London: US parenting guru Bryan Caplan has advised parents to adopt a more relaxed approach when bringing up their offspring - such as letting them eat pizza and watch TV.
Caplan, an academic and economist from George Mason University in Virginia, America, claims ‘investment parenting’ – music lessons, organised sports and educational games – does not make the slightest difference to children when they become adults.
Instead, he says, parents should ‘cut themselves some slack’ and stop trying to control every aspect of their child’s lives, reports the Daily Mail.
He calls for a relaxed and fun style of bringing up children dubbed ‘serenity parenting’ which involves parents taking a backseat role.
The theory will cause consternation among the growing band of so-called ‘tiger mothers’ who have subscribed to the latest childcare movement which recommends tough love, hard work and minimal play.
Based on the best-selling book by Amy Chua, Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, that theory says parents should fight to improve the academic achievements of their child.
But Caplan’s advice is likely to relieve the many busy parents who are often racked with guilt over how little time they can devote to their children.
Caplan, a father of three, argues his case in Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids: Why Being A Great Parent Is Less Work And More Fun Than You Think.
He states: “Right now, parents are “overcharging” themselves for each kid. Parents can sharply improve their lives without hurting their kids.
“Nature, not nurture, explains most family resemblance, so parents can safely cut themselves a lot of additional slack.
“Quit fretting over how much TV your kids watch. Don’t force them to do a million activities they hate. Accept that your children’s lives are shaped mostly by their genes and their own choices, not by the sacrifices you make in hopes of turning them into successful adults,” he added.