting parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices in the areas of home visiting and infant mortality prevention ( Arbour, 2015 ) that could inform the refinement and implementation of other types of parenting supports.

Recommendation 7: The secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education should launch a national effort to address major gaps in the research-to-practice/practice-to-research pipeline related to parenting. This effort should be based on an assessment aimed at identifying the gaps in knowledge that if filled would most advance parenting-related policy and practice. The effort should include (1) systematic review of the evidence for the selected areas; (2) further development and testing of the most promising interventions; (3) research on newly developed and existing interventions conducted through collaborative improvement and innovation networks; and (4) rigorous efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation studies of promising programs and policies. In funding decisions, priority should be given to examining interventions delivered in the context of services that reach large numbers of families, such as prenatal care, well-child care, Head Start and Early Head Start, and parent engagement in the early grades.

Three important areas of need for additional research are described in Recommendations 8, 9, and 10 below, all of which address populations of parents on which relatively little evidence-based research has been conducted and for which few evidence-based interventions have been developed.


Many parents in the United States cope with personal challenges, such as mental illness, substance abuse, and intimate partner violence, as well as the stigma that is often associated with these challenges, that can reduce their ability to use effective parenting practices and their access to and participation in evidence-based parenting interventions. As reviewed in Chapter 5 , relatively little is known about how best to support parents and parenting practices grounded in evidence for families with such special needs. Research is needed to realize the potential of available interventions that show promise for parents with special needs, as well as to develop new interventions that reflect emerging knowledge of how to support these parents. The strengths of evidenced-based training in parenting skills offer a foundation for improving existing and developing new interventions that can serve greater numbers of families with special needs, including by providing a setting of trust in which parents can reveal their needs.

Recommendation 8: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education, in coordination with private philanthropies, should fund research aimed at evaluating existing interventions that have shown promise with and designing and evaluating new interventions for parents with special needs. The design of new interventions should be informed by elements of successful programs, which include treating parents as equal partners, tailoring interventions to meet families’ needs, making programs culturally relevant, ensuring service integration and collaboration for families with multiple needs, providing opportunities for peer support, addressing trauma, and targeting both mothers and fathers. Funders should incentivize the use of state and local data to support this research.


Children’s development is shaped by the independent and combined effects of myriad influences, especially their mothers and fathers and the interactions between them. During the early years, parents are the most proximal—and most important—influence on children’s development.

Substantial evidence shows that young children have optimal developmental outcomes when they experience nurturing relationships with both fathers and mothers ( Cabrera et al., 2006 ; Lamb, 2004 ; Pruett, 2000 ; Ramchandani et al., 2013 ; Rosenberg and Wilcox, 2006 ). Research also demonstrates that children benefit when parents who are living in the same household are supportive of each other and are generally consistent in their expectations for the child and in their parenting behaviors. Further, there is evidence that when parents live apart, children generally benefit if they have supportive relationships with each parent, at least in those cases in which the parents do not have negative relationships with each other. In contrast, children are placed at risk when their parents experience conflict or when they have very different expectations for the child, regardless of whether the parents are living together or apart. Yet despite the importance of the father-child relationship, fathers continue to be underrepresented in research on parenting and parenting support ( Fabiano, 2007 ; Panter-Brick et al., 2014 ; Smith et al., 2012 ). Moreover, very few interventions aimed at improving mother-child relationships also target father-child or mother-father-child relationships, whether the parents are living together or apart. When parents are living apart, fatherhood programs typically focus on building fathers’ economic capacity to parent, such as through employment or counseling, rather than on fostering father-child relationships that can support children’s development.

More research is needed on how to design parenting programs so they better engage fathers and enhance the parenting of both parents. Few studies have evaluated how the dyadic and reciprocal interactions between parents and between fathers and their children affect children’s development. Research is needed to identify promising interventions for parents both in their individual relationships with their children and in their coparenting role.

Research also is needed to understand how nonresident fathers can establish long-lasting warm and nurturing relationships with their children. Although steps have been taken to increase evidence-based and empirically rigorous evaluations of fathering programs serving noncustodial fathers (e.g., the federally funded Fatherhood Research and Practice Network) ( Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, 2016 ), these studies are still in their early stages and may be minimally focused on changes in child outcomes.

Recommendation 9: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education and other relevant federal agencies, private philanthropies and foundations, researchers, and research associations focused on children and families, should increase support for studies that can inform the development

and improvement of parenting interventions focused on building parents’ capacity to parent both individually and together. Such studies should be designed to identify strategies that can improve fathers’ knowledge and use of parenting practices associated with positive child outcomes, and should examine the unique and combined effects of individual and co-parenting practices, with special attention to building strong relationships between parents and within diverse parenting relationships. The research should focus not only on adult but also on child outcomes, and should be designed to shed light on the specific ways in which greater investments in co-parenting can lead to better outcomes for children. Existing efforts to provide parenting support for both mothers and fathers should be reinforced and expanded in such programs as the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation program, Head Start, and Early Head Start.


The U.S. population of young children and their parents is demographically, culturally, linguistically, and socially diverse. Although research suggests that some parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices vary across groups ( Brooks-Gunn and Markman, 2005 ; Brooks et al., 2013 ; Burchinal et al., 2010 ; Leyendecker et al., 2002 ; Rowe, 2008 ), little is known about whether and how these differences matter for children’s development. Moreover, relatively little is known about how engagement with, acceptance of, retention in, and the efficacy of interventions for parents vary across culturally and linguistically diverse subgroups. Finally, despite increasing diversity in family structure, data are lacking on how parenting, engagement in interventions and services, and efficacy of services may vary for diverse family forms (e.g., same-sex parents), kinship providers (e.g., grandparents), stepparents, and other adults assuming parental roles (e.g., foster or adoptive parents). Filling these gaps would improve the ability of evidence-based programs and policies to support the needs of the range of families and children while addressing the needs of parents from historically marginalized and underrepresented populations.

Recommendation 10: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education should launch a multipronged effort to support basic research on parenting and applied research on parenting interventions across diverse populations and family forms. Basic research should include the identification of (1) key constructs and measures related to successful parenting among different populations; (2) important gaps in knowledge of how parenting practices and parent-child interactions affect child outcomes in culturally ,

ethnically, and socially diverse groups; and (3) constraints that produce disparities in access to and utilization of resources that support parenting across groups and contribute to negative outcomes for parents and children. Applied intervention research should include the formation of a collaborative improvement and innovation network to develop new and adapt existing interventions for diverse groups, and support for rigorous efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation studies of the most promising programs and policies conducted in a manner consistent with Recommendation 7 above.

Arbour, M. (2015). Lessons on Home Visiting Program Implementation from the Collaborative for Improvement and Innovation Network (HV CoIIN): Promoting Wide-Scale Adoption of Evidence-Based Strategies with Continuous Quality Improvement Methodologies . Presentation to the Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children, June 29, 2015, Irvine, CA.

Axford, N., Lehtonen, M., Kaoukji, D., Tobin, K., and Berry, V. (2012). Engaging parents in parenting programs: Lessons from research and practice. Children and Youth Services Review, 34 (10), 2061-2071.

Barth, R.P., Landsverk, J., Chamberlain, P., Reid, J.B., Rolls, J.A., Hurlburt, M.S., Farmer, E.M.Z., James, S., McCabe, K.M., and Kohl, P.L. (2005). Parent-training programs in child welfare services: Planning for a more evidence-based approach to serving biological parents. Research on Social Work Practice , 15 (5), 353-371.

Benasich, A.A., and Brooks-Gunn, J. (1996). Maternal attitudes and knowledge of child-rearing: Associations with family and child outcomes. Child Development, 67 (3), 1186-1205.

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Brooks-Gunn, J., and Markman, L. (2005). The contribution of parenting to ethnic and racial gaps in school readiness. The Future of Children, 15 (1), 139-168.

Bryanton, J., Beck, C.T., and Montelpare, W. (2013). Postnatal parental education for optimizing infant general health and parent-infant relationships. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 11 , CD004068.

Burchinal, M., Skinner, D., and Reznick, J.S. (2010). European American and African American mothers’ beliefs about parenting and disciplining infants: A mixed-method analysis. Parenting: Science and Practice , 10 (2), 79-96.

Cabrera, N., Shannon, J.D., West, J., and Brooks-Gunn, J. (2006). Parental interactions with Latino infants: Variation by country of origin and English proficiency. Special Issue on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Child Development , 74 , 1190-1207.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers . Available: [February 2016].

Chorpita, B.F., Weisz, J.R., Daleiden, E.L., Schoenwald, S.K., Palinkas, L.A., Miranda, J., Higa-McMillan, C.K., Nakamura, B.J., Austin A.A., Borntrager, C.F., Ward, A., Wells, K.C., Gibbons, R.D., and Research Network on Youth Mental Health. (2013). Long-term outcomes for the Child STEPs Randomized Effectiveness Trial: A comparison of modular and standard treatment designs with usual care. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81 (6), 999-1009.

Chung-Park, M.S. (2012). Knowledge, opinions, and practices of infant sleep position among parents. Military Medicine, 177 (2), 235-239.

Corrarino, J.E., Walsh, P.J., and Nadel, E. (2001). Does teaching scald burn prevention to families of young children make a difference? A pilot study. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 16 (4), 256-262.

Dearing, E., Kreider, H., Simpkins, S., and Weiss, H.B. (2006). Family involvement in school and low-income children’s literacy: Longitudinal associations between and within families. Journal of Educational Psychology , 98 (4), 653-664.

Dearing, E., Sibley, E., and Nguyen, H.N. (2015). Achievement mediators of family engagement in children’s education: A family-school-community systems model. In S.M. Sheridan and K.E. Moorman (Eds.), Processes and Pathways of Family-School Partnerships across Development (pp. 17-39). New York: Springer.

Fabiano, G.A. (2007). Father participation in behavioral parent training for ADHD: Review and recommendations for increasing inclusion and engagement. Journal of Family Psychology , 21 (4), 683-693.

Fan, X., and Chen, M. (2001). Parental involvement and students’ academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review , 13 (1), 1-22.

Fantuzzo, J., McWayne, C., and Perry, M.A. (2004). Multiple dimensions of family involvement and their relations to behavioral and learning competencies for urban, low-income children. School Psychology Review , 33 (4), 467-480.

Fatherhood Research and Practice Network. (2016). Who We Are. Available: [February 2016].

File, T., and Ryan, C. (2014). Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2013 . Available: [February 2016].

Gadsden, V.L. (2014). Evaluating Family and Neighborhood Context for PreK-3 . Commissioned Peer-Reviewed Paper. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Garland, A.F., Brookman-Frazee, L., Hurlburt, M.S., Accurso, E.C., Zoffness, R.J., Haine-Schlagel, R., and Ganger, W. (2010). Mental health care for children with disruptive behavior problems: A view inside therapists’ offices. Psychiatric Services, 61 (8), 788-795.

Health Resources and Services Administration. 2016. Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting . Available: [February 2016].

Henderson, A.T., and Mapp, K.L. (2002). A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement . Available: [February 2016].

Hess, C.R., Teti, D. M., and Hussey-Gardner, B. (2004). Self-efficacy and parenting of high-risk infants: The moderating role of parent knowledge of infant development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 25 (4), 423-437.

Hornik, R.C. (Ed). (2012). Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change . New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Huang, K.-Y., O’Brien Caughy, M., Genevro, J.L., and Miller, T.L. (2005). Maternal knowledge of child development and quality of parenting among white, African-American and Hispanic mothers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26 (2), 149-170.

Institute of Medicine. (2015). Psychosocial Interventions for Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A Framework for Establishing Evidence-Based Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. (2015). Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation . L. Allen and B.B. Kelly (Eds.). Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success; Board on Children, Youth, and Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Jeynes, W. (2012). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of different types of parental involvement programs for urban students. Urban Education , 47 (4), 706-742.

Katz, D.L., Katz, C.S., Treu, J.A., Reynolds, J., Njike, V., Walker, J., Smith, E., and Michael, J. (2011). Teaching healthful food choices to elementary school students and their parents: The Nutrition Detectives™ program. Journal of School Health, 81 (1), 21-28.

Katz, I., La Placa, V., and Hunter, S. (2007). Barriers to Inclusion and Successful Engagement of Parents in Mainstream Services . York, UK: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Lamb, M.E. (2004). The Role of the Father in Child Development (4th ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Leyendecker, B., Lamb, M. E., Harwood, R. L., and Scholmerich, A. (2002). Mothers’ socialization goals and evaluations of desirable and undesirable everyday situations in two diverse cultural groups. International Journal of Behavioral Development , 26(3), 248-258.

