Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts

Monday, April 3, 2017

Allocating Chores in a Multi-person Household.

 In our household once the 2 boys were old enough to participate we bid for chores in 1/4 hours. Lowest bid got the chore. Wash, vac, and dust went cheap. Bathrooms and catbox went high. Evening meals including cleanup stabilized at about an hour. Breakfast was high as only one wanted it. Weekend dinners were higher. Bidding ended when everybody had about the same bid hours for chores.

Was this a money transaction?

 Nope hours. Catbox 2hrs. Each dinner 1hr. etc bid until every chore was covered and everybody had same bid hours of chores, which may or may not have had any relationship to hours to do the chore. The catbox was 5 min per day and 10 minutes once a week to change litter, but only one of us wanted to do it. A chore had no time associated with it until bid on.

 Allowances, tuition, lunch money, etc. were basically need based, adults and kids alike.   Unadjusted for incomes which went into the common fund.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Confessions of an Eugenicist

As a staunch evolutionist I am becoming a bit concerned that the human race is breeding itself into mediocrity and that it may not survive the coming human caused changes to the planet that we live on.  The challenges we face will take all of the brain power of the most creative, intelligent and savvy of our children and grandchildren, and it may be that as humans we have given up on breeding them.

I admit to being dismayed that a large portion of the best and brightest in the US have bought into the false dichotomy promoted by the religious right and some feminists that women must either choose the stay at home mom track or a life style without children.  

This observation does not preclude that the stay at home mom may not have valuable genetics, many "successful" men chose accomplished women as their "homemaker" but their accomplishments outside the home are expected to end with the first child. Nonetheless early marriages for women seem to indicate selection criteria other than creativity, intelligence and savvy.  Or perhaps I should say that creativity, intelligence and savvy are incidental to the main selection criteria and society encourages keeping these traits in the closet for the main breeding population.  

The excluded middle is a life style with one or more partners sharing the parenting either as a shared parenting partner or as a stay at home dad. I have seen many scenarios where women have figured out the problem of support for the children that will pass on her superior genes to the race.  From Heinlein: You don't own your genes, they belong to the race.  At one extreme was a talented dedicated woman who said to her husband "If you want kids that is fine, I will have them if you will stay home and take care of them."  Another I know of was a lesbian couple who chose gay men for fathers, and shared parenting among the four of them. The "traditionalists" are women dedicated to their careers and their children, who upfront select men who agree that shared parenting is the way to select superior genes from both and get the kids off to a good start.    

In the shared parenting scenario some of the mom tasks can be contracted, the housework, day care, etc. although in many cases traditional homemaker standards fall by the wayside.  A glance into the bedroom of a shared parenting household will appall traditionalists.  The clean laundry may or may not be folded, but is on a table not in a closet or armoire, the bed is unmade, and if the floor is relatively clean it is because the contracted housekeeper has been there recently.  

Shared parenting is not a lifestyle conducive to material excess, advancement to management in either career, as parenting is a full time second job for both parents.  A recent article suggests that the dearth of women in management positions is that they refuse advancement to keep balance in their lives. Accepting management positions for either men or women frequently means sacrificing both achievement in their chosen field of excellence, and balance outside of the office.  A hidden cost of shared parenting for men is that management is not an option both for social reasons in the paternalistic culture of many businesses and the time constraints of parenting even for older children.  

I know a lot about shared parenting from personal experience and the fact that support comes from other shared parenting couples who seek each other out.  Three times I had to use white male MBA privilege to change careers. Once because I lacked a "Corporate wife" at an important promotional social function, once because management meant a change of locale to corporate HQ and moving was not an option for the family, and once for trying to achieve balance between personal and business life.  I find I am not unique even on the male side.  Most men who co-parent jump off the corporate hamster wheel early to find more rewarding use of their skills and abilities.  

There is some evidence that in some parts of the world, Northern Europe in particular that later parenting and spouse choice based on good genetics is encouraged, but in the US and much of the rest of the world intentional breeding for mediocracy is the social standard.  I know little about the big population centers in South Asia, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that women are in charge of breeding, which is a good sign.  So maybe there is hope after all for the eugenicists.  Women are naturally eugenicists when given some choice, and contraception gives them that choice.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Is Internet Porn Ruining Our Next Generation? Is Censorship the Answer?

Thanks for considering the children.

Nice social conscience.IamGreatest
Most computers, smart phones and even home routers have controls to exclude unwanted internet content.  Parents who think porn is bad can filter it.  Social controls (your conscience) is not the answer. 

