Thursday, 11 August 2011


A lot of debate concerning the UK riots over the past few days has focussed on the ages of those involved, and the fact that many of them appear to be schoolchildren. In particular, there have been plenty of discussion articles on the role of the parents of those involved such as 'Being Liberal is Fine, but We Need to be Given the Right to Parent', as well as this piece from an employee of the Parenting UK charity. Unsurprisingly, there are strong views on all sides.

The impact of parenting styles on a child's development and life chances has been an area that's attracted a lot of interest in recent years, so it's worth looking at what some of the research actually says. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has carried out a lot of work on this topic - take a look at Parenting and the Different Ways it can Affect Children's Lives for no less than 7 reviews of research on different aspects of parenting.

Other reports come from various sources. Only last month the think tank CentreForum published Parenting Matters: Early Years and Social Mobility, while in January the Demos think tank released The Home Front, which investigates the links between low incomes and parenting styles. Looking back a little further to 2007, the Centre for the Wider Benefits of Learning authored Parenting Behaviours and Children’s Development from Infancy to Early Childhood.

Quite a few studies regarding this area were also carried out by the previous government. Picking out the most useful ones is difficult, but readers may find The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil Achievements and Adjustment: A Literature Review and Family and Parenting Support in Sure Start Local Programmes of interest.

If the above just seems like too much reading(!), the Parentchannel website is full of free videos with advice on good parenting techniques. Or for a different take on things, you may want to watch a 2008 video from Teachers TV entitled Teaching Respect and Manners, which examines how Japanese schools encourage good citizenship in children from an early age.

For further links to resources on parenting, have a look at my 'Parents' bookmarks on the Delicious site, though be aware that some of the older links may no longer be working.

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