Here at Imperial college we are trialling one of the many early parenting inventions available. VIPP-SD (Video Intervention to Promote Positive Parenting- Sensitive discipline) aims to increase a parent’s sensitivity to their child’s cues as well as to appropriately reward and criticise their child. These are not one in the same, says Professor Stephen Scott.
His research on parenting as a whole has suggested that this distinction taps in to two different aspects of parenting and predicts different aspects of a child’s behavioural and emotional functioning.
In one of his own studies he found that a parent’s sensitive responding predicted their child’s attachment security over and above positive and negative parenting however a parent’s level of criticism towards the child predicted conduct problems over and above sensitive responding.
The effects of parenting as a whole therefore may contribute to different aspects of child functioning as a whole. What we can say is that both aspects are important contributors to a child’s future. Marinus van IJzendoorn, Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Pasco Fearon and Stephen Scott are paving the way in early interventions to allow children to have a brighter one.