Bad kids ? Train the parents

Interesting piece on the Freakonomics blog:

The paper’s authors conducted a randomized study with 153 socially disadvantaged Welsh parents with children aged 3 or 4. Some of the parents were given a 12-week “intervention programme,” in which two professionals taught the parents how to reward, punish, and discipline their children. The control group of parents were wait-listed for this workshop.

The results showed that the children of the parents who took the workshop behaved significantly better afterward, at least in the short term. The authors make the point that, since childhood anti-social behavior is a strong indicator of adult anti-social behavior and criminality, the findings are potentially very important.

I personally do not agree with this view. I feel that the best parents are those with the best intentions in their heart. Of course, this has to be combined with that essential element called love. Parents have to stop thinking of their kids as extensions of themselves and treat them as individuals in their own right.

What sayest thou ?

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