But if you really want to consider the children teach them early and often "About your Sexuality" or its successor "Our Whole Lives" curriculum from UU and UCC which treats sexuality as a natural part of the human existence.  If you don't teach them they will learn it from advertisements and TV reality shows.  Or their porn loving friends. 

Education always works.  Censorship never does.  

I read a study a few months ago about young boys and the effects of viewing porn (as a mom of two boys, I was curious) and it focused on the fact that porn skews a person's view of sex and of 'normalcy.' In the study, the boys interviewed thought all girls looked like the girls in porn and if they didn't then that was weird (i.e., all girls were fully shaved, etc). It also discussed how the sex in porn is not even realistic and so it causes young men (and young girls that view it) to have unrealistic expectations. IMO, porn is not harmless and it's not something that should be viewed by children.christiangirl

If young boys and girls don't know what normal is, of course porn will skew their view of sex and 'normalcy.'  If they are kept in the dark of "we don't talk about that" and the only light is porn, guess what, light is normal. I was given a sex education book as soon as I learned to read, about 4 or 5.  '40s. It was as might be expected poorly written and obscure but my parents encouraged me to ask them or my older sisters about anything I didn't understand. Needless to say I was a trouble maker in grade school as other kids knew I had answers to questions their parents wouldn't talk about.  

Mammals have sex at puberty and are interested in it far before that.  Humans are mammals.  They will figure it out one way or the other. 

And, yet, grown men have their views on sex skewed by porn. It's not just about whether or not a kid is taught about 'normal' sex prior to their viewing porn. ...watching too much porn desensitizes us to 'normal' sex. Studies back me up...christiangirl

I suspect that none of those studies included grown men that didn't learn about sex from the church (sex is sin, and the missionary position while still sinful is excusable for procreation.) Or in the military: FFF&F. 

I know and have followed many children both boys and girls that were taught properly about sexuality pre-puberty and most of them find kinky porn to be a stupid waste of time. Most had good relationships with the opposite sex through early puberty and later in life.  None of them had unwanted children. This is confirmed by follow up studies on children that were exposed to the About Your Sexuality and Our Whole Lives curriculums both by UU and UCC research.

Are you actually suggesting that parents take an active roll in raising their own kids? You're asking way too much.mountain_humanist
Liberals think it is the governments job, i.e. "it takes a village."Seraphim
Since religious parents and many others have shown they can't do the job of teaching sexuality and defusing porn, perhaps the village stepping in is not a bad idea.

 In subjects like sexual mores that have such an important impact on peoples "village" I think the government and schools should stay entirely out of the picture. Government and schools will fall to the lowest common denominator usually "Just say no" as unrealistic as that is for sex or anything else. 
First and most important are the parents, supported either by their church or secular resources, eg, charitable organizations providing information and contraceptives for those choosing that route, or the many "Sex Ed" books available at the library, some written at the child's level of development.  Amazon has a whole section in children's books>Growing Up and Facts of Life.  As noted earlier put a few on the child's bookshelf and encourage questions.  When the child needs them hesh will find them. 

Perhaps surprisingly I think the child's church should be the choice for parents who do not choose to be involved.  Make sure your church school has a sexuality resource center no matter what the doctrine is.  The child will have to live with the consequences of that doctrine so they had best know what it is.  Note that child is pre-pubescent.  If they learn before the hormones kick in they are more likely to make better choices. 

The worst choice for parents who don't want to be involved actively is unfortunately porn.  Make sure the door is open to talk about it.  They will see it.  Banned or not.  If they can't talk to parents and mentors, they will learn from peers and porn stars.  

Still,  education simply cannot satiate curiosity,  it won't.  Your 12 year old is still going to want to see what he can see on the internet.   After all I have seen and even done I still have curiosity myself from time to time.

That is where things can get weird,  even with eduation kids are still forming impressions and still forming connections and can get things sadly wrong with some of the stuff they can see online.

