What kind of parent will you be? There’s a test that can tell you

For the researchers, the focus now is to use the data from the LTP to develop programmes that can make parents feel more confident and competent.

Everybody wants to be the best version of themselves as parents, but it has never been easy to predict the future. But, it has now come to the fore that there may actually be a way to find out what kind of parent you will make. Researchers from the Ohio State University have concluded in one of their studies that how dads behave with a stand-in infant can accurately predicted how they would later behave with their real-life babies.

According to the website Fatherly, the test, known as the Prenatal Lausanne Trilogue Play method (LTP), was developed by the University of Lausanne professors Joelle Darwiche, Elisabeth Fivaz-Depeursinge, and Antoinette Corboz-Warnery to assess “family alliance” within the father-mother-baby group.

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For the study, an expectant dad was handed over a sack of rice as researchers observed him to find out if he and his partner would interact with the sack as they would with a baby — do the ‘baby talk’, gently squeeze it, etc. Months later, when the researchers met with the same couples, they carried an actual baby instead of the sack. It was observed that the new parents did the exact same thing with their real baby, as they had with a stand-in one.

It can, therefore, be said that couples are almost always working on this idea of how they will parent together long before their baby is even born. And although behaviours that are described as ‘intuitive’ are unchangeable, researchers are learning that some indicators of positive parenting seen in these studies can be learnt, the outlet reports.

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For the researchers, the focus now is to use the data from the LTP to develop programmes that can make parents feel more confident and competent.

“From my standpoint as a researcher, the five-minute aspect is notable or interesting just because it’s so short. Like, wow, we can take this small amount of behaviour with a doll and predict behaviour regarding the interaction between a man and his kid a year later,” study co-author Schloppe-Sullivan was quoted as saying.

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