Why are parents still choosing to ‘keep it real’

More than a decade after the UK launched its new Psychoactive Substances Act, the country is still struggling to define what constitutes “real” parenting.

According to new research, the lack of clarity has led some parents to choose to “keep it true” and continue to live in the bubble.

Dr John Hatton, a clinical psychologist at the University of London, and colleagues conducted the study with the help of more than 200 parents and teachers who were surveyed over the course of the past five years.

“It’s really important for parents to know what their role is in their child’s life, especially when they’re struggling with issues of trauma and trauma-related anxiety,” Dr Hatton said.

“For some parents, this might be a sense of isolation, a sense that they are not part of their child or their family, and that they have to rely on someone else to make sure they’re OK.”

Dr Hatton told Al Jazeera that parents who were reluctant to disclose what they thought were their own thoughts about their child were often “lucky” to have a supportive and supportive teacher who helped them understand what was “normal”.

The research team asked parents and other adults to rate their own reactions to their child using three scales ranging from “familiarity” to “total immersion”.

Dr Hatto and colleagues found that when parents rated their own responses as positive, the responses were often accompanied by a sense they had done something “really good”.

The team also found that parents rated positive reactions as being “good for the child”, which was linked to a feeling of control over their child.

“What we’re finding is that the sense of control, the feeling of being able to decide how they’re going to live their life, that’s actually a good thing,” Dr Pacey said.

While some parents may have been reluctant to talk about what was going on with their child, the research also found there was a “significant positive correlation” between parents who felt safe, supported and loved and their child reporting a positive response.

“I think the most important thing for parents is to know they can have a positive outcome in their relationship, and the negative outcome is that they might not,” Dr Varnas said.

According the study, some parents were also able to identify positive relationships with others who also shared similar values and beliefs.

Dr Varnos said the most positive result for parents who had positive outcomes with others was “a sense of support from others”.

“It can be a bit of a shock when a child’s not being cared for, or they feel that they’re not valued by their own family,” Dr Worsley said.

This could lead to “difficult parenting”, he said.

In the case of children in the UK, the report found that those who reported that they were having positive experiences with others were more likely to report that they had successfully dealt with their fears and anxieties.

“Some of these parents might have been a little scared about the future or they may have had a sense from their own parents that there was no way they were going to survive this,” Dr Toulmin said.

“But what’s more interesting is that for those who had good outcomes with other parents, they actually reported feeling better and more connected to their children, which is very important.”

“They’re going through the whole process, they’re learning, they know how to read and write, and they’re doing all of the things they need to do to cope with this.”

Dr Worsleys thoughts on the new Psychoactives Act: “I think that’s a good way of looking at it.

If it’s a very high-risk, low-reward situation, you can go ahead and say: ‘OK, I’m not really sure what you’re looking for, I’ll just give you a little bit of this and you’re going for that’.”

Al Jazeera’s Rebecca Morris reported from London.