I almost ( I said almost, not quite)  think you should do some porny web surfing with kids to be there to correct where things are wrong and where it is not realistic.   But I also believe in strong boundaries and can't imagine doing something like that myself. Funderey

There is a difference between education and indoctrination.  Education is open inquiry where questions and issues are invited and welcome.  When a 12 year old surfs some disturbing porn, either they will hide it if indoctrinated and get things wrong, or if educated ask a trusted mentor what the hell is this?  But they have to know what "Normal sexuality" is in their culture before they can ask about "Abnormal sex"   
I still find you wildly unrealistic and out of touch here.   NO, your average run of the mill - NON indoctrinated, not even religious 12 year old is not going to be totally up front and honest about the porn he or she surfed. They will talk to their friends if it is particularly weird. funderey

One of the early activities in a sexuality education curriculum is defusing taboos.  A bunch of taboo words are written on a sheet of butcher paper, and the kids are asked to write synonyms under them and cross out any wrong synonyms.  Then the fun begins.  "What is wrong with that crossed out word?" asks the facilitator. The kids begin to argue and all sorts of taboos see the light of day.  But the kids learn that they can discuss anything at all, and they do.  One thing they usually argue about is whether a word is nice or not, and the facilitator smiles.  Sexuality education has just sprung up unannounced.

I may be out of touch with the real world, but I have been asked questions by pre-pubescent kids that I had to research to answer.  And I told the kid just that.  Not that it was wrong, just that I didn't know. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Humanists With Children

Your thesis then, is "the very existence of religion is an affront to womens' progress", correct? IronLDS

Talk about misinterpreting a post and fighting a strawman! But to respond to the strawman, religious influence in Western society is an affront to women's progress, as it is the source of the property status of women and the concept that women should STFU and stay home.  All the talk of separate but equal roles is just more religious BS to justify keeping women barefoot, uneducated and pregnant. 

As noted earlier humanist men support women in all roles totally ignoring their haughty status as made in the image of God.  I even know of humanist men who assume the role of househusband to provide their children with proper nurturing while their wives work full+ time at their economic comparative advantage role in society.  She may well be a better mom than he is but her overall worth to society is higher as a medical professional e.g. than his as contract laborer.  More commonly they share both roles usually to the detriment of their careers, more so for the woman, due to the fact that she is working above her station, but both chose children and careers, rather than not having children.  Which by the way is a common choice for humanists as their service to their society as full+ time professionals may be more important to them than raising cannon fodder.  Their legacy is their social service rather than another mouth for the world to feed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Men that are Supportive of Women

It might be helpful to some of us if you could illustrate what you mean by 'really supporting women'.....JewOne

Christine probably has met only one, as such men are extremely rare in any society and practically non-existent in Western Religions.  First and most important such a man will view all women as potential partners in making society better for all people.  This means using his male privilege to help them achieve whatever goals they choose to aspire to. 

If he is better at STEM e.g. he will spend his educational years helping women who aspire to STEM success learn his skills rather than merely honing his own skills for a better chance at success for himself.  (This is not entirely selfless as mentoring is one of the best skill honing techniques known.)

At work he will use his male privilege to mentor and promote women and other minorities to their Peter Principle level in the organization, even at the expense of his own advancement.  (It will affect his advancement as most organizations are paternalistic and "Privilege hath its Rank.")

He will choose a wife based on her potential to make a better society rather than her ability to improve his own position in society, and will sacrifice his career goals if necessary to give her the opportunity to achieve hers.  This means changing diapers, doing housework, cooking more than his share of the meals, taking the kids to piano lessons, doctors, and emergency rooms even if it means leaving a board meeting, even managing the middle of the night feeding, (when the kid cries he gets up, brings the kid to mom, hangs herm on the teat (mom won't really wake up), changes the diaper and sings herm back to sleep.) 

NB this does not necessarily mean choosing a business career woman.  Many of the opportunities especially for women to make a better society are volunteer activities, but done properly take as much time as a full time job.

Just the tip of the iceberg for a man really supporting women. Some will guess the rest. 
Most won't give a damn.

Monday, May 4, 2015

16 Hours a Day to Support a Family

 Mormon wrote:
It's entirely common for my dad and I to work 12 - 16 hours in a day. ...

We've been awake for days at a time juggling work, family, and other duties. Ever been so sleep-deprived you hallucinated? Been there, done that.

I think people can see how having someone back home helping with the family duties would be quite helpful.

The mother of my children and I both worked 12-16 hours in a day, juggling schedules and sleep to take care of two boys growing up in Manhattan.  Due to rampant sexism in her chosen career field I probably juggled more than she did, properly so, as I was the person of privilege and could get away with leaving a board meeting to attend to an injured child.  (My part was over, but since mom was out of town presenting at a major conference, it wouldn't have mattered.)  True, we paid for high quality help with the children, and frequently argued about who should quit and stay home to save money, but all four of us ended up all right.  I probably took the biggest hit career wise, changing careers a few times to stay with the family, but changing careers was common enough among my MBA peers that it raised no eyebrows.

