We resisted temptation to go to bed at nine last night, and instead went out to hear Michael Grose talk about Raising Happy and Confident Kids. I started skeptical, but ended up scribbling copious notes. After an evening with the boys I'm back to mildly skeptical. He made some very good points. One was that the role of dad and the role of parent are different and can clash. Dad is a caring role while parenting is essentially administrative.
He thought kids were raised today in a risk-free environment. I can see that people like me are scared to have more kids than they can monitor minutely, feed lavishly and educate to doctorate level. So the one or two kids we have get micro-managed by their folks and aren't allowed to make mistakes or solve problems themselves. it all rang true.
Paradoxically, it sounds like the people who read the least Good Parenting bumpf, but just get on with yelling at their kids, grounding them and occasionally cuffing them over the ear will end up with better adjusted and more resilient children.