Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bad Kids? Train the Parents

Stephen J. Dubner

Here’s an interesting paper from the British Medical Journal which argues that children’s anti-social behavior can be significantly altered by training their parents to be better parents. (And here is the BMJ’s editorial summary.)

The paper’s authors conducted a randomized study with 153 socially disadvantaged Welsh parents with children aged 3 or 4. Some of the parents were given a 12-week “intervention programme,” in which two professionals taught the parents how to reward, punish, and discipline their children. The control group of parents were wait-listed for this workshop.

From http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/ -- about parenting and children. Some really interesting stuff. It is possible to be vaccinated against pregnancy. The commercialization problems have to do with the process wearing off and the process not wearing off ... but I can see the day when that is added to the list of vaccinations that are required of all children ... with both a large population drop thereafter and perhaps licenses required to be allowed to have children.

But studies like this make you think.


Lisa M. said...

Ya think?

It will never ever stop amazing me, as to how crazy things can be. Just when I think we have reached the threshold of all stupidity someone crosses that line.

Interesting read.

JKS said...

Our society is willing to put money into programs that help at-risk children (Head Start, Early Intervention, etc.).
Sometimes the most effective way to combat a problem IS to educate parents.
My child was in early intervention for language and social delays. The program was wonderful. And what was the best? A class taught by an SLP to parents on how to help your language delayed child. I learned a lot in that class about language development. I had spent hours on the internet researching on how to help my child. That's the kind of parent I am. But I was quite impressed with how much the class helped me (and my husband who had spent far less time researching on his own).
Definitely a good way to help these children...by helping parents help their kids.

kuri said...

Seems sort of obvious. The "nanny" shows on US television demonstrate (and/or exploit) this every week.