Positive Parenting: It’s Never Too Late to Parent

You might have heard that to raise a child, you need to nip bad behavior “in the bud” early on.

But a new study shows that’s not necessarily the case.

A team of researchers looked at data from more than 15,000 families from all over the world. They found that older kids benefited from parenting strategies to improve behavior just as much as younger kids.

The scientists studied a range of parenting interventions that used a “social learning theory approach.”

Meaning they focused on warmth and joint involvement, and shifted from screaming and spanking to more positive discipline.

There was no evidence that using behavior improvement strategies earlier had any benefit compared to using them later, debunking the common belief that changes only happen when a child is young.

And while the scientists say this research doesn’t support delaying behavior intervention, it does suggest it’s never too late to change how you parent.

The scientists also found that interventions of older children were actually more likely to be cost-effective than those of younger children.

The children in the study ranged in ages from 2 to 10.

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