The parenting style that builds greatest resilience in kids

Michael E. Bernard, Ph.D.
Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Founder, You Can Do It! Education

Kids are often better than adults at bouncing back and some kids seem to be born with a temperament that provides them with a talent for resilience and an ability to quickly move on from set-backs.

However, according to a group of researchers, one of the factors that contributes to the degree of resilience in kids is not the temperament they are born with but rather, their parents’ style of parenting. In a recent study, researchers investigated the relationship between parenting styles and resilience including which style seems to build resilience.

Researchers looked at three styles of parenting including:

  1. ‘Acceptance-involvement’ (warm, firm, involved and sensitive to kids’ changing needs)
  2. ‘Psychological autonomy-granting’ (democratic discipline and not pushing kids to comply with rules)
  3. ‘Behavioural strictness-supervision’ (shaping, controlling and evaluating the behaviour and attitudes of the child in accordance with set standards of conduct that are usually absolute)

The main question of the study was to ascertain which parenting style can predict resilience. The effect of the gender of children in this relationship was also examined.

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