Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Alison Gopnik

Alison Gopnik's new book is The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children.

From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You write that “parenting is a terrible invention.” How would you define parenting, and why do you see it this way?

A: One thing people don’t realize is that the word “parenting” is really recent. There’s nothing until about 1960, and since then there’s been an enormous use.

The word comes with a particular picture of what the relationship between a parent and child should be: if parents get the best skills, they can shape how the child comes out, the way a carpenter makes a chair.

That kind of picture—if you get the right apps, books, toys, you get the tools to shape the child to be a better adult—is incredibly pervasive. But it’s actually recent.

Q: And why do you describe that as terrible?

A: It doesn’t fit well with...[read on]
Visit Alison Gopnik's website.

--Marshal Zeringue