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July 12, 2009

Do Parents Matter?

In an article at Scientific American, "A researcher argues that peers are much more important than parents, that psychologists underestimate the power of genetics, and that we have a lot to learn from Asian classrooms".

..."In 1998 Judith Rich Harris, an independent researcher and textbook author, published The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do. The book provocatively argued that parents matter much less—at least when it comes to determining the behavior of their children—than is typically assumed. Instead Harris argued that a child’s peer group is far more critical."

"I’ve put together a lot of evidence showing that children learn at home how to behave at home (that’s where parents do have power!), and they learn outside the home how to behave outside the home."

I suppose that is accurate. I raised three kids. That was the toughest job I ever had. In lots of ways it was the best of all jobs. I know that children learn from their peers and their environment. Parents cannot be with their children every minute. We parents do our best to prepare children for the tests and trials they will meet in life.

8 comments:

Owen said...

Hi Techno, just saw where you asked if you could borrow the "I Love My Parents" photo... sure, no problem, and thanks for asking, I really appreciate that...

TechnoBabe said...

Thanks, Owen, look for a post here in near future. I do like looking through Paris through your lens.
I was in Paris about 10 years ago.
In my case it was a couple weeks of sightseeing, not like you with the wonderful experience of living there.

Berni said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I found your post interesting about peers. My mother died when I was 5 and my father worked in the middle east so after a few years living with a widowed aunt with no children I was sent to a boarding school. I don't think that is a natural environment to grow up in at all and if you are not part of the in group a difficult one. I had very little to do with my father from then on until he retired and unfortunately had developed into an alcoholic. I don't know how much my peers affected me but I have often wondered about how my childhood has affected my personality.

david mcmahon said...

Very thought-provoking. I owe everything to my parents.

Ghost Dansing said...

parent's are important..... fast ball

Berni said...

You asked a question and I can't see an email address to respond. We have people who live in the village of course about a mile away but I haven't found anyone with similar interests and we do have a lot of just summer people. My husband has his pal who moved here three years ago. He has know him for over 50 years so they hang out together a LOT. If we can afford to move it will be somewhere closer to civilization and a church and far enough out of a large city for him with good fishing. A town of about 2000 with access to bigger places and most importantly shorter winters ours are 7months long. I put you on my Google reader

TechnoBabe said...

Berni, we live in a town that seems small to us compared to the place we moved from last year. But it is larger than what you are interested in.

David, I still look at your blog every day and am astounded at how many posts you have, and they are ALL great.

Ghost Dansing my dear, thanks again for the fun video. This is getting to be a very fun habit for me. You make me smile.

A Free Man said...

I think parents matter up to a certain point and then the peers take on (far too much) power. I guess that's why my parents were so worried about who I hung out with growing up!