Excerpted from the book Freakonomics
What Makes A Parent Perfect?
Has there ever been another art so devoutly converted into a science as the art of parenting?
Over the recent decades, a vast and diverse flock of parenting experts has arisen. Anyone who tries even casually to follow their advice may be stymied , for the conventional wisdom on parenting seems to shift by the hour. sometimes it is a case of one expert differing from another. At other times the mostvocal experts suddenly agree en masse that the old wisdom was wrong and that new wisdom is, for alittle while atleast, irrefutably right.
Breast feeding is for example the only way to garantee a healthy baby-unless bottle feeding is the answer. A babyshould sleep on its back-until it is decreed that sheshould only be put to sleep on her stomach.
This chapter in Freakonomics continues by exploring some myths of parenting, some books revealing misconceptions and urban myths, and then to describe regression analysis. Using regression analysis the authors study the results of late 1990's school test scores to see if there is any corelation to contemproary beliefs about what makes a good parent, or not.
Wanna play? 8 of the following 16 factors does corelate to how a child does on school tests.
1) The child has highly educated parents.
2) The child's family is intact.
3) Thechild's parents have high socioeconomic status.
4) The child's parents recently moved into a better neighbourhood.
5) The child's mother was thirty or older at the time of her first child's birth.
6) The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten.
7) The child had low birthweight.
8) Thechild attended Head Start.
9) The child's parents speak English at home.
10) The child's parents regularily take him to museums.
11) The child is adopted.
12) The child is regularily spanked.
13) The child's parents are in the PTA.
14) The child frequently watches television.
15) The child has many books in his home.
16) The child's parents read to him nearly everyday.