Saturday, April 30, 2011

Relaxed Parenting

Bryan Caplan, one of my favorite bloggers and Economics Prof at George Mason has a new book out with some findings that may seem counterintuitive. He did a meta-analysis of parenting research – looking at all the research that investigated the effects of parents’ engagement with the kids, stress on education, discipline, and other variables. What he found is that when you put it all together, these things can have large short term effects but over the long term they had no impact on the future career success, financial success, or happiness of the kids. Genetics and the external environment were much more important. So he recommends just chilling out and enjoying your children. If we want to improve the world, we are better off encouraging parents with good genes to have more kids.

I know this will be controversial to many of you. But the book is based on solid research methods. And the good news is that being a parent should actually be less work than most of us put in.

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