[OPINIONS★★] PARENTING SUCCESSFUL KIDS
(P1) Anybody who has kids — or hopes to — wants them to stay out of trouble, do well in school, and go on to do awesome things in the professional world.
(P2) While there isn’t a SET RECIPE for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success. They are:
(P3) High expectations
Using data from a national survey of 6,600 children born in 2001, University of California, Los Angeles professor Neal Halfon and his colleagues discovered that the expectations parents hold for their kids have a huge effect on ATTAINMENT.
(P4) “Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal IRRESPECTIVE of their income and other assets,” he said in a statement.
(P5) The finding came out in STANDARDIZED TESTS: 57% of the kids who did the worst were expected to attend college by their parents, while 96% of the kids who did the best were expected to go to college.
(P6) This falls in line with another psych finding: the Pygmalion effect, which states “that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.” In the case of kids, they live up to their parents’ expectations.
(P7) A higher socioeconomic status
Tragically, a fifth of American children grow up in POVERTY, a situation that severely LIMITS THEIR POTENTIAL.
It’s getting more extreme. According to Stanford University researcher Sean Reardon, the ACHIEVEMENT GAP between high and low-income families “is roughly 30% to 40% larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier.”
(P8) As “Drive” author Dan Pink has noted, the higher the income for the parents, the higher the SAT scores for the kids. “Absent comprehensive and expensive interventions, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS is what drives much of educational attainment and performance,” he wrote.
(P9) Higher educational levels
A 2014 study lead by University of Michigan psychologist Sandra Tang found that mothers who finished high school or college were more likely to raise kids that did the same.
(P10) Pulling from a group of over 14,000 children who entered kindergarten in 1998 to 2007, the study found that children born to TEEN MOMS (18 years old or younger) were less likely to finish high school or go to college than their COUNTERPARTS.
(P11) Provide early academic skills
A 2007 meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers across the US, Canada, and England found that developing math skills early can turn into a HUGE ADVANTAGE.
(P12) Offer sensitive caregiving
A 2014 study of 243 people born into POVERTY found that children who received “sensitive caregiving” in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood, but had HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIPS and greater academic attainment in their 30s.
(P13) As reported on PsyBlog, parents who are sensitive caregivers “respond to their child’s signals promptly and appropriately” and “provide a secure base” for children to explore the world.
(P14) Avoid junk time with kids
According to new research cited by Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post, the number of hours that moms spend with kids between ages 3 and 11 does little to predict the child’s behavior, well-being, or achievement. What’s more, the “intensive mothering” or “helicopter parenting” approach can BACKFIRE.
(P15) “Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the JUGGLING with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” study co-author and Bowling Green State University sociologist Kei Nomaguchi told the Post.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you agree with all the factors described for good parenting? Which ones do you implement with your own children (or future children)?
- What does the author mean by “avoid junk time” with your kids (P14). What does “junk time” mean?
- Raising children is difficult in every country. What makes it harder or easier in your country compared to the US? Share your thoughts with your tutor!
Expressions to Practice
“…the Pygmalion effect, which states “that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESY”
What does “limits their potential”, “socioeconomic status” and “achievement gap” mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.