“Serenity parenting” – could this new approach be for you?

Stop humming that battle hymn, tiger mums! A new expert, Dr Bryan Caplan, claims a more relaxed attitude to parenting is better for you, your children and society


Dr Bryan Caplan has taken on Tiger Mom Amy Chua by offering opposing parenting advice in his new book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.


An American economist and academic, Dr Bryan believes that parents are working too hard and should take more of a back seat, allowing their children to more or less do as they please.

The controversial dad of three claims “hothouse” parents that micro-manage their children’s lives are also putting off other potential mums and dads, making parenting look like such hard work!

“What I’m trying to say,” Dr Bryan explained, “Is, if you are a person who likes the idea of kids, being a great parent is less work and more fun than you think. Right now, parents are overcharging themselves for each kid.”

This is totally the opposite idea to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom author Amy Chua, who caused a stir earlier in the year by encouraging tough love and telling parents to push their children from a young age.

Nicknamed “serenity parenting,” Dr Bryan’s approach contradicts Amy in many ways. He advises parents allow their children to drop sports and music lessons they don’t like, claiming these don’t have any effect on the adults the children will become.

And Dr Bryan has widespread support. “The idea that parenting has become the overwhelmingly most important gauge of how a child will turn out is completely implausible,” agreed Dr Ellie Lee, from the University of Kent.

Bryan or Amy – whose parenting approach best matches yours?

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