Children Raised on Tough Love Are More Successful, Study Shows

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids

How would you handle this situation? A British study says

How would you handle this situation? A British study says tough love is best. Credit: mattdm, Flickr

Are you too nice to your kids? A British think tank released a report that says children brought up on tough love are more successful.

The report, titled "Building Character," says that 5-year-olds "with 'tough love' parents were twice as likely to show good character capabilities," according to the BBC.

But what is "tough love"? Researcher Jen Lexmond from Demos, the organization that released the report, defines "the three most critical parenting aspects" as "confidence, warmth, and consistent discipline," according to its Web site.Of the more than 9,000 British households Demos used in its report, rich kids were "more than twice as likely to develop the key characteristics compared to those with the poorest origins," according to the BBC.

Demos researchers hope that their report will shed some light on what they feel are wasted resources. "Building Character calls for more targeted support for parents who are really struggling," they say on their Web site. "Early years support is wasted on middle class parents who are adept at taking advantage of support services on offer and who tend to be doing the right things at home anyway...Good parenting is key to social mobility and that means supporting struggling parents is something we owe to the kids."

Are they right? Should children from lower-income families receive a bigger share of government resources, because higher-income families already have enough advantages already? Or is that just reverse discrimination?


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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.