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.