If it sounds like I don't find the slave you had at home helpful you are right.  Nor do I find working 12-16 hours a day depriving your children of a proper father, who could referee/coach games, teach Sunday school, read stories, and sing along with them in the evenings admirable.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Here is a question, what would a gender equal society look like?


Almost any Heinlien novel including the Juveniles.  The women characters are almost always more equal in brains and competence than the men.  The only problem feminists have with Heinlein is that the women generally are interested in contributing their more than equal genes to the gene pool.  Nothing unusual, most of the women I know about who are in the feminist trenches being more competent than the average man in their chosen work are interested in contributing their more than equal genes to the gene pool as well.  They generally choose men who have been brought up to be partners rather than "husbands" and who use their male privilege to support their partner. 

Case in point: A well educated, extremely intelligent and broadly competent man (brought up by a dual career couple) did odd jobs throughout his partner's US military supported medical training, required service in a base ER, and residency; fathering and parenting 2 children in the process.  The doctor took over a small metropolitan area family practice, which needed a practice manager as well so that odd job fell to the partner.  Those of you from the yellow boards on this forum will appreciate knowing what gooddogma-sit and Tarakyan have been doing since they got too busy to post here.  Yep.  True story.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Men and Women are Different

Feb 2, 2015 -- 11:28PM, A Creationist wrote:
Your male-nurse-counterpart, would recognize some other differences, though.  [Women] have body parts which complement [which have different functions from him,] and [women] were designed for reproducing offspring. [Along with most other human activities.] Your body produces eggs, monthly, and you menstruate, monthly, and his produces sperm, continually.  Your breasts were designed to suckle a baby [and women have] in a womb which he doesn't have.

The two brains differ; the types of thought processes differ; the body structures differ; the emotional reactions differ; the topics of conversation differ....

If the designs differ, why fight the roles and functions, associated with them?

[Minor edits in red].

In the ERSSG with which I identify women are generally smarter and more competent at anything they choose to do than the men.  The men are smart and competent as well, the SSG selects for intelligence and competence, but the women seem to be slightly higher on both curves than the men.   Evolution selects for smart, competent women because smart, competent women produce smart, competent children of both genders which are valuable assets in the reproduction of the species. 

It is true that the women gestate the children.  It doesn't seem to slow them down much, as their men pick up the slack.  One scientist I knew was in the lab at 10am went to a scheduled medically indicated induction for her second child at 2, and was back in the lab the next day. Something about a grant application that was inconveniently due about the due date of the child.  Dad picked up the slack at home with the first child, he took a week vacation (before paternity leaves) in anticipation of extra work at home due to the grant and anticipated birth.  He also handled the middle of the night feeding: get up when the baby cried, hang the baby on the teat of the sleeping mom, change the diaper when indicated, and tuck the baby in the crib.

Home chores are usually more equally divided with men taking the more equal half.  The men take the more equal hit on accommodating their careers to the needs of the women as well.  Only proper as they are the privileged ones.  A white male MBA changes jobs and careers like underwear anyway, doing so to stay near the woman's workplace is no problem.  The only racism in that statement is in the larger society, the non-white males have more difficulty changing jobs and careers for any reason.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Socially Responsible Humanism

Thad Yep, J'Carlin. That's my sense of "prick", too. And I reiterate: unfortunately, any prick can be a father, too. "Father" is not some noble vocation, unfortunately, and neither is "parent". In the U.S. today, the terms seem to be increasingly confused with "unpaid juvie officer". ...
Thad J'Carlin, you're doing a lot of generalizing there and in my experience, that sort of thing doesn't work very well. "Humanism" is also a grand phrase that's devoid of any practical meaning. What does one do if one is a humanist? What does treat everyone as if they had inherent worth really mean, in practice?

As my virtual friend Stream Angel well knows, I believe that it's quite easy to make these great sweeping statements about justice and equality and human worth and what not. What I think is difficult is to actually boil those down into concrete practices.

It's all well and grand to talk about "good parenting", for example, but what does that really mean in terms of practices? Some people will tell you a good parent needs to swat their kid's rear end occasionally. Others are horrified by the very idea and feel no compulsion against dropping a dime on a parent who'd do that.

Is it "good parenting", for example, to take a child to a brothel? Be careful: the question is a hell of a lot more tricky than you might expect.