Panter-Brick, C., Burgess, A., Eggerman, M., McAllister, F., Pruett, K., and Leckman, J.F. (2014). Practitioner review: Engaging fathers—Recommendations for a game change in parenting interventions based on a systematic review of the global evidence. Journal of Child Psychology, Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines , 55 (11), 1187-1212.

Pruett, K. (2000). Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child . New York: Broadway Books.

Ramchandani, P.G., Domoney, J., Sethna, V., Psychogiou, L., Vlachos, H., and Murray, L. (2013). Do early father-infant interactions predict the onset of externalising behaviours in young children? Findings from a longitudinal cohort study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 54 (1), 56-64.

Rosenberg, J., and Wilcox, W.B. (2006). The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children: Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being . Washington, DC: U.S. Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Rowe, M. L. (2008). Child-directed speech: Relation to socioeconomic status, knowledge of child development and child vocabulary skill. Journal of Child Language , 35 (1), 185-205.

Sheridan, S.M., Knoche, L.L., Edwards, C.P., Bovaird, J.A., and Kupzyk, K.A. (2010). Parent engagement and school readiness: Effects of the Getting Ready intervention on preschool children’s social-emotional competencies. Early Education and Development , 21 (1), 125-156.

Sheridan, S.M., Knoche, L.L., Edwards, C.P., Kupzyk, K.A., Clarke, B.L., and Kim, E.M. (2014). The efficacy of the Getting Ready intervention and the role of parental depression. Early Education and Development , 25 (5), 746-769.

Smith, T.K., Duggan, A., Bair-Merritt, M.H., and Cox, G. (2012). Systematic review of fathers’ involvement in programmes for the primary prevention of child maltreatment. Child Abuse Review , 21 (4), 237-254.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Policy Statement on Family Engagement: From the Early Years to the Early Grades . Available: [June 2016].

Viswanath, K. (2006). Public communications and its role in reducing and eliminating health disparities. In Institute of Medicine, Examining the Health Disparities Research Plan of the National Institutes of Health: Unfinished Business (pp. 215-253). Committee on the Review and Assessment of NIH’s Strategic Research Plan and Budget to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities. G.E. Thomson, F. Mitchell, and M.B. Williams (Eds.). Board of Health Sciences Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

ZERO TO THREE (2016). Parent Portal . Available: [February 2016].

Decades of research have demonstrated that the parent-child dyad and the environment of the family—which includes all primary caregivers—are at the foundation of children's well- being and healthy development. From birth, children are learning and rely on parents and the other caregivers in their lives to protect and care for them. The impact of parents may never be greater than during the earliest years of life, when a child's brain is rapidly developing and when nearly all of her or his experiences are created and shaped by parents and the family environment. Parents help children build and refine their knowledge and skills, charting a trajectory for their health and well-being during childhood and beyond. The experience of parenting also impacts parents themselves. For instance, parenting can enrich and give focus to parents' lives; generate stress or calm; and create any number of emotions, including feelings of happiness, sadness, fulfillment, and anger.

Parenting of young children today takes place in the context of significant ongoing developments. These include: a rapidly growing body of science on early childhood, increases in funding for programs and services for families, changing demographics of the U.S. population, and greater diversity of family structure. Additionally, parenting is increasingly being shaped by technology and increased access to information about parenting.

Parenting Matters identifies parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with positive developmental outcomes in children ages 0-8; universal/preventive and targeted strategies used in a variety of settings that have been effective with parents of young children and that support the identified knowledge, attitudes, and practices; and barriers to and facilitators for parents' use of practices that lead to healthy child outcomes as well as their participation in effective programs and services. This report makes recommendations directed at an array of stakeholders, for promoting the wide-scale adoption of effective programs and services for parents and on areas that warrant further research to inform policy and practice. It is meant to serve as a roadmap for the future of parenting policy, research, and practice in the United States.

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I grew up poor and became unhoused as a teen. My upbringing is helping me be a better parent.

  • I grew up poor and became unhoused as a teen. 
  • I now live in a house with my partner and two children, so I sometimes get triggered by my past.
  • I use my upbringing to teach my children how lucky they are without guilt-tripping them. 

Insider Today

I felt the heat rising in my cheeks and up around my ears as I listened to my 7-year-old say "I want" for what felt like the 987th time. Surely I knew that this is a regular, normal even, occurrence for a child their age. But at that moment, I was particularly over-tired and over-stimulated . I felt resentment beginning to cloud my judgment and my patience.

For a moment, I thought: "You have no idea, do you?"

I grew up poor and later became an unhoused teen, but now I live in a house with my two kids and partner. I have everything I could need and even more. I'm thankful my kids will never know what it feels like to need basic necessities, but I still struggle to shake off my past.

It takes time not to feel triggered by my own safety

There have been times in my childhood when I had no food in my cupboards, and now there are times when I have three soy sauces at any given moment. I often joke with my partner whether it is my ADHD or if it is the scarcity mindset that still lingers at the corners of my body, like muscle memory.

Similarly, I recently discovered a pair of brand-new Jordans stashed away in my closet, and it took me a moment to realize they were my daughter's, who uses she/they pronouns . The shoes were accidentally purchased in a size too big and, therefore, tucked away for when their feet inevitably grow and will immediately be replaced. No gaps in shoe coverage, so to speak. It took me a moment to sit with the fact that this is a possibility of ours: to simply get two nice pairs of shoes in a matter of days.

I wish I could say it didn't feel triggering. But as it turns out, it takes my body some time to catch up with my new normal.

I try not to let the triggers affect my parenting

When my daughter was repeating "I want," of course, I was not actually angry at them for expressing kid things in a kid way. Of course, she wants new slime. Of course, she wants to go find an all-white outfit for her school's spirit day. Of course, I am grateful, even proud, that they will never understand what it is like to leave the cashier line and your groceries altogether because yet another check has bounced.

Guilt holds no weight in my parenting . Not only do I find it ineffective, but why should our kids bear the burden of our upbringing? There is no space nor desire to tell her that she should be grateful not to know what it's like to go to bed hungry. I also don't feel the need to passive-aggressively ask if she has any idea how hard I had it when I was her age.

My children owe me nothing, and yet, I recognize that my own difficult experience growing up can lead to important conversations that are rooted in my experience.

The conversations are a platform for understanding

I bring my kids along with me to drop off supplies for one of our local mutual aid efforts. When she asks why she sees kids her age running from tent to tent, I tell her that sometimes even kids don't have a house like ours; the tent is their home — just like a car and people's couches were mine when I was 16. I don't offer my experience as a weapon to evoke guilt but as a means to offer perspective.

Also, when we discuss gratitude for the things we have, we take a yes/and approach. Yes, we live in a house with four walls, and that doesn't mean that folx living in a tent aren't just as good or smart or kind. Yes, we will always have enough food, so we can purchase food for others who don't have as much as we do.

I don't need to bully or shame my children into being gracious, well-informed individuals. By discussing class, racism, and capitalism in ways that are close to home and in ways they are able to digest, they learn that the veils are thin.

By parenting like this, they learn that their mother has been there before. In turn, it gives me continued space to heal.

poor parenting essay introduction

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Bad Parenting and Juvenile Delinquency

  • Categories: Juvenile Delinquency Parenting

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Published: Aug 24, 2023

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Neglect and lack of supervision, abuse and negative reinforcement, lack of positive role models, inconsistent discipline and boundaries, psychological and emotional effects, conclusion: addressing the impact.

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poor parenting essay introduction

287 Parenting Essay Topics & Creative Research Titles + Examples

🔝 top 10 parenting topics to write about in 2024, 🏆 best essay topics on parenting, 👍 good parenting research topics & essay examples, 🌶️ hot parenting ideas to write about, 🎓 most interesting parenting research titles, 📌 easy parenting essay topics, ✍️ parenting essay topics for college, ❓ research questions about parenting, 📝 parenting argumentative essay topics.

Are you looking for the most important parenting topics for discussion? You’ve come to the right place! StudyCorgi has prepared a list of current and controversial ideas to write about. On this page, you’ll find:

