I read a great article today in the New York Times about the importance of family dinner.
What, the author asks, is the magic that makes the kids of families that dine together more successful in school and more emotionally well-balanced?
The secret sauce, the author argues, is an Authoritative parenting style. Parenting can be broken down into two fundamental traits: Are you warm or cold? Are you structured or not?
The most beneficial parenting style, research shows, is Authoritative: warm and structured. These parents both set rules and limits for their children, and nurture them with a loving, supportive environment.
Cold and structured is Authoritarian: lots of rules, but no room to understand why your children might break them. Warm and unstructured is Indulgent: a fun way to grow up, perhaps, but it doesn’t seem to encourage kids to be their best selves. And finally, cold and unstructured is just flat-out Neglectful.