Parents really matter

Elke week schrijft een moeder over haar ervaringen met het ouderschap. Omdat niemand de waarheid in pacht heeft, zoeken we allemaal op onze eigen manier naar ‘die alinea van de hoe-voed-ik-een-kind-op-handleiding’ die we op dat moment nodig hebben. Deze week vertelt Carol over twee tips die zij heeft meegekregen van wetenschapsjournalist Helen Pearson.

I have been watching a TED talk about parenting and human development. First of all, I recommend to all of you to take 12 minutes of your precious time and follow the video (TED talk: Lessons from the longest study on human development | Helen Pearson). In this video, the women who is talking, is sharing scientific evidence of a 70 years study on children behavior and what influences them to have a more successful life. I love this talk because being a scientist myself, I like to see how massive scientific study can help us and guide us on the most difficult job on earth… being a parent.


Not surprisingly, I must say, it is concluded on this study that parents matter and matter the most on earlier age. One of the examples I have proven myself to be an incredible parental tool to have a well behave child is to set a bed routine. I see that bed routine is a key element to bring rest and tranquilly to children. I have always believed that a well rested kid is an easier and more approachable kid. I am sure you have experimental evidence at your homes that proves what I am saying is true. Or how do you feel the next day after a party or late evening? Are you as sweet and patience as on your standard? Is your ability to listen to others and being empathic on the same level if you sleep less or break your sleeping routine? I am sure the answer to these questions is no, I am not equally nice, patient, emphatic or just myself if I don’t rest what I need.


Well, the same applies to our kids. They need rest and equality a good bed time routine. When we give this to them, they unconsciously know what is going to happen hence they well be less anxious and therefore more rested. This will just get better and better if they keep their routines and sleep the hours they need. You will see within time (after 2 weeks or so) they will listen more and be more willing to do what you say. I have always followed, as much as I can, a bed routine with my kids and despite their personalities and what their DNA makes them to be, I see my kids are not nervous or in particular difficult and I think the bed routine helps them to be like this.


A second important parenting tool, and again not surprising, is having a warm communication with our kids. I know this is not always possible and kids can be very impatient on asking attention and connecting in a warm way with us. Still, if you try hard, if you free 15 minutes of your busy day to connect with your kids and ask them how their day went, I think the bond and the communication in the family will go much better. Again, I have seen many times, when I give a bit of attention to my kids and listen carefully what they did or to their stories, they are usually more warm and loving to me.


As the women in the TED talk, I don’t know if what I am saying is the ultimate truth and if it will give to our kids the best parenting we can offer. Nevertheless, following these two tips will definitely not harm them and might give them some good.

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