Jun 5Liked by Eleanor Konik

Regarding the general applicability of parenting advice, I noted with interest on a recent management course that many of the suggested techniques aligned with parenting advice - alongside a small smattering of interrogation techniques (e.g. silence can prompt responses).

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I'm working my way thru a business strategy book (Certain to Win) and parenting research was mentioned here too! It's like once you see it, you can't unsee it, and it's everywhere!

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Jun 1Liked by Eleanor Konik

As you know, I'm not a parent, but I've just finished my 13th year as a teacher, so ... alloparent? Anyway, my own experience suggests that children who are not given time to be bored do end up finding creativity to be frustrating. And, 16-17 year olds definitely do need clear limitations and guidance! Their limbic systems are fully developed, but their grasp of cause and effect is still pretty concrete and basic, so parents still need to be involved with them at that point.

As for parenting, I was just talking to Paul this morning about his parents and their parenting styles. His parents divorced when he was six. They remained friends, but they wanted different things in life (his mom wanted to become a Buddhist nun) and marriage was incompatible with that. They were very careful about arranging their lives to negatively impact Paul as little as possible, going so far as to have every family holiday together at his dad's home and to letting Paul, as he grew older, determine the best number of consecutive days to spend with each parent (every 2 weeks he'd change homes). They didn't put each other down in Paul's presence at all. He grew up knowing they both loved him and wanted what was best for him. The divorce hardly touched him at all.

Beyond that, both parents took an interest in what was going on with his life. He does TTRPGs and, while neither parent was interested in gaming, they both fostered his interest. His dad made his home open to his friends for gaming, bought them pizza, etc. His mom asked him about his gaming stories and encouraged his creativity. When he expressed an interest in a skill or hobby, his parents helped him find ways to explore it. (Mind you, it helped that his dad was middle class and offered to pay for all of the expenses thereof.) He knew he could go to them with his concerns because they wouldn't brush him off or belittle him, but they also simply gave some advice when asked and let him apply and test that advice. As a result, he turned into an amazing person.

I had none of these benefits, and I carry with me some generational trauma. But simply by being with Paul for the 25 years we've been together, I have benefited from his parents' parenting and have been able to correct the messages I've learned from my own parents. I think that we talk a lot about generational trauma, but there is something to be said for generational healing as well.

Everyone is different, of course, but it seems to me that children who grow up secure in their parents' love, who feel that their needs are met and their interests are appreciated, usually grow up to be decent people.

The only other thing I have to add is, as a teacher ... READ TO YOUR KIDS. It is the single most important thing a parent can do that will help their child do well in school. By the time they are juniors, it's pretty easy to tell who was read to and who wasn't. Kids who are read to find school to be much easier, put in less work to achieve good grades and learn the material, experience less frustration in the learning process, end up with more opportunities, and have fewer classroom management issues. It doesn't matter if the kid wants to be a welder or a carpenter instead of going to college; they will have an easier life in general. Reading to children makes achieving a kid's goals easier, period.

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Eh my point wasn't really to even disagree that "divorce isn't always bad for kids" it's to point out where Oster always puts her emphasis -- which is almost _always_ in the direction of "it will be fine" and almost never in the direction of "actually maybe there _are_ negatives associated with divorce and putting a 6 week old baby in daycare for 14 hours a day, and you should be aware of them so that you can mitigate them as best you can if you find yourself in a situation where that is genuinely the right choice."

My point is just that she has a clear bias -- for example, she will say things "we have absolutely no evidence for anything involving how long breast milk lasts safely in the fridge, don't worry be happy" and just ignore the fact that we have generations of data about how long for example cow's milk is safe for in the fridge and that there do exist studies she _doesn't_ that when take it in combination with existing information, and that the FDC and CDC probably aren't literally making up numbers out of thin air. Unfortunately, when I was writing this article I couldn't find Instagram post where that happened, so I didn't use that example.

She's anti-safetyist which is great, and she's done a lot of useful things for moms in pushing back on insane paranoia, just think that her incentives push her toward that rather than her being a truly neutral giver of advice.

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