  • Should Parents Be Responsible for Children’s Crimes?
  • Teenage Parenting: Problems of Children and Parent
  • Parents Should Limit the Usage of Screen Time for Their Children
  • Women Are Better Parents Then Men
  • Teenage Rebellion Against Parents
  • Why Filipino Parents Choose Their Children’s Careers
  • A Good Parent: Definition and Traits
  • Children’s Education and Role of Parents
  • Parenting Styles’ Impact on Child’s Development
  • Parenting Styles – Case Study Analysis
  • Role Played by Parents in Education This paper looks at the way parents are involved in education and gives a lengthy argument on the contribution of the letter to the overall education success.
  • Divorce and Single-Parent Families Families across the world face different challenges. One such challenge is marital instability, which in a significant number of families, lead to divorce.
  • Parenting Styles: Indifferent, Indulgent, Authoritarian, and Authoritative The paper will analyze four main styles, namely indifferent, indulgent, authoritarian, and authoritative parenting styles.
  • Parent-Child Conflict Resolution: Communication Problem The psychological view upon the problem of the parent-child conflict covers many aspects explaining the nature of generations’ contradictions.
  • The Challenges of Being a Parent Parenting is a wonderful but complex social role. The main point is to create an open environment for dialogue and not to be afraid of mistakes.
  • Types of Parenting Styles in a “Parenthood” by Howard The plot of the film is a small live segment of one huge family, which includes five generations. The filmmakers tried to give us a simple recipe for a happy life.
  • Effects of Single Parenting on Children Children have a right of being brought up by both parents. Kids who grew up seeing a father and mother have higher chances of becoming more stable in life.
  • Adult Children Should Support Elderly Parents Taking care of the parents by the children remains the best as compared to institutionalizing them. The parents are denied the family bonds they have always enjoyed in the family.
  • Should Parents Have the Right to Choose Their Children Based on Genetics? The right to intervene in the human genome must be reviewed from multiple perspectives, as the future of parenthood and social institutions will depend highly on agreements.
  • American and British Parenting Styles In this paper, parenting from the point of view of Americans and Britons will be evaluated to show their differences or similarities.
  • Childhood Obesity: The Parents’ Responsibility Childhood obesity is a complex disease characterized by exceeding the age-growth norm of a child’s body weight. It is the fault of undemanding and irresponsible parents.
  • Parent-Child Relationship and Its Effect on Adolescents The importance of parent-child relationships stems from an incredible level of interdependence that many families display when it comes to addressing family needs.
  • Parental Involvement in Children’s Education: Pros and Cons In this presentation, attention will be paid to the benefits and shortages of parental involvement in children’s education.
  • Most Typical Problems Parents Face There are many problems that parents face today. It is sometimes difficult to deal with children who forget very fast.
  • Overindulgent Parenting Style and Its Harm to Children This paper researches on the impacts of overindulgent parenting on children and concludes by stating that parents should consider adopting the authoritative parenting style.
  • Personal Experience of Child: Parenting Styles The current essay reflects my own childhood experience regarding the parenting style my parents tend to follow, how it affected me.
  • Views on Raising Children: Tasks of Parents The most challenging task of parents is to make the right decisions. It requires analyzing the behavior of children and finding their personalities.
  • Problems Experienced by Children Raised by Homo Parents The intention to write this paper is to throw the light on the affects of homosexual parents on their children.
  • Juvenile Delinquents and Parental Divorce: What Is the Connection? Reasons that cause the increase in the number of juvenile delinquents. Connection with the rise in the number of juvenile delinquents and the increase in the number of divorce rates.
  • Parents Are Not to Blame for Obesity in Children This paper discusses the issue of childhood and adolescent obesity and argues that parents should not be blamed for this problem.
  • Parenting in Modern Society: Key Challenges Today, to be a good parent, not only are parenting traditions, feelings, and intuition needed, but also planning careful preparation and thinking through the educational process.
  • Why Parents Should Vaccinate Their Children Modern vaccines are complex, and a few antigens administered to children spur the production of antibodies that prevent future infections.
  • Parents Are to Blame for Youth Violence Violence among youth has drastically increased in recent times. This problem of violence has become a global phenomenon whereby youth from all walks of life are engaged in violence.
  • Parental Positive and Negative Behaviors The paper aims to investigate parental positive and negative behaviors. It describes the effects of parent’s behavior on the life of their children.
  • The Film “We Bought a Zoo” and Single Parenting Issues We Bought a Zoo is a 2011 comedy-drama film that follows the life of a single-parent family aiming to start a new life after the passing of the mother.
  • Single-Parent Family Health Assessment The current family development stage is ‘a family with school-aged children’, and the family managed to accomplish the tasks of previous stages rather well.
  • Non-Parental Child Care This paper focuses on the types of non-parent childcare and its effects on the child’s development in psychological, social and cognitive development.
  • The Role of Parents in Acts of Theft and Vandalism by Minor Children Parents are to blame for their children’s acts of crime such as theft or vandalism, except when the children are suffering from mental health issues.
  • The Uninvolved Parenting Style and Its Effect on the Psychological Development of a Child Approaches to parenting and child care can vary significantly based on the parents’ characteristics and their preferred style.
  • Some of the Problems that Parents Face Today Contemporary parenting is even more challenging owing to the changing civilization alongside the new emerging trends on family values and practices.
  • Gay and Single-Parent Families: Functionalist View The application of the functionalist perspective helps to resolve some problems by outlining the importance of issues and their contribution to the evolution of communities.
  • Aspects of Parenting and Gender Roles For children to develop a healthy understanding of gender roles, it is essential that parents choose the right approach to their formation.
  • Parental Stress and Its Effects on Children In the current paper, the author analyses literature dedicated to parental stress and child development and behavior and tests the previously mentioned hypothesis.
  • Gadgets’ Impact on Parent-Child Relationships This paper considers studies that analyze gadgets’ impact on relations between parents and children and factors that affect the time children spend using their devices.
  • Parental Influence on a Child’s Life Outcomes The environment, especially the close ones, such as the family, decisions made, and various events, forms a particular path-dependency of one’s life with a corresponding outcome.
  • Impact of Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Single Parents This paper focuses on the impact of generalized anxiety disorder on single parents and the most significant aspects of their lives.
  • Alcoholic Parents’ Effect on Adult Children While effects of being raised by alcoholics in adult children may vary, fear of failure, desire to control, and developing compulsive behaviors are prevalent characteristics.
  • Child Behavior in Relation to Parenting Although parenting influences all affiliations within a family, its impact on parent-children relationships is vital as it may affect the children’s future negatively.
  • Raising Children in Single Families: Single-Parent Families’ Problems The paper considers single-parent families’ economic problems, balancing work and life, behavioral changes, effects of conflict between parents, new relationships of parents.
  • Families: Single Parent Controversy This paper explores single parenting and bases on the article “The single parent controversy: Does family research stigmatize single mothers and their children?”.
  • Parent-Child Relationships in the Novels “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov and “Sula” by Toni Morrison The problem of parent-child relationships is one of the most examined and actual eternal questions. This question concerns the problems of love and hatred.
  • Good and Bad Parenting’s Impact on Children Bad parenting is the parent’s fault, and parents must ensure good parenting for the overall development of their children and their future.
  • Should Parents with Children under 12 Have Dogs as Pets Even though dogs can be great protectors, kids can be overly aggressive with dogs; children are more vulnerable to diseases carried by dogs, etc.
  • Proximal and Distal Parenting Proximal parenting implies close body contact and stimulation, while the distal parenting style is characterized by communication through the distant senses.
  • Impact of Parenting on Child Learning The complexity of child development as a multi-dimensional process makes it complicated to suggest for sure that parenting styles influence learning.
  • Role of Parental Involvement in the Modern Era Recent research revealed that students are affected by a myriad of factors that can be subdivided into four categories: academic, social, cultural, and financial.
  • Should Parents Spank Their Children? Spanking or striking children as a method to correct bad behavior has been widely used by parents in many cultures as a primary means of discipline.
  • Single Parenting Benefits and Disadvantages There are not only drawbacks but also some benefits for mothers who live without husbands and raise their children themselves.
  • Deontological Ethics and Principles for Parenting Deontology is an ethical science based on the teaching of moral issues. The focus of deontological ethics is on duties and obligations to be followed.
  • Parents’ Role in Young Adult Literature David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy, James Janeway’s A Token for Children, and Catherine Sinclair’s Holiday House exemplify young adult literature from different periods.
  • Benefits of Good Parent-Child Relationships The benefits of productive parent-child relationships are mutual – children affect their parents almost as much as their parents affect them.
  • Effect of Parenting on Child’s Health Development The current paper discusses that good parenting gives the perfect setting for the sustaining and security of youngsters as they grow.
  • Single Parenting: Difficulties and Challenges Studies show that single motherhood is normally linked with a lot of unconstructive social, behavioral and psychological impacts on the child being brought up.
  • Being a Mother: Challenges Facing Parents With Young Children A mother is a social or biological parent. In mammals like human beings, biological mother is one that gestates fertilized ovum called an embryo at the beginning which later becomes fetus.
  • Parental Divorce and Consequences for Children Divorces are a common occurrence in the modern world, and most people are accustomed to the idea of a separated family.
  • The Influence of Confucianism on Chinese Parenting The influence of Confucianism led to the establishment of distinct approaches to parenting styles, notably high parental expectations in the academic field.
  • “Fall or Fly”: Parents’ Problems in Foster Care One of the issues that foster parents will have to contend with is the wide range of parenting styles, environments, and circumstances that they are exposed to.
  • Parental Refusal of Medical Treatment for Children Refusing medical treatment for children by parents undermines the functioning of the healthcare system and the relations between patients and caregivers.
  • Lack of Parental Support Forces Teenagers ‘Run Away’ From Home This paper describes how lack of attention and inability of parents to understand the problems faced by their teenage children results in “run away” from home.
  • Single African American Parents: Literature Review Parenting among single African American women poses serious challenges. This paper reviews existing literature to understand what other scholars have found out in this field.
  • Parenting Styles by Diana Baumrind This paper describes advantages and disadvantages of parenting styles generated by Diana Baumrind and its characteristics as well as the consequences for children.
  • Single-Parent College Students Struggling to Graduate The rise of single-student parents in colleges presents an opportunity to learn about the experiences of such students and compare them with other regular nonparent learners.
  • Adolescent Adjustment to Parental Divorce The primary research question is what factors determine adolescents’ adjustment after they experience divorce and how it affects their socio-emotional skills.
  • Parenting Styles Exemplified by the Molly Family In the current essay, the abovementioned four parenting styles will be considered, and four various answers on Molly’s desired behavior will be provided.
  • Parental Involvement in Education One of the main purposes of society nowadays is to guarantee stable development for children and make education affordable and efficient.
  • Single Parent Culture and Student Behavior Some researchers have argued that shortcomings or low earnings in father-lacking families explain the effects of one-parent families.
  • Self-Control Theory: Are Our Parents to Blame? The role of the community is very important. It is for this reason that people gather together and live as a community in order that they may reap the rewards of cooperation.
  • Migrating Parents’ Motives and Impact on Children One aspect that often lacks proper attention from the authorities and the general public is the children of immigrants who are left in their home countries.
  • Diagnosis Disclosure and Child-Parent Relationship The paper aims to address the problem of child-parent relationships and their influence on diagnosis disclosure and the patient’s psychological well-being.
  • Parenting Styles: Infancy and Early Childhood Generally, a child’s behavior is directly linked to the parenting approach being used by the respective parent. Each technique used has a corresponding impact on the well-being.
  • Parental Involvement in Schools When parents are not invested in their children’s future and education, their offspring may experience poor student achievements and growth in various ways.
  • Parental Alcohol Abuse as a Family Issue Parental alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the community that impacts not only one individual but spreads to different social units.
  • Should Parents Be Held Accountable if Their Children Misbehave? This paper discusses whether parents should be held accountable if their children misbehave, commit crimes, or generally turn out to be a “bad seed”.
  • Parenting Styles by Diana Baumrind Children exhibit behavioural characteristics depending on their upbringing. Diana Baumrind developed four parenting styles explaining children’s behaviour in specific situations.
  • Parenting Assessment and Interventions The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate the effect of parenting styles on decisions and children’s behavior. In particular, it focuses on difficulties.
  • The Problem-Solving Process in Parenting The problem-solving process on teaching the child responsibility by letting him complete his school assignments in his own way and stating borders of parent’s help.
  • Remarriages and Step-Parenting This paper discusses the challenges such types of families experience (remarriages and step-parenting), the stages of adjustments, and ways to deal with stepchildren.
  • Types of Parenting Styles Analysis The parents’ attitudes to their kids create a certain emotional atmosphere, which is known as a “parenting style.”
  • Bullying and Parenting Styles There are many positive and negative outcomes of parenting on children. This paper aims at investigating the connection between several types of parenting and bullying behaviors.
  • Intelligence: Are We Smarter Than Our Parents? The Flynn effect states that the levels of intelligence quotient (IQ) have been rising over time and increasing among the consequent generations.
  • The Issues of Gay Parents Scholars have noted a few differences in the characters of children brought up in same sex- marriages and those brought up in conventional ones.
  • Parent Monitoring of Children in Public Places Parents-children relations may be characterized as the complex interconnection of different issues, which are the main patterns in the upbringing process.
  • Parenting Style and Bullying Among Children The investigation of parenting styles is highly essential to understand how they affect the bullying behavior of children to prevent it.
  • Childhood Obesity and Parent Education: Ethical Issues The proposed research reveals important insights about obesity among children and infants. Apart from the positive intentions of the research, different ethical considerations have to be described.
  • Authoritarian Parenting Impact on Children’s Health Parents who deploy an authoritarian approach to raising their children are presented as contributing hugely to their destruction rather than molding them into reliable citizens.
  • Parenting and Choice of Child-Rearing Style The child-rearing style applied to a child has an impact on the child’s growth and development. The style employed by the parents can predict the future character of the child.
  • Parental Engagement in Special Education While the teaching methods must vary among students with special needs, parents should also engage in an educational process to give children an understanding of its importance.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Families: Parental Influence on an Adolescent’s Career Choice Gender stereotypes are still persistent in societies that often seem to be egalitarian. These stereotypes are transmitted to younger generations that copy their parents’ role models.
  • Systematic Training for Effective Parenting The growing interests of parents in the nurturing of their children in the recent decades reflect the challenges faced by the same due to societal behavioral change.
  • The Parent-Child Relationships Theories Duties that a child has to his or her parents are unique. When it comes to parents, an individual is expected to do things that he or she will not do for other people.
  • Parenting Styles’ Impact on Children Parenting style plays a significant role in a child’s life. Each selected technique may have predetermined outcomes.
  • Financial Implications of Single Parenting The paper states that in the modern world when everything is getting more expensive each day, it is challenging to manage to be a single parent.
  • Surviving the Death of a Parent “The Death of a Parent Affects Even Grown Children Psychologically and Physically,” explains how parental loss affects adults.
  • Issues We Face While Taking Care of Aging Parents The trend of adult children becoming caregivers for their parents is one of the most widespread in American society.
  • Parenting: The Family Resource Guide The guide in the current paper will help parents understand their role in their child’s development and help them in different situations.
  • Parenting Advice and Its Quality While most parenting advice is likely to be well-meaning, a number of online recommendations offered to parents are highly questionable due to their subjectivity.
  • Childhood Attachment and Parenting Styles In social sciences and psychology, the term emotional attachment may refer to the process of understanding the expressive closeness.
