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The Learning Habit Study, Part 3: Parenting Style

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Parenting Style and Academic Performance

The Learning Habit Studyis a large online survey that took responses from 21,145 families and at looked at the impact of three variables on children’s academic success: screen time, family time, and parenting style.  In this series of blog posts, we will look at the findings for each variable and how parents might use this information to better help their children succeed.

The Learning Habit Study defined two parenting styles which they called traditional parenting and empowerment parenting.  Using a questionnaire, the Learning Habit Study then grouped respondents into those two parenting types and evaluated if parenting style impacted academic performance of the children.

Study Bottom Line

The study found that the traditional parenting style had a significantly negative impact on both time spent on homework and on grades.  An empowered parenting style only marginally increased time spent on homework.  However, the empowered parenting style appeared to have an important positive effect on grades.

Bottom line: employing an empowered parenting style should benefit your child’s academic development.

Practical Parenting Application: What is Empowerment Parenting?

The Learning Habit Study, while defining an empowered parenting style, also called positive parenting or authoritative parenting, as a parenting style designed to help children build positive habits.  Parents provide the child clear rules and then give them autonomy to make choices.  An empowered parenting style also rewards positive behavior.

Conversely, the study defined a traditional parenting style, or authoritarian parenting, as a parenting style focused on punishing undesirable behavior or poor performance.  The study calls authoritarian parenting “traditional” parenting, so today’s parents may need to learn a parenting style very different from the one in which they were raised.

According to The Learning Habit: A Groundbreaking Approach to Homework and Parenting the full published findings of the Learning Habit Study, empowered parents are not afraid to let their children make mistakes because they understand that is how the child learns.  An empowered parent will help their child

  • Experience the consequences of their actions
  • Have choices within reasonable parameters
  • Take responsibility for what they control because the parent refuses to take responsibility for them
  • Think in terms of causes and effects, options and consequences
  • Build learning habits that allow them to reach their goals

The book goes on to identify essential learning habits to be:

  • Media management
  • Homework and reading
  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Effective communication
  • Responsible decision making
  • Concentrated focus
  • Self-reliance

The Learning Habit Study, while defining an empowered parenting style in order to measure its impact on child outcomes, does not define or describe how to employ an empowered parenting style.    Parent-child relationship complexity may require introspection, personal research or even counseling for parents to learn and adopt a new parenting style.

Perhaps the greatest finding of the Learning Habit Study is that parents can have a tremendous positive impact on their child’s learning.  The choices you make as a parent truly matter.

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