Perceptions of parenting

Mapping the gaps between expert and public understandings of effective parenting in Australia

Perceptions of parenting matter.

The evidence says that parenting has the greatest impact on the long-term health and wellbeing of children. We also know that parenting is a skill learnt ‘on the job’. But much of the public discourse about parents and parenting features commentary, views and opinions built on the assumption that ‘parenting comes naturally’.

This is one example of divergence between what research says about parenting and what the public generally thinks about parenting. Therefore, the Parenting Research Centre commissioned the FrameWorks Institute to map the gaps between expert and public understandings of effective parenting.

The Perceptions of parenting report paints a picture of the shared understandings, assumptions and patterns of reasoning that Australians draw upon to think about parenting.

The Parenting Research Centre believes—and this research confirms—that greater effort is needed to effectively communicate the notion of parenting as a set of skills that can be acquired and improved through experiences. 

We sincerely hope this report helps policymakers, researchers and service delivery agencies convey messages that position parenting as a conscious, skill-based practice that can be intentionally improved.

Warren Cann
Parenting Research Centre