  • A Parent’s Right on Their Child Medication The rights of parents towards their children are spelled out in different acts of parliament regarding the lawful authority they have in given areas.
  • Parenting Styles Overview and Analysis This essay aims to describe parenting styles, reflect on the impact of my family’s upbringing approaches, and discuss how I plan to raise my children.
  • Parents’ Experiences of Caring for a Child with ASD Literature Review Autism spectrum disorder is a serious developmental disorder that affects one throughout the lifespan in terms of social interaction, social communication, and social imagination.
  • Parental Involvement in Urban School District This is a critical review of a collection of five articles, related to education and the involvement of parents in schools.
  • The Impact of Parent’s Educational Level on College Students It has generally never been given enough thought, as to whether the educational backgrounds of the families of students may also have an impact on the way they carry out their studies.
  • Applied Ethics: Moral Standards of Alcoholic Parents The work aims to discuss the topic of ethics, the moral values which people are supposed to follow, considering the case of Mary, whose parents are alcoholics.
  • Adolescent Obesity and Parental Education Study Being a critical nutritional disorder, obesity leads to a number of changes in health care, family finances, and communities.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Families: Parents’ Gender Roles and Children’s Aspirations Psychologists have paid significant attention to gender stereotypes, and many important trends have been identified and evaluated. Researchers use various methodologies.
  • Parental Education for Preventing Pneumonia in Children Vaccinations have led to the prevention of many childhood illnesses. Prior to the introduction of vaccines many of these illnesses ranked as the leading cause of death in children.
  • Parental Divorce’s Negative Impact on Children Children from divorced families have more behavioral problems, and marital upheavals leading up to parental divorce threaten future learning ability.
  • Parenting and Harm of Unrealistic Expectations Parenting should be based on realistic expectations that are connected with the specific child, but not on the illusion that upbringing can change the child’s behavior.
  • The Effects of Homelessness on Single-Parent Families in Black Community The paper states that single-parent families can be adversely impacted by homelessness, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Two Parenting Approaches: Authoritative and Authoritarian This paper considers two parenting approaches: authoritative and authoritarian. The authoritative parenting style is one of the best, while the authoritarian is one of the worst.
  • Different Perceptions of the Responsibility of Children to Their Parents A family is a place where a special bond is established between relatives and an ideal relationship model has no room for anger, aggression, or other negative feelings.
  • Perfect Family Myths on Divorce and Parenting This paper discussed four myths about family. These myths target the issue of divorce, family structure, and the responsibilities of parents.
  • Parental Incarceration’s Impact on a Child Parental incarceration is a significant issue, and though it is addressed on multiple levels, there are still some related imperfections that complicate children’s lives.
  • Study of a Parent-Child Relationship The study of a parent-child relationship is a sophisticated endeavor focused on the peculiarities of a socioemotional environment of the upbringing process
  • Family Law: Parent’s Right to Travel This paper seeks to analyze the parent’s right to travel and outlines why traveling has been an issue for both the parents and the courts.
  • Caregiver Burden for Adult Children Whose Parent Has Alzheimer’s Disease The purpose of the proposed study is to critically explore the relationship between caregiver burden and social stigma for adult children whose parents have AD.
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in Parents Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSRP) is a condition where a caregiver induces mental and physical health problems in their patients.
  • The Five Biggest Ideas in Parenting This paper will make an attempt to offer a solution in the form of five big ideas which parents can apply in their parenting roles to mold their children into better adults.
  • The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers The parental absence, on the part of fathers, produces a much heavier negative impact on growing children, as opposed to the parental absence on the part of mothers.
  • Critique of Articles on Parenting, ADHD, Child Psychology, and Development In this work, the author criticized articles on parenting, ADHD, child psychology, early adult romantic relationships and development.
  • When Parents Refuse to Give Up: Yusef Camp’s Case Speaking of the overall boy’s condition, Yusef’s brain is not functioning, but the local state law does not allow practitioners to qualify him as dead.
  • The Issues of Childhood Obesity: Overweight and Parent Education This paper examines the relationships between overweight and parental education, child overweight and physical activity, and investigate the domestic co-occurrence of overweight.
  • Single Afro-Americans Parenting Their Adolescents The purpose of this research is to investigate how single African-American mothers experience their relationship with their adolescent sons.
  • Positive Parenting and Child Externalizing Behavior The article shows how mothering styles can affect child behaviors, and the latter appears likely to impact mother-son relationships.
  • Impact of Single Parent Culture on Students’ Behavior Many scholars in education agree that a student’s performance is not dependent on intellectual ability alone but also in other factors such as behavior.
  • Parental Divorce: Influence on Children Divorce may affect a child’s development by making them engage in risk-taking behaviors, experience divorce-related stress, and significantly lower their self-esteem.
  • The Worth of Parental Involvement in Children’s Education Today, much attention is paid to improving the quality of childhood education, and the worth of parental involvement is currently discussed and recommended.
  • Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out by Lythcott-Haims In the article “Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out,” Julie Lythcott-Haims talks about how parents instruct their children on what to do.
  • Parenting Experience of a Mother of Two Children Although being a parent is a privilege that most adults look forward to, without proper planning, it can become a burden that leaves a person feeling caged and insufficient.
  • Parents With Pediatric Terminal Patients: Stress Management Certain family-centered care principles should be used by healthcare providers in order to mitigate parental stress in the situations where their child battles terminal illness.
  • Latino Culture: The Social Interaction Between Children and Parents The main focus is the social interaction between children and parents and its specificity in the context of Latino culture.
  • Parenting: Influences and Standards This article is important because it supports the idea that parents should raise their children in a way that fits their child’s personalities.
  • Liability of Bullies’ Parents for Children’s Activities Parents of bullies should be liable for their children’s activities because besides being highly influential, they possess the power to prevent bullying.
  • Effects of Parent-Based Teaching of Alcohol Use The approach significantly impacts the struggle to prevent alcohol abuse but requires being informed on the appropriate mechanisms to employ.
  • Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home The article ​“Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home” provides a set of recommendations for parents regarding managing children’s behaviors during the pandemic.
  • Meetings between Parents and Teachers: Ted Talk Discussion When building a good relationship between both parties, sharing contacts like e-mail, mobile numbers, or messenger profiles can have a positive effect.
  • The Parent-Teacher-Youth Mediation Program The Parent-Teacher-Youth Mediation Program is designed to build relationships between family members from different generations.
  • Operant Conditioning in Learning and Parenting Operant conditioning relies on a relatively simple premise – actions followed by reinforcement will be strengthened and thus are more probable to be repeated in the future.
  • How Parental Involvement Influences the Life of the Individual The paper demonstrates how parental involvement influences the academic and social life of the individual from the perspective of several theoretical notions.
  • Parenting Peculiarities in Queer (LGBT) Families An examination of LGBT marriages has shown that same-sex partners have varied parenting desires, intentions, and child-rearing experiences.
  • Mental Health of Children of Incarcerated Parents This paper aims to discuss the impact of parental incarceration on children’s mental health and the risk of adverse childhood experiences.
  • Nature vs. Nurture Parenting Styles in Psychology This research analyzes the nature vs. nurture parenting styles and recommends the best style that must be applied to ensure children grow to be responsible adults.
  • Psychology of Children with Incarcerated Parents The relationship between the risks of the development of psychological problems among children and the incarcerated parent status is direct.
  • Parental Substance Abuse: Negative Impact on Child Development The researchers focus on the negative impact of parental substance abuse on child development, leading to addiction problems when these children become teenagers or young adults.
  • The Parent-Child Relationship in Sports The promotion of a parent-child relationship in sports is similar to the coordination of individuals within a group.
  • Youth Self-Reported Health and Their Experience of Parental Incarceration The study utilizes data from the Minnesota Student Survey, which was conducted every three years and included questions on health behaviors, dietary habits, and sleep patterns.
  • Parents Music Resource Center in the United States Parents Music Resource Center was a group created by four women in 1985. The aim of this group was to control the music that was released.
  • Evaluation of Training Program for Incoming Foster Parents A training program has been proposed which will instill vital skills in foster parents through a six-session program, each one lasting at least three hours.
  • Parenting Styles and Children’s Social Competence The social competence of children is usually associated with authoritative parenting of all parenting styles, in which parents balance the demands of the child and responsiveness.
  • Single-Parent Households Issues In preindustrial societies, kinship systems were the main form of social organization that provided members cooperated by marriage.
  • Parental Caregiving Assumptions and Best Practices The right start and the proper introduction and guidance to the appeared challenges contribute in a positive way to providing parents with the proper care.
  • Differences in Parenting Styles in the East (China) and the West (America) The article discusses introduction in the essay “Differences in parenting styles in the East (China) and the West (America)” and argues that is short and straightforward.
  • “Parenting and SES: Relative Values or Enduring Principles?” by Roubinov Parenting is one of the most critical aspects of social dynamics, where children’s development and growth are affected by the choices their parents make along the given process.
  • Theology of Family Life, Marriage and Parenting Religious marriage is possible when a ceremony is conducted (simultaneously or separately, depending on religion) with the couple being wed in the eyes of God.
  • Bullying: A Guide for the Parents The first way for parents to assist the kid in coming up with bullies is to teach them a set of responses, which they can use in case someone is picking on them.
  • Parental Listening, Encouraging, and Trusting Parents who know how to listen, encourage, and trust their kids can positively influence their children’s emotional stability and social success.
  • The Gender-Neutral Conceptualization of Parenting Society should apply gender-neutral conceptualization of parenting because a parent’s gender was found to have little impact on the child’s development.
  • Tort of Negligence and Parents-Drivers’ Responsibility The negligence lawsuit is an important part of the law system that considers crimes that are committed by persons who failed to use reasonable vigilance and caution.
  • Parenting Philosophy in “Where the Wild Things Are” Parenting philosophy described in the story “Where the Wild Things Are” is an uninvolved parenting style with an emotionally unavailable mother.
  • Parents and Children’s E-Safety Education During the Pandemic When it comes to children’s education from a Constructivist perspective, parents are to engage with the children’s activities online to make sense of the Internet knowledge.
  • Parenting Styles and Aggressive Adolescents
  • Ethical Principles: Parents’ Vaccination Concerns
  • The Relationship Between Parenting Styles
  • Theoretical Approaches to Child Parenting
  • Pride: Parents Who Teach Their Kids About Self-Worth
  • Parental Deployment: Action Plan
  • Parenting Techniques Analysis
  • Tax Research Problem Parent Corporation
  • Efficacy of Punishment and Reinforcement In Parenting
  • The Lived Experiences of Native American Women Parenting on and off Reservations
  • Child Abuse or a Parental Discipline
  • Parent’s Education and Child’s Dental Health
  • Single-Parent Families: Source Analysis
  • Adoption: Can Same-Sex Parents Nurture a Stable Child?
  • “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex” by Schalet
  • The Article: “Parental Perception of Child Weight: a Concept Analysis”
  • Parents, Children, and Guns
  • Program to Build Parenting Skills in Teenage Parents
  • Parent and Child Perspectives on Adaptation to Childhood Chronic Illness
  • Liberal Stance on Child Care for Working Parents
  • Dominant Parenting Styles: Gender-Differentiated Parenting Revisited
  • Parenting in Lapine’s Play Into the Wood
  • Reasons to Become Parents in Middle Adulthood
  • The Adaptation to Childhood Chronic Illnesses: Parental and Child Perspectives
  • Romantic Relationships and Parenting
  • New Parent Guide: Breastfeeding and Attachment
  • Negative Media Effects Mitigation: Parents’ Role
  • Helping and Supporting Single-Parent Families
  • The Influence of Parents in the Development of the Baby
  • Infant’s Temperament Influences on the Parents Treat
  • Understanding of Motherhood and Parenting Role
  • Baby Care Class for Expectant Parents
  • “Superpowers for Parents” by Dr. Stephen Briers
  • Native American Women and Parenting
  • Substance Use by Parents and the Effect on Kids
  • How Can Parents Produce Important Behaviors in Disabled Family Members?
  • Grand Parents Custody Rights Analysis
  • Problems Experienced by Children That Are Reared by Heterosexual Parents
  • The Role of Parents Within the Education System
  • Why Do Parents Abuse Their Children: Discussion
  • Sociological Research Evaluation: Effects of Parental Imprisonment on Children’s Social and Moral Aspects
  • Parents’ Responsibilities: Child Support Obligations
  • Medical and Christian Ethics: Ill Child and Parents
  • Childhood Obesity: Medication and Parent Education
  • Postsecondary Enrolment and Parental Income
  • Counseling for Healthy Relationships With Parents
  • Parents Shape Early Adolescents’ Eating Behaviors
  • Are Parents Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes?
  • Attachment Theories in Child-Parent Relationships
  • Authoritative Parenting in Comparison to Other Styles
  • Children’s Early Literacy Achievement and Parents’ Role
  • Parenting Styles in Situational Examples
  • Homeschooling Disadvantages for Students and Parents
  • Same-Sex Parenting Impact on Children’s Behavior
  • Childhood Obesity, Medical and Parental Education
  • Parenting Styles: Values and Standards Transmission
  • Parents’ Incomes and Children’s Camp Expenses
  • Childhood Obesity: Parental Education vs. Medicaments
  • Childhood Obesity: The Relationships Between Overweight and Parental Education
  • Violence: Community Center for Children and Parents
  • Air Pollution Threats: Parent Education
  • Parents’ Gender Roles and Children’s Aspirations
  • Parenting Styles Researching: Analytical Techniques
  • Children With Asthma: Risks Created by Smoking Parents
  • Eight Steps of Effective Parent Participation
  • Parents’ Education in Childhood Obesity Prevention
  • Parenting: Open Versus Closed Adoption
  • Childhood Obesity and Independent Variable in Parents
  • Childhood Obesity and Parent Education
  • Family-Based Childhood Obesity and Parental Weight
  • Parenting Style Comparison: Positive and Negative Impacts
  • The Father’s Role in Parenting
  • The Impact of Relationships With Parents on the Future
  • Parental Exposure and Underage Drinking – Psychology
  • Te Single-Parent Homes Problems
  • Developmental Psychology: Aggression Between Parents
  • Parents Bear Responsibility for the Recreational Rioter – Psychology
  • Psychology Issues: Childhood Development and Positive Parenting
  • Parents Need Help: Restricting Access to Video Games
  • Corporal Punishment and Parents Position
  • School Communication and Involvement of Parents in the School Activities
  • Vaccines: Should Parents Avoid Vaccinating Their Children?
  • What Are the Differences Between Chinese and Western Parenting Styles?
  • Does Homosexual Parenting Have Negative Effects?
  • Does Strength-Based Parenting Predict Academic Achievement?
  • What Is an Example of Cultural Bias as It Relates to Parenting?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Mothers’ and Fathers’ Parenting Practices?
  • How Does Gender or Sexuality Condition Influence Parenting?
  • How Parenting Styles Changed for Indian Immigrants?
  • What Is Measure of Parenting Satisfaction and Efficacy?
  • What Links Between Parenting and Social Competence in Children Are There?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Parenting Style and Math Self-Efficacy?
  • What Are the Multiple Determinants of Parenting?
  • How Opioids Can Interfere With Parenting Instincts?
  • What Is Developmental Contextual Perspective on Parenting?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Parenting and Poverty?
  • How Equally Shared Parenting Works?
  • What Factors Are Related to Parenting Practices in Taiwan?
  • What Are the Consequences of Parenting on Adolescent Outcomes?
  • What Does the Term Systematic Training in Effective Parenting Mean?
  • What Is Development of a Parenting Alliance Inventory and How Does It Help?
  • What Are the Differences Between Collectivist and Individualist Parenting Styles?
  • What Are the Protective Effects of Good Parenting on Adolescents?
  • What Behavioral Observations of Parenting in Battered Women Are There?
  • What Is the Changing Nature of Parenting in America and Why Is It Not Permanent?
  • How to Overcome Parenting Stress in Raising Autistic Children?
  • What Is the Intergenerational Transmission of Parenting?
  • Should people be legally obliged to take parenting courses before having children?
  • Does helicopter parenting hinder a child’s development?
  • Should parents share equal responsibilities in childrearing?
  • Is it ethical for parents to share the photos of their children without their consent?
  • Should parents enforce strict limits on screen time for their children?
  • Does co-sleeping harm a child’s sleep patterns and independence?
  • Should parents allow teenagers to make vital decisions like getting tattoos?
  • Is it ethical for parents to choose a child’s career path for them?
  • Should parents be liable for their children’s cyberbullying behaviors?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose not to vaccinate their children?

