Here is what I’m going to work on this year, as a homeschooling parent:
1. Spend less time trying to control outcomes.
Someone recently recommended to me the book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, by Bryan Caplan. It’s a terrible title, but the gist of the book is that in the nature vs. nurture debate, nature is winning by a landslide – it’s just that no one likes hearing that, so it’s underreported. Imagine this cover of Psychology Today: “Nothing you do as a parent matters as long as you’re in the middle class.” That wouldn’t sell any magazines, would it? Actually, that’s probably why the book has such a terrible title.
Anyway, it’s a great book, full of quirky evidence (like parents do not affect the age a son has intercourse) and amazing studies (twin studies, sibling studies, DNA studies). I have never been so certain that as long as you are meeting a kid’s basic needs, parenting does not matter in terms of outcomes.