In very simple terms science is the acquisition of knowledge through research and the subsequent organization of that knowledge and can be applied to just about any field. For this reason there’s no reason why we cannot research the subject of parenting and produce a scientific work on the subject of parenting. But is it really quite as simple as that and is there really such a thing as the science of parenting?
Well, it is certainly possible to research the subject of parenting and to produce a guide to the science of parenting which can act as an excellent starting point to those who are new to parenthood. Any such guide however could only ever cover the basics of parenting and would certainly not represent as a ‘step-by-step’ guide to parenting which can be applied in any situation.
No two children and no two parents are alike. Family situations are also quite different with children growing up as only children or within a family of eight children, with two parents or just a single parent, with an extended family including grandparents, aunts and uncles or without any extended family. The range of different family situations is almost endless.
Society also plays a part in the way in which we bring up our children. It may be thought that parenting should be the same the world over this is not the case and, while a number of the skills necessary will be the same, bringing up a family as an American in the New York is very different from raising a family as a Thai in Bangkok. This does not mean that one is better or easier than the other, but merely that there are marked differences.
There are those who profess to have an expertise in rearing children and many of them have published books on the subject. However, in reality there is no such thing as an ‘expert’ in the science of parenting and, although several of the books published are excellent and can provide you with very valuable food for thought, you will need to take the general points being made and adapt them to your own circumstances.
If you simply take a so-called ‘rule of parenting’ and try to apply it you will frequently end up with poor results because it simply won’t work for you, your situation or your child.
When it comes to the science of parenting you can indeed learn from the body of knowledge which has been acquired over the years from many thousands of parents, but you will have to take the lessons that have been learned and adapt them to suit your own particular situation and needs.