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 16). 287 Parenting Essay Topics & Creative Research Titles + Examples. Retrieved from

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1. StudyCorgi . "287 Parenting Essay Topics & Creative Research Titles + Examples." January 16, 2022.


StudyCorgi . "287 Parenting Essay Topics & Creative Research Titles + Examples." January 16, 2022.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "287 Parenting Essay Topics & Creative Research Titles + Examples." January 16, 2022.

StudyCorgi . (2022) '287 Parenting Essay Topics & Creative Research Titles + Examples'. 16 January.

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Parenting Argumentative Essays Samples For Students

32 samples of this type

While studying in college, you will surely have to write a bunch of Argumentative Essays on Parenting. Lucky you if putting words together and turning them into meaningful content comes naturally to you; if it's not the case, you can save the day by finding a previously written Parenting Argumentative Essay example and using it as a model to follow.

This is when you will certainly find WowEssays' free samples collection extremely helpful as it includes numerous skillfully written works on most various Parenting Argumentative Essays topics. Ideally, you should be able to find a piece that meets your criteria and use it as a template to build your own Argumentative Essay. Alternatively, our skilled essay writers can deliver you an original Parenting Argumentative Essay model written from scratch according to your personal instructions.

Gay Adoption Argumentative Essay

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Raising A Child Argumentative Essay Example

Whether or not both parents should assume equal responsibility in raising a child, good argumentative essay on mary shelley's frankenstein, argumentative essay on are mothers better parents than fathers.

All of our  free essays online for students are to be used as examples only. 

Example Of Argumentative Essay On Preventing Incidences Of Teen Pregnancy

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This essay considers and discusses the potentially positive effects of curfews for teenagers; i.e. do they keep teenagers out of trouble? Whilst it is not possible to keep teens under observation 24/7, hence it could be said that they will get into trouble at other times of the day, even at school or college for example, is there a special benefit in restricting their movements late at night?

The Arguments

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<Institution> THESIS: Spanking, when done according to a set of rules, should not considered as a form of child abuse because it can foster discipline and diminish unwanted behaviour.


According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, around 1,520 cases of children’s death were attributed to child abuse in the year 2013 all over United States (as cited in National Children’s Alliance, 2014). In addition, the National Children’s Alliance (2014) reported that they served more than 290, 000 victims of child abuse in 2013, and the numbers went up to 315, 000.

Sample Argumentative Essay On Women In Prison

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The issue of abortion has generated a lot of controversy for a long period of time. The debate on whether to legalize abortion has mostly been taking place in religious and legal quarters. Most of the people who have been vocal about illegalizing abortion are religious and moral leaders. However, there have been women activists who have come out to strongly to argue for the legalization of abortion.

Should Men Get Paternity Leave From Work Argumentative Essay Example

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poor parenting essay introduction

Protect against Title IX and submit a comment by September 12, 2022.

The US Department of Education released their proposed changes to Title IX regulations that would dramatically change the future for women and girls in federally funded activities and programs. There are many negative impacts that will harm girls, women, and families.

A government portal has been set up for you to make a comment submission.  It is very straight-forward and easy to do.  In addition, this governmental body is required to read every submission, large and small – before they can finalize the new “Rule.”  So rest assured, your input will be read and considered.


Poor parenting leads youth to violent crime…

by United Families International | Nov 15, 2011 | Family , father , motherhood , Parents , The Family , UFI Blog , Values

by Rachel Allison

Several days ago I was reading an article by  Meg Mirshak entitled “Poor Parenting Leads Youth to Violent Crime.”

The article printed in the Augusta Chronicle upset me and I’m sure many other readers. Crime cases were cited involving children as young as 11. This particular case involved a home intrusion at gun point!

Another case:  A 15-year old was charged with conspiring to kidnap and kill a fellow student. Her plan was to beat her “friend” with a crowbar!

A local judge said that the cases he is seeing in his courtroom are being perpetrated by younger children and the crimes are more and more violent.

Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan’s suggestion? “Parents need to pay more attention to their children.”  What a novel idea!

May I add that not only do they need to pay more attention to their children, they also need to pay more attention to what is happening to the decline in moral values and the increased in-your-face media blitz that erringly persuades young and old that life is all about selfish, immoral and lewd behavior. Until we and our children are grounded with solid values, principles, and standards that help us see the decadent behavior portrayed in the media as the life damaging and society destroying behavior that it is, we can be subtly or aggressively brainwashed into believing the lies they promote.

It troubles me to see how quickly the decline in our society has taken place. If it continues to spiral downward at the rate it has in the past 30 years, my grandchildren are in for a rough ride to say the least.

The article quotes Superior Court Judge Wade Padgett as saying “

“Some of the things we are seeing are so violent that they can’t get a second chance,” They become true criminals not just delinquent juveniles.”

At the end of the article I began reading comments by readers.  May I share the one by “literallyamerican.”

I visited a prison not long ago to see the guy who killed my sister. I was looking to understand what happened and why he would do something like that. When I sat there looking around at everyone in the room where people visit, I was shocked to see so many young men in there. It became apparent to me looking at their faces that for the first time in their lives they were experiencing what REAL boundaries are. I believe in punishment and fully realize that you have to pay for what you do, but in some ways it was sad because they had to come to prison to get that type of “parenting” that should have been done at home. I saw the same thing in the person I went to confront–he looked completely shell shocked.

I have often told my husband, “If we don’t take the time and make the effort to teach and guide and counsel our children when they are young,  we will spend years trying to undo the damage that is caused by our neglect.

Tragically, apathetic parents,  the media’s decadent influence on society, and a government that is doing its best to shut God out of the conversation, have created a perfect stage for creating children who, without boundaries or principled values can destroy their lives before they reach adulthood.

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Analysis of Rex & Rosemary’s Parenting in The Glass Castle

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Analysis Of Rex & Rosemary’s Parenting in The Glass Castle

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Introduction, the portrayal of bad parenting in the glass castle, frequent traveling as an example of bad parenting.

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Here’s How an Open Democratic Convention Would Work

Elaine kamarck breaks down the presidential nomination process..

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App , Apple , Spotify , Amazon Music , Google or wherever you get your podcasts .]

A full transcript of this episode is available here:

Ezra Klein: So last week on the show, I made the argument that Democrats should pick a candidate at the convention this year. That Joe Biden is capable of doing the job of president but that his campaign is not going well, that it is not clear, to me, at least, that he is capable of running successfully for president.

This is the way political parties throughout most of American history have picked their nominees for president. But it’s a funny kind of suggestion, because it is somehow simultaneously novel and ancient.

So what I wanted to do today was talk through how conventions work — how an open convention works, what kind of politicking happens at it, what kinds of candidates win, how they win and also talk through what would happen this year. I mean, what if Biden dropped out in April? What if he dropped out in July or August? How does that change it? What happens if he drops out before delegates are selected? What happens if after? All these things create very different dynamics.

Elaine Kamarck has literally written the book on presidential primaries. It’s called “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know About How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.” She’s a senior fellow in governance studies and the director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings.

But she’s also been in the room where all this happens. She’s worked on four presidential campaigns, on 10 nominating conventions, both for Democrats and Republicans. She’s been a superdelegate to five Democratic conventions. So she both has the theory and the history but the actual felt experience of what it is like when you are figuring out these rules and trying to work within them. As always, my email: [email protected].

Elaine Kamarck, welcome to the show.

Elaine Kamarck: Thanks for having me.

Klein: I want to begin with something that you’ve said before, which is that selecting a nominee is a process, not an event. Tell me about that.

Kamarck: Well, there’s two stages to picking a president, right? One is the primaries, and second is actually choosing the delegates. So the primaries allocate the delegates. The winner of the primary gets five delegates from this state. The actual people who are chosen as those five people are not picked until weeks or sometimes months after the primary.

Unlike any other election in the United States, it is a sequence of elections, not one single election. It starts in January or February, goes all the way to the beginning of June. And because it’s sequential, it has a different dynamic. The primary in one state has an impact on the voters in the next state, etc., etc., all the way until some candidate seems to have a majority of delegates going to the convention.

And then if that doesn’t happen, there is a convention, and the convention is the ultimate authority.

Klein: That isn’t how we did it in, say, 1900. So before we get to how we did it in 1900, why did we move to this sequential primary process? What was the underlying theory of the problems that it solved?

Kamarck: It had to do mostly with 1968 and the antiwar movement.

In the old days, a lot of delegates went into the convention, and they were uncommitted. You didn’t know who they were going to vote for at the convention. And by the way, the voters just thought this was natural. They understood this to be a party process, not a public process. And as you may remember from your history books, in 1968, Lyndon Johnson dropped out of the presidential race in March. Even though he won the New Hampshire primary, Eugene McCarthy came pretty close to him in the New Hampshire primary, and he decided to get out of the race and focus on getting out of Vietnam.

That meant that there were two kinds of candidates running. There was Hubert Humphrey, who inherited a lot of Lyndon Johnson’s political power and delegates. Humphrey, by the way, was the vice president back then. And then there was Gene McCarthy and then, eventually, Robert F. Kennedy, who ran on an antiwar platform, on a new generation platform, etc.

And what happened was they couldn’t win delegates. And so if you want to get a sense of this, you can go to YouTube history , and you’ll see that there was sort of a riot outside the convention in Chicago. And there was sort of a riot inside the convention in Chicago.

In other words, the 1968 Democratic convention really blew up. And as a result, they established a commission to look at the way the party selected delegates. And that changed everything.

Klein: But I want to get at something a little confusing in there, which is, as you mentioned, there were primaries before 1968. There are primaries in 1968. You just said Johnson won the primary against McCarthy. So what were those primaries doing if they weren’t choosing the candidate?

Kamarck: Well, first of all, there were very few of them. I think in ’68, there were only about 16.

