- learn to parent effectively
lacking, study finds
By Julie Steenhuysen
Reuters News Service, via
Yahoo online News - 5/3/08
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research, I propose that a core cause of most
family and social problems is an inherited, unrecognized [wounds +
Part of the unawareness is typical
parents' lack of basic child-development and effective-parenting information.
This research summary seems to confirm this.
The links, emphases, and hilights below are mine. Please see my comments
after this summary. - Peter Gerlach, MSW
+ + +
Nearly a third of U.S. parents know surprisingly little about
typical infant development, and this lack of understanding can rob their
babies of much-needed mental stimulation, researchers said on Sunday.
"There are numerous parenting books telling people what to expect when they're
pregnant," said Dr. Heather Paradis of the University of Rochester Medical
Center in New York.
"But once a baby is born, an
astonishing number of parents are not only unsure of what to anticipate as their
child develops, but are also uncertain of when, how or how much they are to help
their babies reach various
milestones, such as talking, grabbing, discerning
right from wrong, or even potty-training," said Paradis, who presented her
findings at a Pediatric Academic Society meeting in Honolulu.
She and colleagues analyzed parenting know-how based on a national sample of
parents representing more than 10,000 9-month-old babies.
These parents completed an 11-question
survey designed to see which parents were well prepared and which were
The survey asked questions like, "Should a 1-year-old child be able to tell
between right from wrong?" and "Should a 1-year-old child be ready to begin
The correct answer to both is no.
Parents who got four or fewer correct
answers were considered to have low parenting knowledge.
The researchers then compared these surveys with a videotaped analysis of the
same families teaching their child a new task, such as playing with blocks.
They also looked at information provided by the parents about how often they
engaged their children in enrichment activities, such as reading books, singing
songs or telling stories.
They found that 31.2 percent of the
parents had a low level of knowledge about what to expect from their child,
and this was strongly correlated with lower parental education level and income.
"The fact that almost a third of parents could only answer four out of eleven
questions correctly was very surprising to us," Paradis said in a telephone
Even when the researchers controlled for factors like the mother's age,
education, income and mental state, they still found
a significant number of parents with
unrealistic expectations about their baby's development.
And that had a negative impact on the parent-child relationship. "Parents who
had less knowledge had less quality interaction with their kids," Paradis said.
Paradis said one way to address the problem is to urge pediatricians to educate
parents during well-baby visits.
"My hope for pediatricians is that we're
able to come up with some novel approaches to educating parents in the office
setting," she said.
(Editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand)
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reliance thereon. Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
This research summary supports
the premise that many average parents are
unaware of vital parenting
can't fill their young kids' developmental
needs adequately. That seems to
(GWCs) who experience a wide range of personal, family, and social problems
and psychological wounds to their kids..
The summary quotes
Dr. Heather Paradis of the University of Rochester Medical
Center in New York, as suggesting the solution is convincing
pediatricians to take responsibility for educating parents on what to expect
from and for their young children.
raise parents' knowledge if (a) average pediatricians were willing to
take on what should be a parental responsibility, and (b) new parents were open
to receiving unsolicited instruction from them.
The real problem is that a high
number of parents aren't motivated to prepare themselves for healthy
The unremarked problems
"beneath" that are (a) the public condones
irresponsible child conception and ineffective child care, and (b)
state and federal lawmakers, churches, and national medical
societies don't challenge that. The result is that millions
of vulnerable young kids are developmentally neglected, grow up to have major relationship, health, and social
problems, and die prematurely.
practical steps any concerned
person can take to combat this tragic complacency and denial.
- Peter Gerlach MSW
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