Saturday, 23 July 2011

Do parents matter? Q&A with Bryan Caplan

Reason's Nick Gillespie interviews Bryan Caplan about Caplan's new book "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think".


dragonfly said...

As someone who was raised in a deeply dysfunctional family, and is now a mother of 7, I have been following Bryan Caplan's ideas on parenting with interest. He is both right and wrong, I think. My childhood experiences tell me that there is a demarcation line of 'good enough' parenting below which parenting really does matter. My parenting experiences tell me that as long as you are above the 'good enough' line, that is enough, and intensively hothousing your children does not add a great deal of benefit. But perhaps Caplan has made these distinctions somewhere?

And I just loved that Philip Larkin poem – really funny.

Eric Crampton said...

@dragonfly: Bryan's definitely talking about the "above the minimum" levels.

I think he overestimates the mean and underestimates the variance of the Ferber approach. We've done it; we've still not had a decent night's sleep in ... oh... a long time. Eleanor's eczema means Ferber doesn't cut it.

I'd follow Bryan's advice if we could afford a nanny.