And second, and most important, they were not binding. In other words, a candidate could win the primary and not win any delegates from that state. The process of selecting delegates was not related to the outcome of the primary. Almost all the primaries prior to 1972 were what we used to call beauty contest primaries. In other words, sometimes they were useful in seeing which candidate did well with the voters, but basically they were not determinative of winning delegates.

Klein: So I want to get at something, because I just find this period in our elections fascinating. So delegates make the choice of who the nominee is going to be at the convention. But you also have these primaries that are about giving the delegates, functionally, information.

I think the very famous one is John F. Kennedy in West Virginia. Can you talk a bit about what that primary was and why it then mattered for the convention, even if he didn’t win any delegates?

Kamarck: Sure. It’s a fascinating example of what used to happen in the old days. Kennedy’s big problem, as far as the rest of the party was concerned, was that he was a Roman Catholic. And back then, people were not sure that a Roman Catholic could be elected president. You know, there was all this stuff going around about would he answer to the pope, not the Constitution, that sort of thing.

So Kennedy needed a place where he could prove to the party elders, like Governor Lawrence of Pennsylvania, who controlled the whole Pennsylvania delegation, Governor Brown of California. He needed to prove that he could win in a Protestant state, he could win Protestant voters.

And he won the Wisconsin primary, but when the powers that be looked at the results and looked at the internals, they said: Wait a minute. You won this because of an outpouring of support in Catholic precincts. You didn’t win Protestants.

So that meant he had to look for another primary, and he went on to the West Virginia primary. And in West Virginia, there weren’t very many Catholics, so it was an all-Protestant state, and he won West Virginia. And by winning West Virginia, he seemed to have answered one of the big questions about his candidacy, which is: Could he win votes in Protestant states?

And when that happened, a lot of the people who were watching him — party leaders, elected officials across the country — said: Maybe this guy can do it, and maybe we will support him.

Klein: And so all this then is getting to this question of the delegates. And in this period in political life, who are the delegates, and why do people think it is, one, legitimate for them to choose a party nominee, right? Who are they to make that decision? And two, why would they be good at choosing a party nominee? What gives them the expertise to make that decision?

Kamarck: In this period of time — and frankly, it’s not so different in our own period — delegates are people who have some relationship to their political party. They can be labor union members in the Democratic Party. They can be county chairmen. They can be precinct chairmen. There’s some people who are political actors. They can be the mayor of a small town. They can be a county commissioner. Maybe they worked for the party. Maybe they were a super fund-raiser for the party, whatever. But they had strong links to the political party.

Klein: So then 1968 happens. It’s a disaster. This commission is appointed. What do they report out?

Kamarck: Well, there’s two things that really changed fundamentally the way this whole system works.

The first was that primaries had to be binding. And so in the old days, a lot of people went to the convention uncommitted. What changed in ’72 was the delegates still had to get themselves elected, but they had to be pledged to a presidential candidate. You had to establish a presidential preference, and the presidential preference had to have some relationship to the outcome of the primary.

The second change that happened was the requirement that in caucus states, the caucuses should be held at the same time throughout the state. Because in the old days, like in Iowa, the caucuses would be held over a period of two or three weeks. Well, the problem was the press could not figure out who was winning. I mean, it was almost impossible to go through, you know, 99 counties in Iowa and thousands of precinct caucuses and figure out who was winning.

As soon as you require them to all be at the same day on the same time, well, guess what? They could count and announce it to the press at 11 o’clock, and that was a big story. And what that meant is it essentially turned caucuses into the functional equivalent of a primary.

Between those two things, really, we’ve never looked back. Interestingly enough, Ezra, at the time, no one really understood how big a change this was going to be.

Klein: Tell me more about why you say that. This is obviously a pretty big change to move from having a convention full of uncommitted delegates who make their decision on the floor of the convention to a convention driven by primaries and caucuses that happened well before. So when you say they didn’t understand how big of a change it would be, what did they think they were doing, and what did they not predict that then happened?

Kamarck: I think they thought they would still control the system. But in fact, once you moved to binding primaries, control moved from the party leaders and the elected officials to voters in primaries. And I don’t think anyone anticipated what a profound change that was going to be. They did see it in 1972, when, to the consternation of lots of party officials and elected Democrats, the Democrats nominated George McGovern. And that’s when the lightbulb went off and people said: Oh, no, what have we done?

Klein: One of the ways I hear this justified now — and more than justified — one of the ways I hear things happening at party conventions delegitimized is the idea that primaries are democratic and party leaders or party members making these decisions are nondemocratic. Right? There was a lot of uproar in 2016 about the potential for superdelegates to act at the convention. That didn’t end up being relevant, but people were worried about it.

But primaries themselves are not particularly representative. I mean, they’re democratic in the sense that if you qualify, if you’re part of the party in the right state, you can vote. But relatively few people in those states vote in primaries. Primaries are something that the kind of intense, hard-core, faithful or the otherwise well mobilized do.

So how do you think about that question of what is democratic here? The sort of representative function of the local party members acting, the participation function of anyone who wants to can come out to vote. How do you think about the trade-offs from a perspective of representation and democracy?

Kamarck: There are two different ways to think about representation and democracy. The primary voter, that’s a form of direct democracy. You’re going to put a bunch of names in front of primary voters, and they’re going to choose who they like the best.

Then there is representative democracy. That’s what we have when we elect senators and representatives to Congress. We are electing them to make decisions on a wide variety of issues before us.

The party leaders and elected officials are almost always elected by someone. In other words, that’s one of the things that was missing from the superdelegate debates that we’ve had in recent years. Congressmen are all elected by many, many more people than sometimes vote in presidential primaries. The senators certainly are elected by a lot more people. The members of the Democratic National Committee are elected people.

So this is just a different form of democracy. It’s more representative democracy than direct democracy. And that’s where the battle is. Some people think that it’s only direct democracy that matters.

The other thing that gets lost in this debate is that political parties are covered under the First Amendment of the Constitution under the right of free association. And a lot of court cases over the years have said, in essence: Look, a political party can do mostly what they want to do in terms of how they nominate candidates — presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, whatever. They can do that as long as they don’t run up against another constitutional right.

So the clearest example is the Democratic Party of Texas decided that they were going to have an all-white primary. Black people were not going to be allowed to vote in the primary. Sounds amazing this day and age, but that’s what they did. And back in the 1940s, this went all the way to the Supreme Court. And the court said: Look, the Democratic primary is tantamount to winning the election, and therefore, if you deprive people of their right to vote in a primary, you are depriving them of their 14th Amendment rights.

And of course, that has stood for many, many years. Nobody ever tried that one again. But on other questions, like how you allocate delegates to candidates, the courts have basically said: No, that’s in the purview of the political parties.

Klein: One of the other tricky distinctions here, to me, is that there’s this question of who can participate, right? Can you vote in a primary? Then there is this question of what you can vote for in the primary.

We have this distinction between primaries, which we see as roughly democratic, and conventions, brokered conventions, which we understand as roughly controlled by parties. But that can break down a bit.

So to make this clearer, look at this year. Go back to September. There’s a poll by CNN. Two-thirds of Democratic-leaning voters do not want Joe Biden to run again. They don’t know who they want to run. Nobody in the poll has a large amount of support beyond Joe Biden, but they don’t want Biden. They want to find somebody else. But nobody else who is a significant player in the Democratic Party runs.

So in a sense, you have a primary happening right now. Joe Biden just completely dominated in South Carolina. But what you have is a brokered primary. There was a lot of party pressure to not have other Democrats jump in. They wanted a united front. They didn’t want people weakening Joe Biden.

So how do you think about a primary like this year? Because on the one hand, it is a primary. You can vote for it. But there’s not really any other choices to vote for if you’re a Democrat. So what role is a primary really playing?

Kamarck: Well, I think this is less to do with primaries and more to do with incumbency. I mean, if you look back over the last 50 years when we’ve had primaries, very often, the incumbent president doesn’t have an opposition in the primary. Bill Clinton didn’t have any opposition in 1996. Donald Trump didn’t have any opposition in 2020.

That’s mostly because when you’re a sitting president, you have a lot of control over your party. You’re doing things for your party. You’re raising money for the party. You’re making friends.

Running against an incumbent president is really hard work. Once the primary is open, however, and there’s no incumbent president, we’ve had no trouble having people get in the primary. There’s been lots and lots and lots of people in the primary, as you can recall from some of the recent debate stages, which were so crowded.

Klein: So I want to talk a bit about what would happen if, this year, the primaries are no longer a viable way for Democrats to pick a candidate, they no longer have an incumbent, Joe Biden steps down, he decides that this isn’t right for him any longer.

If Biden steps down in April, if he says, “I’ve just decided that the right thing for me is to finish out my term and pass leadership on to the next generation of Democrats,” what happens? What would begin from there?

Kamarck: Well, beginning in April, you’re going to see a lot of state conventions, county conventions, etc., going through April, May and June. And in those conventions, the party participants — and anybody can come to the first of these things — they will pick delegates. They’ll pick delegates to the state convention or to a congressional district convention, and they will actually choose the people who go to the national convention in Chicago.

So let’s suppose that Joe Biden dropped out in April. The people who would want to replace him will engage in a very grass-roots campaign to get their loyalists in the state elected to go to the national convention. It will be a little bit like the old-fashioned world. Just because there weren’t primaries doesn’t mean that people weren’t running around the country trying to get support.

Teddy Kennedy was at the state convention in Wyoming speaking for his brother. And Robert Kennedy was all over the country going to state conventions and county conventions and trying to get support for Jack. This was going on way under the surface.

And if, in fact, the president was not running, the same thing would happen. People would be out there on behalf of a Gavin Newsom or a Governor Whitmer or, you know, whoever. People would be out there trying to get people elected to the convention that supported them. It’s a very, very grass-roots undertaking. We haven’t seen it in more than half a century, but that’s what would go on.

Klein: Go a level deeper. When you say they would go to the convention and try to make it such that delegates who liked them were named — so if you’re Gavin Newsom, you want Gavin Newsom-oriented delegates, because the best way to win a delegate is to have that delegate be for you before they ever walk in the door. What do you do? Who are you trying to convince? How do you know who those delegates are? What kind of politicking is actually happening there?

Kamarck: It is a politicking among the activists in the Democratic Party because those are the people who seek to run as delegates. You would be finding your supporters in the state and encouraging them to go to the county convention or go to the state convention. You would be finding your friends. And again, you need a lot of friends to run for president, and you need to have a lot of friends all over the country — which, by the way, is why incumbent presidents do so well and incumbent vice presidents actually do so well, is that they have a chance to make friends all over the place. And in this scenario, you would really need friends all over the country. In Pennsylvania you’d need them. You need them in California. You need them all over the place in order to find enough people who would be willing to go engage in this election and get elected as your delegates to the convention.

Klein: I want to get at the way that would lead to a different selection than primaries — particularly I think in the very modern social-media-oriented attention era — do. Which is to say that when one of the main questions is: Do you have friends all over the country? Are you able to influence these delegate slates? It seems to me, looking back on history, to select more for candidates who are broadly acceptable to their party and select against candidates who are maybe insurgent oriented, who are very controversial inside their party.

So this is a kind of process, I think it is safe to say, that knocks Donald Trump out of contention. In a world of delegates and conventions, in 2016, Donald Trump does not win the Republican nomination. This is the kind of person who is knocked out by that. But Bernie Sanders probably also does not do nearly as well as he does. And on the other hand, it pushes — oftentimes, maybe not always — toward candidates who are well known, your Hillary Clintons, your Joe Bidens, etc.

Is that a fair way to think about it, that it selects for people who are broadly acceptable to the wide coalition but against people who might be intensely generating enthusiasm in smaller factions of the party that are trying to make a run for dominance?

Kamarck: Yeah, I think that’s a fair way to say it. I don’t think it’s absolute. I don’t think it’s as dramatic as some people would have you believe, because, in fact, in the many decades since these reforms, both parties have managed to elect, a lot of times, very mainstream-type candidates — right? — like a Mondale or a Mitt Romney or someone like that.

But if the old system were to happen today, it also allows for an element of peer review. Now peer review, if you need brain surgery — right? — you go to a brain surgeon who has had other brain surgeons say: This person is, yes, capable of doing that. You don’t pick your brain surgeon on the basis of his smile or his ability to do well on television. You’re looking for sheer competence. That’s all.

We have peer review in all sorts of areas of American life. Your manicurist has to have a license and has to know enough not to give you an infection in your nails. So there’s peer review all over.

