What Parents Do Doesn’t Really Matter Much Unless It’s Really Bad

In a great blog post by Penelope Trunk, she shared a book she read and liked called, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. Here is an excerpt from Penelope’s blog:

Nature vs. nurture
An important book came out at the end of 2011 that got very little play in the media: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, by Bryan Caplan The title of the book is just awful. Which is probably why it has been roundly ignored. The title should have been Why Nothing You Do As a Parent Matters. That title would have gotten a lot of media coverage, but who would have purchased the book?

No one. Because as parents we are invested in the idea that what we do matters. But it turns out that what parents do doesn’t matter very much. This book is a compendium of evidence from a wide range of university studies that show that once basic needs of a child are met, parents do not really affect how their kids turn out.

Now back to my opinion… As the mother of nine children ranging in age from 16 to 35 I have to say a pretty much agree with this premise. As much as I would like to think I have influenced my children for good, this week, I don’t think so. They make their own choices, regardless of my 35 years of effort, and that is just the way it is.

There is one way that parent influence their children and that is with the bad behavior of the parents themselves. And this I totally believe and I believe it is an enormously stronger influence than a good one. And in a nutshell the bad behavior of parents accounts for a high percentage of why so many of us are in therapy and members of 12-step programs and why so many of us seek for answers and meaning in our chaotic lives. And that’s all I have to say on this subject right now.


About roxycross

Make a difference in your neighborhood! Check out www.roxycross.com. Namaste'
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2 Responses to What Parents Do Doesn’t Really Matter Much Unless It’s Really Bad

  1. Colleen Down says:

    Perhaps only mothers of large families get this 🙂 One of the those “basic” needs though has to be that they feel loved! I will have to find this book!

  2. roxycross says:

    It is brutal and amazing that I have gone from the abject grief and sorrow of abruptly finding myself with an empty nest after 35 years, to some of the most intense anger at the betrayal and purposeful damage I have ever felt, in a matter of months, and all over relationships with various children. Where my identity had everything to do with being the mother of 9 children, I looked ahead to what to do with the rest of my life and the search to find out who am I really! Then bad behavior, disrespect and the devastation and imbalance of the effects of addiction reared its ugly head, and I really admire people who choose not to have children! I ‘get’ it now! I have no regrets about being a mother or of having each of my 9, but I am shifted and changed and more focused on what lies ahead. The rest of my life has to be the best part of my life, as what lies behind is too harsh, hard, lonely and fearful. Here’s to enjoying the moment and having hope for the future!

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