Ever since I started studying for my degree in Education, the science of parenting has appealed to me. I remember that for my third year of studies, I registered for a special course to become a facilitator of parenting workshops, but I was not accepted. I was so upset. I told the girl in the office, “What do you mean ‘not accepted’? I’m the best student in my class. You can’t get anyone better than me around here”, and she said, “Only parents can be facilitators of a parenting course”.
As soon as Eden was born, I understood what she had meant.
The search for what makes a good parent and teacher did not stop when I was told I could not do the parenting course. I went on a personal journey to try to find the pieces of my most valuable puzzle in life – the makings of a great parent.
I think this constant search has brought me to where I am today. Working with the “education triangle” of parents, teachers and students to understand what makes great kids. At one stage, I remember, it hit me that although some pieces of the puzzle would reveal themselves as time went on, I could already see the picture of a great parent clearly. I had found the most important pieces and I started sharing them with as many parents as I could through my parenting workshops and this parenting blog.
My daughter, Eden, who is now 23 years old, was one of the participants in my lifelong research. In some ways, she still is. She has even shared some of her feelings and thoughts as a participant on this blog (see Eden’s posts).
I am not sure if this was the reason she decided to study psychology, but she did. She had wanted to be a psychologist ever since she was 11. She finished high school at the age of 16, when a close psychologist friends of ours told her she might be a good student but to be a psychologist, she would need to experience life a bit more. So she worked as a waitress and a barista, she worked at a law firm, she worked as a receptionist and then she studied for a diploma in Event Management.
Yet the desire to know how people think and how to help them only grew and she eventually started to study psychology.
This year, Eden is in her Honors year and as part of her studies, she has decided to research … guess what?
(Do you think maybe I transferred this desire to her while breastfeeding?)
This study is being done in collaboration with a friend by the name of Lia Hibner. Together, Eden and Lia are researching the effects of parenting strategies, birth order and social support on children’s emotional development.
The survey is done online and takes about 7 minutes to complete (it took me 6 minutes and 40 seconds, to be exact). They need 150 children between the ages of 9 and 13 and their parents (both parents, if possible, but at least one).
If you have children in this age group and you want to participate, please go to the secure research page and register.
You will receive an email with a username and password for each family member. This ensures that the survey remains completely anonymous, but the answers of different family members can be correlated.
I would like to encourage you all to participate and if you do not have children in this age group, please forward this post to friends and family who do. This is your chance to help make parenting easier and children’s life better.
If you have any questions, you can contact Eden directly. She is happy to answer questions and have a chat about her research. Her contact details are available on the research page.
Of all the people who are waiting for the results of this study, I think I am the person who wants to know the results the most. I have promised Eden I would share the results of the research with you in October, in a way adding another piece to the puzzle of what makes a great parent.
Parenting matters. A lot!