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The Parenting Journal Podcast

Oct 26, 2017

"We can't wait for our kids to do something wrong to teach our children what is right." - Dr. Gustavo Carlos 

Nature versus nurture.  It’s a concept we often discuss as parents in relation to how our children act or eventually turn out.  How much do our parenting practices actually influence our children? Enough of the hearsay.  Let’s look at the science.

Dr. Gustavo Carlo studies these concepts and I am so excited to talk to him about his scientific findings. Dr. Carlo is a professor at the University of Missouri’s Human Development and Family Science department.  He also a father himself. 

He has spent his career studying the development of morality in children and how children develop pro-social behaviors.  For example, what causes a child to be kind, be respectful and be nice to others?  He identifies the biological reasons and also the parent’s roles for these developments.  In other words he scientifically sorts out the roles of nature versus nurture in raising great human beings.

If you would like a free cheat sheet to this conversation - please visit That’s for episode 6 and there you can see the podcast notes for this episode, learn more about Dr. Carlo and his publications,  and also download a free guide to help you help your child become human being who is kind, respectful and nice to others. 

In this episode we cover:

  • the risk factor in toddlers that can cause aggressive, delinquent, immoral behaviors when these children are 10 years old and older
  • the risk factors that parents engage with parenting their toddlers that can cause aggressive, delinquent, immoral behaviors when these children are 10 years old and older  
  • how parents can set their children up for success in developing pro-social and moral behaviors
  • why reinforcing positive behavior is so much more effective than criticising negative behavior
  • why let your child (and yourself) cool down before teaching how to manage behaviors and regulate emotions
  • why the way you yourself were raised is not necessarily the best teacher 
  • why it's important to use social praise to reinforce positive behavior and not material rewards
  • Dr. Carol's advice to parents expecting a child 
  • and much much more....

Dr. Carlo's books:

Read more on Dr. Carlo here.