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What is Good Parenting?

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A recent parenting study that is now working its way through the media maze, as commentators either praise it or pan it, claims that there are only two types of good parenting. either a ‘Growing Natural’ parent, or a ‘Concentrated Cultivation’ parent. What’s the difference? Here’s a quick explanation:

Growing natural

This is the ‘organic’ approach to raising kids. Meaning, it its broadest sense, that parents, as much as is consistent with common sense and safety, leave children alone to discover the world by themselves and process that discovery into a moral and ethical code that guides their actions as they grow up. Instead of micromanaging a child’s every single waking moment, the ‘growing natural’ parent gives the child plenty of free time to do whatever they want.

Concerted cultivation

This is the so-called ‘Tiger Mom’ philosophy -- where children are given specific tasks to accomplish and monitored closely to see how well they accomplish those tasks. Everything from piano lessons to soccer practice to sculpting with Play Doh is closely supervised, with constant input from one or both parents at all times. It may sound intimidating, but studies show that in many cases this kind of parenting produces happy children who turn into secure and productive adults.

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