Thursday, 3 November 2011

Essi Viding: A "good enough" child-rearing environment

In today’s world, young parents, like myself, are consistently bombarded with information about the "right way" to enrich our children’s lives. Books and TV programmes marketing the latest, typically entirely unproven "right way" have high visibility and prey on people's anxieties about providing the best for their children. This is where good psychology research has come to my rescue. I have been confidently uncompelled to buy various DVDs and books claiming to enhance my child’s abilities and development. On the other hand, psychology research has furnished me with good evidence that in a "good enough" environment (loosely consisting of "love, feed, clothe, be reasonably consistent and provide opportunities"; i.e. common sense backed up by data), my children are likely to thrive according to their individual abilities and characteristics.

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Essi Viding is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at UCL, where she co-directs the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit with Dr. Eamon McCrory. Her research combines genetic and neurocognitive methodologies to study different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour and has been recognized by several awards, including the British Academy-Wiley Blackwell Prize for Psychology and the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal.

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3 comments:

  1. Absolutely spot on Essi. What a shame common sense isn't common. I've seen a few cases of bright, capable and confident human beings BEFORE they conceive turning into neurotic worriers which naturally impacts their children.

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  2. Elizabeth Kirk3:17 pm

    Here here! Babyhood is a booming market taking advantage of mums who want the best. Thankfully research is pulling apart the myth of 'improvement products'. Every hour of watching baby Einstein DVDs has been found to be associated with a 6-8 word decrease in a child's vocabulary (Zimmerman, 2007) and my own research has found that mums that go to baby sign classes are significantly more stressed than mums that don't (Howlett, Pine, Kirk, 2010).
    Parents need not be undermined, let us celebrate being good enough!

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  3. ahhhh common sense....a lost skill

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