Evidence based parenting explained

As a parent, you have the ability to shape the future of the world, because you – through your parenting decisions – will shape the future of your child. Being a parent is undoubtedly the most important job in the world bringing joy and fulfilment, however it also the most challenging and hardest role we will ever undertake.


Parenting is vital in ensuring the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of your child from infancy all the way through to adulthood. Parenting practices can differ widely and many factors such as our upbringing, social status and the requirements in our working lives can impact how we parent. At the heart of all parenting is the strong desire that we as parents want the very best for our child. Research has demonstrated that parents play the biggest role in determining a child’s wellbeing and future success. Certain parenting behaviours protect children, enabling them to develop into healthy and happy adults. Disruptive and unpredictable parenting behaviour on the other hand, places children at risk of a number of negative outcomes, such as poor mental health, poor physical health and low academic achievement.

Most parents will adopt a similar parenting strategy to the one they were exposed to growing up, however, these parenting behaviours are not always the safest or healthiest ways to raise children. As with anything in life, if we don’t have the answer, we seek to find information and knowledge from other sources. As a paediatric doctor with over 15 years experience, I have witnessed first-hand the difficulty parents face in trusting and understanding information available to them. Fake news is everywhere and navigating through vast amounts of information and working out what is true or false, harmful or beneficial can be incredibly stressful and complex. Unfortunately, during my career I have seen an increasing trend of parents practising harmful and at times dangerous parenting techniques due to the vast amount of misleading information that is circulated on social media.

In medicine, we analyse research and evidence ourselves before implementing new strategies and treatments into our clinical practice. I believe that parents have the right to understand the evidence underpinning key parenting practices that are advocated.

I strongly believe that all children have the potential to excel in life and evidence shows successful parenting is paramount in unlocking this potential. Achieving this is only possible by empowering parents to base their parenting practices on evidence that is correct, accurate and proven to deliver the best outcomes. This is a philosophy we use every day in paediatric medicine to ensure the very best health care decisions and treatments for our young patients. Exactly the same philosophy should be applied to parenting.


This passion has given rise to Dr Gina Parenting, an online educational platform. Dr Gina Parenting analyses the most common issues that parents face and delivers correct and accurate information based on clinical research and evidence. This factual and evidence based guidance is provided in an easily accessible manner, empowering parents to make the best possible parenting decisions based on information that they can trust, helping all children to reach their potential.


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