I may be generalizing, admittedly a harder row to hoe, but cherry picking specific examples, what we call in Bible arguments prooftexting, is really worthless in any argument.  For any shit you sling on the wall I can find different shit to cover it up.  The only result is a shitty wall.  
The takeaway is that it is all solved by the principles of humanism (lc h) that is all people are humans.  Not men, not women, not children, not Christians, not Jews, not [whatever.]  Simply humans. Not all the same humans certainly, humans are all different, but if you put "human" before the [whatever] it really does change the way you think about and look at people.

If it is a human body builder does it really make a difference which costume the human is wearing?

If it is a human dancer does it really make a difference which costume the human is wearing?

If it is a human CEO does it really make a difference which costume the human is wearing?
If it is a human street person does it really make a difference which costume the human is wearing?
or for more difficult cases 
If it is a human bigot does it really make a difference which -ism the human is wearing?
If it is a human criminal does it really make a difference which suit the human is wearing?

Humanism does not mean noble or even not a prick.  But the assumption of inherent worth and dignity does change the way you think even of a prick.  Maybe a victim of bad parenting, or the wrong associations while an adolescent, or any of a host of factors.  Hesh is still a prick, a crippled human, but a human nonetheless.  

Please note.  I am saying nothing about what a humanist society will do to protect itself from crippled humans.  It must do so.  Even humanist societies remove threats, but even threat removal must recognize the dignity and humanness of the threat.   

Parenting is a different issue.  But the same principles apply.  A parent, that is a person or persons who chooses to accept a child into their family, also accepts the societal obligation to nurture and socialize the child to become a responsible human adult in the society.  The society will provide resources to help, but ultimately it is the responsibility of those who choose to parent to choose the most useful resources to supplement their nurturing guidance.  This is a joint effort of the parents and the society so whether the child goes to a brothel, is beaten into compliance with societal rules, or whatever is as much a society issue as a parenting one.  



Sunday, February 27, 2011

ChooseYour Parents Well

The origin of self in relation to truth - Beliefnet

Why it is so important to pick your culture very carefully: A child will be necessarily be imprinted with the memes of his parents and their Social Support Group. It is called socialization and is critical if the child is to survive to puberty. This is in fact nature's plan. It in critical for a human to be a part of a tribe. A lone human is a dead human in the natural world. Nature has provided an escape hatch in the adolescent rebellion phase of any normally intelligent child. And if the child is exposed to other tribes as many modern children are in school, the rebellious child may find a better (or worse) tribe to associate with.

Obviously as a child this is a pipe dream, but as an adult anticipating reproducing the SSG that you will provide for you child will determine whether the child is warped into some form of aberration or becomes a useful, productive contributor to the larger society.

Religions can be acceptable SSGs but again it is important to choose, if you can, a religion that is aware of and trying to be a part of the larger society. Many are not, and treat the larger society as hostile and dangerous, even to the point of home schooling or religious schooling to keep the child warped into the aberrant group.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Replacing the Church for Socialization

Nails in the Religious Coffin: Sex, Drugs, and Contraception - Beliefnet

I would agree that society has gone overboard in the nuclear family department church or no. But there are secular substitutes for the church. Have you ever walked through the student family housing area of a major university? Or gone to a popular family park in one of the good school districts in a city. I notice such things because I was the 'afternoon and Saturday parent' for two children in a large metro area. My support group was eclectic and as you might expect for an early Mr. Mom very unusual. I even found out it included the off-duty 'tourist services' ladies in a neighborhood SRO hotel. The Central Park playgrounds were our church once the ladies figured out that I had a right to be there. We all watched out for all the kids, and socialized them independent of whose kids they were.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gender Definitions.

Sex and spirituality. - Beliefnet:

"In defining what constitutes gender I suspect I am an apostate to the traditional males, although thoroughly and happily heterosexual. I am much more interested in relationships than sex, and partnerships rather than dominance. When I had growing children I did more than my share of parenting since my partner had the more demanding career and I had no problem with playing the male MBA card when necessary to change jobs and careers to accommodate parenting.

Probably because I make a point of noticing them, I see more males adopting this relationship model rather than the traditional if the sex is good it is good model. If this is effeminate so be it. I don't think so, I think it is simply not being a prick. That is one who is driven by testosterone to spread genes as far and wide as possible. I see the testosterone driven model waning at least among the educated elite, but perhaps that is wishful thinking and I am only noticing the minority that isn't growing at all. I hope not, as I think this is the only way a modern society can survive. Relegating half the society's brain power to the bedroom is not going to work."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monogamy Genetic?

