I’ve been thinking a lot about parenting this week. I’ve been helping to devise a new course on parenting for the School of Life, and that’s involved reading lots of the research on how different parenting styles and practices are associated with different developmental outcomes. One impression that has been confirmed for me is that there is very little solid scientific evidence in this area. There are far more people out there willing to offer advice on parenting than there are people willing to test these ideas scientifically.
So I was pleased to rediscover a website called Parenting Science, which promises information on the science of parenting with full scientific back-up. The website is run by an anthropologist, Gwen Dewar, who cares about making sure that ideas about parenting are founded in properly referenced scientific findings. I’m sure that Gwen and I would disagree on a few things, but her site is a welcome antidote to the opinion dressed as science that parents are constantly being fed. Tear up your parenting books and get yourselves over there.