The modern primary system is devoid of peer review. There is no place where people who know about government say: Hey, this person can or cannot do the job of president of the United States. Had you had some peer review in 2016, Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have made it.

And take the following fun example. Jack Kennedy, in 1960, had to go to Governor Lawrence of Pennsylvania. He was the boss, the big boss of Pennsylvania. He controlled the whole delegation, and it was a big one. And he had to go to him and convince him that he would be a good candidate and a good president.

So imagine the conversation. Obviously, it’s in a smoke-filled room. There’s probably some brown liquid of scotch or a bourbon on the table, And the two men are talking. And obviously, Kennedy does a pretty good job convincing Governor Lawrence. And they talk about politics, but they also talk about government.

Now imagine Donald Trump having to encounter a Governor Lawrence in order to win the delegates in Pennsylvania. And he goes in — of course, the room’s no longer smoke filled, because we don’t smoke anymore. But he goes in, and he says, you know: I’m going to build a wall on the southern border between us and Mexico. And the governor says, well, OK. I mean, I guess that’s a feasible idea and probably pretty popular. And then he says: And I’m going to have Mexico pay for it.

Now that has to be one of the more ridiculous statements a presidential candidate has made. How on earth would you do that? Would you go to war with Mexico to make them pay for a wall? I don’t think so. And you can see another elected official, another person in government saying: How would you do that? Right?

In other words, these candidates, in this system, there is a measure of competence that takes place. And therefore, a Marianne Williamson would never even get in the door. We would still have ideological candidates, but we wouldn’t have candidates who were really running to get a slot on CNN or to sell books. We would clear the field of those kinds of candidates.

Klein: Let me ask if that’s not a little bit sunnier of a view of this than sometimes it really was. Because, I mean, you know infinitely more about all this than I do, but my sense is that there were sharper boundaries, that it was partially about ideology. The party professionals, the center of the party, the people who held elected office, they were worried about more than competence. They were worried about their power. They were worried about what they would get from this candidate or that candidate.

They had their views about what would play well in the electorate. They had their views about what they wanted to see happen in government. Right? Governor Lawrence presumably had substantive commitments that he cared about and wanted whoever the candidate was to actually be doing when they were president.

And they also have all kinds of biases about just what a president looks like. Right? I mean, as you were saying, John F. Kennedy had to get through all these traps about whether or not a president could be a Roman Catholic. If you’d had a convention process — Barack Obama was obviously a very, very talented politician and quite well liked within the Democratic Party. But if it had just been a convention, would those same party pooh-bahs have thought that a Black man with the name Barack Hussein Obama in 2008 could have won? I mean, maybe not. They might have said: You know what? You’re great. Hillary Clinton’s a safe choice.

So I just want to push on that a little bit, because, from my read of it, competence was not the only thing these people cared about. There was a lot of horse trading, of assuming.

And that’s partially why I think a lot of people now feel it’s not that it wasn’t legitimate. I mean, the brokering — people don’t say that word with a highly positive affect.

Kamarck: They were not in the business of taking chances. You’re right. They were interested in winning, and they were interested in governance and in preserving, of course, their own power. But remember, their own power was not dependent on the presidential candidate. Their own power came from being elected in their states. They knew something about how to win because of the place they were in. And their judgments tended to be pretty good judgments about what it would take to win at least their state.

Klein: Now let me ask you about a different timeline here. Let’s say it is Aug. 1. The primaries are over. The delegates are selected, committed primarily now to Joe Biden, and Joe Biden has a health event or just realizes that he can’t do this. It’s not for him right now. And he steps down. What happens then so close to the convention?

Kamarck: Well, at that point, you have 4,000-and-some people who are already elected delegates on their way to Chicago. And I think that other people will throw their hat in the ring, and they’re going to have to convince those delegates in convention, because there’s not much time, right?

So you will have what you had in the old days. Delegations will meet in their hotels, and the candidates will go from hotel to hotel, or their surrogates, talking to the delegations and trying to get support. You would have the wives or the husbands being surrogates. You’d have other surrogates going to the smaller state delegations.

And in the meantime, of course, you’d have a wild social media campaign going on. You’d have polling going on. You’d have all the other things going on. It’d be pretty wild. You might need another day for the convention because there’d be so much work to do.

And odds are you’d have to go beyond one ballot for somebody to get the nomination. Odds are you’d need a first ballot just to figure out where everybody was, and then you’d probably take a break before you had your second ballot.

It would be pretty wild. I think for political reporters, Ezra, it would be the most fun of your whole life, and you’d love it. I think the voters would be absolutely tuned in to their televisions. This would be great reality TV, if you will. It would be reality politics.

But there are rules and processes for getting through this, and I think at the end of the day, you would have a Democratic nominee. Now, who knows how that would play in a general election, especially if only one party was going through this? Who knows what that would do to the general election? But it would be an old-fashioned convention.

Klein: Well, let me try to live in this world for a minute, try to imagine how it would feel and what would happen. Let’s think August, maybe July, right? There are a couple of months here.

Here’s what I see happening. There is a mad dash. I mean, Joe Biden gives a sort of heroic, honorable speech: I’ve decided that it’s the right thing for me is to be a bridge to the next generation, that we all need to know when our time is up, that I have important work that I still need to focus on and trying to defend Ukraine and Israel, Palestine and all these different things. And so there’s this sort of applause to Joe Biden.

And then all of a sudden, there is this mad dash. You have, of course, Vice President Harris, but it’s very easy to name eight or 10 other people who would be, you know, very plausible here — Buttigieg, Raimondo, Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, Jared Polis, Raphael Warnock. Anybody can have their list. Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar.

CNN and MSNBC are going to start running candidate forums on the daily, as many of these that can actually be done. Because, one, they can actually shift the world — if the right 5,000 people watch this, you might just win the convention and the nomination and become the next president. They’re going to be giving speeches. They’re going to be sitting for a million interviews and podcasts — very busy time on “The Ezra Klein Show.”

So there’s going to be a month or two-month period here where they’re doing the thing that you talked about with the beauty contest primaries earlier. They are trying in every form they can think of to show that they have that it factor, that they are electric, that they will win, that they know how to hold the tensions of this moment and inspire but also maybe convince voters who would be wavering from the Democrats.

You would have a run-up period, depending on how long it is, that would not really be primary oriented but would be mass media oriented because you’re trying to shift polling, shift narratives beyond social media in a way that the delegates who are coming walk into that convention thinking, “You know, it’s pretty clear to me that Gretchen Whitmer is the one who could win this election” or “It’s pretty clear to me that Ro Khanna is a person setting people aflame.”

And so in an often dead period, you have what would be a genuinely riveting democratic spectacle. I think the thing people worry about, and quite reasonably, is that the party fractures here, that the fighting immediately becomes riven with ill will, that it becomes toxic. That, you know — should this be given to Vice President Harris? And if it’s not given to Vice President Harris, does that mean the party is passing over a Black woman, and what does that mean about the party? But it could also just be a contest. How do you imagine that playing out?

Kamarck: Oh, Ezra, I think that’s hard to say, right? I mean, that really is hard to say.

Klein: How do you see it feeling? I don’t mean “How do you see it ending?” but “How do you imagine people acting within this period?”

Kamarck: My guess is it would not turn toxic. I’ll tell you why.

It’s too short of a period of time. The first thing candidates do is they try to introduce themselves in a favorable light to the voters. In this case, the voters are basically 4,000 people who are packing their bags to go to Chicago.

And it would be sort of a bad idea to get really toxic at that point, because if your first introduction to these people is you’re out there saying ugly things about Kamala Harris or you’re out there saying ugly things about Gavin Newsom, it’s probably not a smart thing to do.

And I don’t think the divisions within the Democratic Party are as ugly as the divisions within the Republican Party. If Trump was your example here, I think this could get really ugly if the Republicans were confronting the same thing. But the Democratic divisions are simply not that deep.

And you just don’t have time. You just don’t have time. And you’d always be worried about how is this impacting these 4000 people. There would be a lot of attention to who these people are and a lot of seeking the biographies of these people of every single vote.

And there would be an advantage to being from a big state, which is sort of not important anymore but used to be. So Gavin Newsom would go in with, by far, the biggest bloc of delegates to the Democratic convention. Texas, New York, Illinois, they would all have big blocs of delegates. And if you came from one of those states, you would have an advantage, no doubt about it, going into the convention.

Klein: You mentioned a minute ago that you’ve got these 4,000-plus delegates coming, and that implies that there are 4,000-plus individual decision makers. They’re also superdelegates, senators and members of Congress from the party. But is it that many individual people? When people talk about the brokered convention, when you talked about John F. Kennedy meeting with governors, I think there’s a sense, at least from the past, that maybe not everybody votes as a bloc, but there are decision makers who sway their groups and who have a lot of power.

Who has power in this? Like, is this a world where Ben Wikler, the chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, and Lavora Barnes, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, do they become superpowerful? Are they the brokers?

If you are a candidate, who are you really trying to meet with and move here?

Kamarck: Well, it’s going to differ from state to state, because first of all, if you have a governor in the state — so in Michigan, it would not be the party chair. It would be Gretchen Whitmer herself.

So one of the things I can tell you that most people don’t realize is, I’ve been a delegate to 10 Democratic conventions, and I’ve sat in the delegation. And you’d be amazed how little of the conversation has to do with the presidential candidate.

As Tip O’Neill said, all politics is local. So for all the years I sat in the Massachusetts delegation, I don’t think I ever had a conversation about the presidential candidates. It was all about who’s going to be the next speaker of the house, how many seats do we think we can pick up in the legislature, who’s going to run for attorney general. It was all local politics.

Now, given that it’s so local politics, people who are powerful in the state are going to be the ones that can most easily sway the delegates. So a sitting governor is going to be very important. If you don’t have a sitting governor but you’ve got, say, one United States senator, that person’s going to be very important.

The other thing you have at a Democratic convention is you have a lot of members of labor unions. So the labor union members will probably meet and caucus aside from whatever state they’re in. So if you’re a U.A.W. member and you get to the convention as a delegate, you’re going to pay a lot of attention to what the U.A.W. president says and to what the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. says. You’ll have different blocs according to where people’s, you know, interests lie. So it’ll be a combination of interest groups and political power within each state.

Klein: I think, within this speculative scenario we’re playing with here, you can imagine two different branches.

One, Joe Biden steps aside but says: Vice President Harris has been my partner in every major decision. She is a person to lead the Democratic Party. All of you delegates who have been named to vote for me, I really hope you’ll vote for her.

And another is where he doesn’t do that. Says she’s great but says it’s a grand party and that he trusts the delegates in the party or just doesn’t really say anything about it at all.

We typically think about something like this passing on to the vice president pretty easily. Harris, I think, occupies an unusual space in the party. She has some really significant backers and fans. And also, there is concern. She polls a little bit behind Joe Biden.

How would this work when you have somebody who in many ways would be the obvious next candidate but, also, there’s concern and worry about them as the next nominee?

Kamarck: I think it would depend on who else decides to get into the race.

You can imagine that if Joe Biden got out and said: I’d like to endorse Kamala Harris. She’s been great. She can do the job of president. I’m vouching for that. You could imagine that that would have a stifling effect on other people. A lot of people would decide: No, I’m not going to run against her. I’m not going to get into the race. And so that would probably help clear the field.

The question is, after a Biden announcement, would somebody else jump into the race? And if not, then I think people would pretty much stand behind Harris and nominate her as president. But if you had a couple of other powerful figures get into the race, then I think you might have an open battle for the nomination.

I don’t think that Dean Phillips would be the logical choice, but somebody like — if Gavin Newsom decided to get in, well, you’re instantly splitting the California delegation.

So it really depends on whether someone gets in or not.

Klein: I think something that sits in people’s heads here is as you mentioned, the last example that’s on the Democratic side is 1968, which is one of the worst party conventions in history, I think it is fair to say.

Kamarck: Right. It’s fair to say.

Klein: But there have been other conventions that are very fractious. In the convention that nominated Woodrow Wilson in 1912, it took, I think, 46 ballots for Wilson supporters to break the deadlock there. Sometimes the party just really cannot agree.

I’ve been reading this book about the convention that picked Lincoln. And over on the Democratic side, the first convention fails, and they have to go and have a second meeting later on.

What tends to divide the conventions that go well for parties from the conventions that go poorly?

Kamarck: What tends to divide them is ideology or deep regional differences, which then have ideological implications. So it’s ideology that really makes the big explosive conventions — over civil rights, you know, for the Democrats fought over that for many of their conventions.

