A parenting guru has claimed that "serenity parenting" - where parents take a back seat role and place a greater emphasis on fun - is just as successful as investing in music lessons, organised sport or educational games.

Dr Bryan Caplan, of George Mason University, Virginia, claims that "investment parenting" - where parents encourage children to take up music lessons and organised sports - has little impact on children when they become adults.

Instead, the professor says that parents should "cut themselves some slack" and stop trying to control every aspect of their child's lives.

His claims are backed by academic research carried out on twins and adopted children, which found that parenting's long-term effects are negligible in a wide range of markers, such as health and success in later life.

Dr Caplan said: "Quit fretting over how much TV your kids watch. Don't force them to do a million activities they hate. Accept that your children's lives are shaped mostly by their genes and their own choices, not by the sacrifices you make in hopes of turning them into successful adults."

Dr Caplan findings will be published in a new book, Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids: Why Being A Great Parent Is Less Work And More Fun Than You Think, later this month.

Posted by Robert Mair on 16.5.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com 

 Serenity parenting