Theist responsible... - Discuss Atheism - Beliefnet #88

Isn't there enough evidence to suggest that some people are genetically hardwired for monogamy and some for infidelity? Among other variations in the middle of the road that are often overlooked by our Christianized society.

I don't see monogamy as genetic. I see it as a strongly reinforced social value. In other words nurture rather than nature. The fact that historically and prehistorically a two parent family seemed to be the only way most of the people could succeed in producing a replacement quota of adults strongly insured that the leaders who could afford to play around would preach monogamy, and believers would buy it, but as soon as the man can afford it he will play around in one way or another. They don't call prostitution the oldest profession for nothing. Or if you are rich enough you can hire massage therapists of one sex or another to accomplish the same purpose.

I am one of those preaching and practicing monogamy as long as dependent children are involved as I think that is still produces the best results as measured by high functioning adults. There are exceptions, but for every bootstrap street kid that makes it there are hundreds and maybe thousands that don't. If I were writing the laws marriage would be a commitment to any resulting children, natural or adopted, and in a divorce the only lawyer allowed would be an advocate for the children. Unfortunately the churches write the laws for both and the current disaster is the result.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sexual Morality.

Science can answer moral questions - Beliefnet

It seems there is a fairly clear, bright line here. Lieing to your wife and adultury are wrong.

"Substantive lying to anybody is wrong. It injures the other and is a disaster for self image. One can't hurt self or society much more grievously.

Adultery is a different issue. There are many workable forms of parenting. And to a greater extent marriage without the intent of children. Consensual open marriages. Open mistresses and concubines with the knowledge if not the blessing of the wife isn't even a biblical sin. About the only moral issue is the ability and willingness to provide proper support to the mother of any resulting children.

Adultery without spousal consent is certainly a moral issue, but with contraception and STD prevention it is probably one of the most common moral failings around. Religious or secular. And if you factor in serial monogamy as a moral failing, which I do especially with children involved, statistics are ugly for religious and secular alike, something like 30% for religious couples and 20% secular."

Pair bonded parents provide the most stable platform for child raising, particularly when both parents are committed to the child raising process. The dad provider, mom caregiver paradigm is a holdover from the patriarchal religious past, and provides an unbalanced role image for the children. Far better is two parents sharing the providing and the nurturing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do Parents Matter?

Do Parents Matter?: Scientific American:Interview with Judith Rich Harris:
"It’s no longer enough to show, for example, that parents who are conscientious about child rearing tend to have children who are conscientious about their schoolwork. Is this correlation the result of what the children learned from their parents or of the genes they inherited from them? Studies using the proper controls consistently favor the second explanation. In fact, personality resemblances between biological relatives are attributable almost entirely to heredity, rather than environment. Adopted children don’t resemble their adoptive parents in personality. I’m not particularly interested in genetic effects, but the point is that they have to be taken into account. Unless we know what the child brings to the environment, we can’t figure out what effect the environment has on the child."

"That’s the puzzle I tackled in No Two Alike. The expanded version of the theory is based on the idea that the human mind is modular and that it consists of a number of components, each designed by evolution to perform a specific job, and that three different mental modules are involved in social development. The first deals with relationships, including parent-child relationships. The second handles socialization. The third enables children to work out a successful strategy for competing with their peers, by figuring out what they are good at."

I find this fascinating in that Harris is most interested in the school environment and how it affects children. She seems to be saying that as parents our choice of schools, and the peer group that the child is a part of in the school is critical. The good news is that kids with good learning genes and good parenting will probably join the "value learning group" if one is available, the bad news is that if there is also a "goof off group" or if the goof off group is dominant in the school parents had better be aware of which group the kids are in and be prepared to take appropriate action to encourage proper group selection.

If I were more actively involved with small children both of these books would probably be on my hot shelf. She seems to be a bit of a contrarian which of course appeals to me. And the fact that social scientists jumped on the heretic bandwagon with respect to her books early and often is a great recommendation. I may have to put the books on the read someday list just for that reason, even though I am well beyond the need for guidance in the small child rearing area. By the time the GGs come around I will be irrelevant.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Teach your children well

Teach your children well - Beliefnet Forums: "Responsible parenting is teaching your children your dreams, your fears, and yes, your Gods, and perhaps if you are really wise where your Gods have failed you."