Friday, September 10, 2010

Empowering Powerless Parents

I've been hearing a lot about this topic lately and have been meaning to discuss it. Luckily, Justin did the leg work for me:
Gladwell's article states that about half of the personality differences among people come from genes (received from their parents, obviously), and half come from the environment. Harris argues that the latter half is dominated by a child's social network, and points to evidence that children tend to model their behavior after their peers, not their parents, particularly when outside the home.
That sums up nicely what economist Bryan Caplan has been saying for a while. This also contradicts how many parents talk about their children. Often they only discuss the positive accomplishments of their family, seemingly praising them. My guess is what they are actually doing is praising themselves for doing such a good job parenting. Instead have kids and enjoy them. Don't worry so much about how they will turn out, you probably have less day to day influence than you think. That said, if the pressure isn't on parents, but on peers in school, perhaps I'm more responsible then I think in my classroom.

Related: Which economist parenting style do you prefer, Bryan Caplan or Steve Levitt?

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.