There have been other issues. Lincoln’s party, I’m sure you know more than I do at this point, but it’s fascinating. That was a brand-new party. And of course, it had a pretty explosive issue, and it was called slavery and whether or not there would be a civil war.

So you can see why when the stakes are huge, the conventions can be quite contentious. I don’t see that on the Democratic side this time. The Democratic Party today has been quite unified. For the entire speakership of Nancy Pelosi, the margins in the house were not very big, and they managed to pass an awful lot of legislation.

I could see it more likely on the Republican side if it were Trump who were dropping out or he had a health issue. And we have to keep reminding ourselves that he is 77 and he can have health issues too. I think if it were on the Republican side, you’d have a great, big civil war as we’re seeing in the House of Representatives right now between MAGA and more mainstream Republicans.

But I don’t see that, at least at this point in history, on the Democratic side.

Klein: I’ve been trying to think about this myself, and the issue that I could see becoming extremely disruptive, even up to schism on the Democratic side, if it continues to get worse, and there was quite a bit of time between now and then, is Israel and Palestine.

I mean, that is a place where I think you’d see huge protest movements, a gigantic divide between younger Democrats and older Democrats. But I also think you’re seeing the Democratic Party try to shift its position on this even right now. So possibly by the time you got to a convention, that there would be a little bit more party unity on it.

On the other side, there is this intense unifying pressure of Donald Trump. The fundamental issue of the Democratic Party is that Donald Trump should not be president again. And the fact that he would be being nominated, I think, would create a strategic sharpening of the mind on the Democratic side, much as it did in 2020, which led to the nomination of Joe Biden.

So it’s funny, because I could see it going a bit both ways, but this seems to me to be a Democratic Party, more so than in some other times, that is very obsessed with winning, because it really fears the consequences of losing.

And so it reminds me a bit of something that I love from that Lincoln book, Edward Achorn’s book “The Lincoln Miracle.” And he quotes Charles Sumner, who is a senator at that point, sending a welcome message to the delegates — “whose duty it is to organize victory.” Which I just think is such a great quote about what parties are meant to do. They organize victory.

But tell me a bit about what happens when you have a convention with multiple strong candidates. I mean, the 1960 convention is interesting from this perspective because J.F.K. is a strong candidate, L.B.J. is a strong candidate. What happens there?

Kamarck: The ’60 convention is a really very interesting convention because there were really serious candidates in that race. They were highly respected, and they had a lot of support. Each one of them had support within the hall. But what the delegates at that convention saw, particularly the ones who are uncommitted, was they got to see up close and personal a very charismatic candidate. And compared to Lyndon Johnson, compared to Senator Symington or any of the other people there, Kennedy was just really a new generation and so handsome and so charismatic that delegates said: Yep, he’s our guy.

Even with Kennedy’s attributes, he almost lost the ’60 convention. He almost lost it. But that, I think, made him stand out from the pack. It was a generational turn, which everybody got behind. Suddenly, the World War II generation was coming into its own, in terms of leadership of the country.

So I think that’s what happened in 1960. Again, you can see on YouTube history , you can see a meeting in Los Angeles at the 1960 convention where Jack Kennedy addresses them and Lyndon Johnson addresses them. And Lyndon Johnson stands up, and he kind of drones on and on about all the major pieces of legislation he has passed as majority leader in the Senate. That’s his presentation.

Kennedy gets up there, and he smiles. He starts joking. He’s holding the audience in the palm of his hand. And you can see right there, right in that one little clip, why Kennedy managed to get the nomination away from Johnson.

Even so, however, there was so much Johnson support in that convention that Kennedy had to put Johnson on the ticket as the vice-presidential candidate. And they didn’t really get along very well. Kennedy’s brother Bobby hated L.B.J., and vice versa. Nonetheless, L.B.J. was on the ticket because he had delegate strength.

Klein: One danger of possibly going to a convention for Democrats is that they just don’t know how to do it anymore. The candidates don’t know how to politic among delegates. They’ve not had to do that in a very long time. They don’t really think about delegate math. They have no muscle memory of this. The delegates don’t know how to pick a candidate. They’ve not had to do that. They did not get named to this thinking that the weight of the entire country and its future would be on their shoulders.

There’s a possibility just for procedural chaos, for this to not go well because the relevant people no longer know how to do this kind of thing. Do you worry about that?

Kamarck: No, I don’t. And the reason is that the people who become delegates in 2024 are not really dramatically different than the people who became delegates in 1960. They are people who are experienced in politics. There are obviously more women, more people of color. That’s the difference.

But those women are pols. The people of color are pols. They have come up in a system. They’ve won a delegate slot, which means they have some support within their political party back home. You’ll have a bunch of senators there. You’ll have a bunch of congressmen there. They do this every day. Every day they’ve got votes. They have to see how many they have to count votes. They have to figure out who they can get to their side. That’s what they’re doing there on the floor of the House of Representatives, which, you know, looks pretty confusing to us.

And so I have, pretty much, faith that the delegates would figure this out and that the party leaders would figure it out. The presidential candidates — the problem there would be, I think, that they themselves would not have a broad enough understanding of 50 state politics to operate very effectively. So you can see there being some confusion there.

But democracy’s a mess. As Winston Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

Klein: One of the things you told me once that is stuck in my head is that all the machinery is still there. We actually still run a convention process. We just don’t run it openly. We just don’t use any of those systems or that many of those systems for their intended purpose.

The thing that may not be there is a sense that parties and party actors are legitimate. I think about this in the 2016 Republican convention, where even though a lot of the official Republican Party really loathed Donald Trump, it didn’t feel like it had the strength to try to stop him. I think about this with the sort of backlash on the superdelegates on the Democratic side. And I think one of the fears or the ways this could go quite bad is that Democrats end up at a convention process and there is anger, like: We, the people, did not get to vote. You just did this. The party just did this, and parties are not supposed to do this.

The fact that they did it in the past doesn’t mean it fits the mores and expectations of the present. How do you think about this question of legitimacy?

Kamarck: Well, that’s an interesting question. I think what would happen is if the primaries were over or we were in the middle of the primaries, people would understand that, OK, you can’t rerun 50 state elections because, after all, November is Election Day, and you got to have a nominee by then. I think people would understand that the political parties would have to do it and that the people who are participating in the political parties, in fact, are duly elected.

This was one of the most misleading things about the superdelegate debate — was that they kept calling them elites as if they were a bunch of billionaires. No, they were senators and congressmen and mayors and governors who had been elected by people, and therefore, you had a sort of representative form of government.

I think that in an extraordinary circumstance, the people would understand that it’s now gone to the parties. And in fact, the compromise that was ultimately reached between the Bernie Sanders people and the Democratic Party was that the superdelegates would only vote on the second ballot. The thinking behind the second ballot was that if superdelegates had a role on the first ballot, their count in the delegate count could distort what the people were saying in the primaries. In other words, you could have the superdelegates going for a person who was not winning the primaries.

On the other hand, if, in fact, no one won the primaries definitively, no one had a clean majority going into the convention, then in fact, the people would not have spoken clearly. They would have spoken, and they would have spoken in different directions. And at that point, it made sense to have the party leadership involved in the selection of a nominee.

So in that compromise, I think you see that people would probably understand: OK, look, we can’t rerun 50 primaries. It’s over. Our candidate is not able to serve or not willing to serve. OK. We’ve got to go to Plan B. And Plan B is you have the convention decide.

Klein: What do you think it would feel like? I know it’s a sort of soft question. We’ve been talking a lot about rules and delegate selection processes, but if we end up in this scenario where, over the summer, the Democratic Party suddenly enters into an almost unknown situation in the modern era where its incumbent president is not running. It is looking toward making a decision at the convention. There’s all of a sudden a huge amount of politicking of a kind people haven’t really seen before.

What do you think that feels like in this period, in this era of the media, in this moment in American politics? What has it felt like in the past? How would that be different now?

Kamarck: Well, I think what would be different now is the intense coverage of the politicking. In the past, this politicking went on largely unseen, and they certainly weren’t covered in the way we think of covering a political event today.

So in the past, this all went on behind the scenes, really. I think that if we had to do this all over again, it would be covered extensively. There would be national television crews at the Wyoming state convention or the Illinois state convention, it would look to the voters as pretty chaotic initially, just as when the voters, if they ever tune in to a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives, it’s all these people milling around and people taking turns arguing against each other, etc.

But I also think it would be fascinating, and I think the voters would like it, frankly. I think it would be reality TV and people would get into it, and I think they’d like it, and they might learn something about the democratic process.

Klein: There’d be something ironic about Donald Trump losing to a better reality television show than he was able to to put on.

But to that point, would a ticket coming out of a convention in late August have time and capability to mount an effective general election campaign? It’s Joe Biden who’s been doing the fund-raising, right? I mean, the D.N.C. does some fund-raising, but this ticket would not have been doing its own fund-raising for months and months and, frankly well over a year now. How could they actually run?

Kamarck: Well, remember that when you come out of the convention, this becomes a party matter anyway. So it would depend not on whether the candidate could raise money but is the party in good shape financially? It’s the national political party’s and the state party’s health in terms of finances that are really important. When you come out of the convention, you go into the general election because they can then raise money for the whole ticket.

So in 2016, Donald Trump had a mess of an organization nationally. Didn’t matter because the Republican Party at that point was very strong. The state parties were very strong. They had talented leadership. They had a lot of money.

This year, by the way, the Republican parties are sort of in a mess. As you’ve probably read, they’re replacing the Republican National Committee chairwoman. They’re replacing her. There’s four Republican parties in swing states that are basically out of money.

Klein: Possibly replacing her with a Trump.

Kamarck: Yeah. Right, with a Trump. And so this kind of party chaos in the election year doesn’t bode well for the strength of the party in the general election. Democrats have more money than the Republicans do right now. They have more cash on hand. They have a stable leadership, etc. And you don’t have the chaos in Democratic Parties that you do in Republican Parties.

Klein: But it’s still the candidates who are better fund-raisers. I mean, the D.N.C. is raising money, but Biden raised a lot more money. He’s got more than $100 million on hand. Can they use that money? Can that money be transferred around?

Kamarck: Yeah, of course. Look, at the point when you come out of the convention, it really does become a party operation. It’s no longer an individual candidate operation.

Presumably, Kamala Harris, if she was the nominee, or Gretchen Whitmer — presumably, they would go do massive D.N.C. fund-raisers and raise as much as they could.

Once you’re out of the convention, it’s all one big happy family. Not always really happy, but, boy, they pretend to the world that they are. And there’s great unity when you come out of a convention, and there’s also enormous legal flexibility for the money — to the state parties, to the national party, to the candidate campaigns, etc. But it’s the party. It’s the health of the party at that point.

Klein: I think that’s a good place to end. So always our final question: What are three books you would recommend to the audience?

Kamarck: Well, I’d start with “All the King’s Men.” This is an old one by Robert Penn Warren, and there’s lots in it about party conventions and all the deal making that goes on.

I’d go to, next, “The Making of the President 1960” by Theodore White, which is about that election, and there’s lots of background stuff on how John Kennedy won the Democratic nomination and how Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination.

And I’d end with “Quiet Revolution” by Byron Shafer, which is the inside story of the McGovern-Fraser Commission. And we talked in the podcast about how people didn’t really understand what was happening when they made all these rule changes, and this book tells that story really well.

So I think if you’re really interested in conventions and the nomination process and a little history, those three would give you a very good background.

Klein: Elaine Kamarck, thank you very much.

Kamarck: Well, thank you.

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App , Apple , Spotify , Google or wherever you get your podcasts . View a list of book recommendations from our guests here .

A portrait of Elaine Kamarck

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Kristin Lin. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , X and Threads .


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  23. Poor parenting leads youth to violent crime…

    by Rachel Allison. Several days ago I was reading an article by Meg Mirshak entitled "Poor Parenting Leads Youth to Violent Crime.". The article printed in the Augusta Chronicle upset me and I'm sure many other readers. Crime cases were cited involving children as young as 11. This particular case involved a home intrusion at gun point!

  24. Analysis of Rex & Rosemary's Parenting in The Glass Castle

    The Portrayal of Bad Parenting in The Glass Castle. At the beginning of The Glass Castle, Jeannette describes her earliest memory of an incident with the fire and how her parents dealt with it. First of all, Jeannette was only three years old when she was left unattended in a dangerous situation. Already, that shows poor character from the parents.

  25. Opinion

    She's been a superdelegate to five Democratic conventions. So she both has the theory and the history but the actual felt experience of what it is like when you are figuring out these rules and ...