Sneak peek: How do we determine the best parenting advice? Tips on combining research and intuition to guide parenting.
Before starting grad school, I hadn’t really considered how much parenting research was out there. We hear snippets about the “best parenting advice” in the news from time to time, but rarely is it actually based on research. In reality, there are volumes, books, journals, and libraries full of parenting research that never see the light of day in terms of an actual parent (who’s not in academia) reading it.
Should we imply from this that parenting is so difficult an endeavor that we need this much research? On the contrary, I think this massive amount of research speaks to the importance of parenting in our world. We enter our parenting journey with love in our hearts. Along the way, our task of parenting becomes a bit more complex and we have many questions. Yes, some of the best parenting advice comes from traditional knowledge passed down from grandparents. However, in an ever-changing parenting landscape, we need to look beyond the realm of anecdotal evidence at times.
That’s where research comes into play. To my mind, the research is not meant to tell us how to parent in the “right way,” but rather it’s there to complement our innate parental intuition. We can use research to guide our decision making, to gain more insight into our children’s behavior, and to learn more about how children develop.
Imagine feeling empowered to make parenting decisions based on real science, not societal pressure. Think about how confident you will feel when you have the knowledge and strategies to meet your child’s needs. Imagine looking at your children and knowing that they are developing a kind, empathetic spirit that will serve the world in a positive way.
This approach to parenting is possible. Reading child development research doesn’t mean you stop leading with your heart. This is why I created The Thoughtful Parent: to help parents have the knowledge to parent confidently from the heart.
Parenting Research Basics…Start Here
In the midst of our busy lives, we sometimes forget about the big picture. These articles address the deeper questions about the purpose of parenting and why we should even care about child development research.
What is the Best Parenting Advice?
This is probably one of the most common questions parents have: what is the best parenting advice? While each person’s definition of “best” might be different, research does help inform our decisions and goals regarding parenting approaches.
We can begin with parenting research but our intuition about each individual child must come into play as well. These articles strike this balance between relying on research but adding in what we know in our hearts about our children.
Research-Based Parenting Resources
If you’re reading this blog, you probably have some interest in research-based parenting guidance rather than just opinions. All these resources provide support and guidance based on the best research.
Common Parenting Challenges
As we go about our parenting journey, many challenges emerge. From sleep to technology to discipline, all the challenges are ones that research can help us understand. Understanding the latest, best parenting advice from researchers is key here because these challenges are often ones not faced by our own parents (or experienced in new ways).
Becoming a mother is one of the most life-altering decision I’ve experienced (and maybe you too!). These resources provide some insight and research about the ups and downs of motherhood.
This is just a small snippet of the best parenting advice that is out there. Although I cannot cover every parenting topic, I hope to provide some research-based guidance with this blog. Enjoy!