Twin Lessons: Have More Kids, Pay Less Attention to Them" - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-24-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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Seriously?  An economics professor is now a parenting expert because he had a couple of kids and read a couple of studies (really, how many identical twins have been raised separately then studied?).  Glad he is happy with his choices in life, but to make any sweeping statements based on that very limited experience is kind of silly.  How is he even giving parenting advice?

 

Parenting in a way that teaches kids they are inherently valued and loved unconditionally can definitely impact them into adulthood.  How we do that will look different in each family based on that particular family's beliefs, values, and personality.  AP or not AP, just love your darn kids!  That is MY expert opinion.  I am now an expert because I know a lot of kids, including but not limited to my own four.  Some of the kids I know are twins, do I get bonus points?  twins.gif



 

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Old 04-25-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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I'm the one who said "leave them alone" doesn't apply to babies, and I still say that. Letting a baby crawl around within your view for a while doesn't equal leaving them alone to me. In contrast, my 9-year-old wakes up in good weather, goes outside, occasionally shows her face when she's hungry or needs to empty her bladder, and comes in at night grubby and sweaty. I do not entertain her and she is very much left alone to do her own thing. But babies need much closer care, even if they crawl and explore sometimes. They're also in arms a lot, and I very strongly feel that CIO is not in their best interest or neutral. They need that additional attention at that age, and the nighttime parenting.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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I assume this was a typo and you meant "nature wins out pretty much every time," because the rest of what you say here points to that.  

 

Another very popular book was Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. Did you read that? He makes a cogent argument for nurture, with his thousand hours of practice idea. So does Richard Nisbett in Intelligence and How to Get It--he points out that studies have shown many adopted children are more intelligent, because their parents pay more attention. Basically, we mystify intelligence and inherent qualities and pretend that it doesn't matter whether children have access to opportunities, that adult-child interaction is unimportant, and so on--but there's a lot of support for nurture as the key factor. 

 

I'm not arguing for people to have fewer children or that being relaxed is a bad thing. I wish I had more children and I enjoy relaxing with the one I'm lucky enough to have. I think relaxed parenting can still be attentive, and that parents are capable of paying attention to more than one child at a time! That's all a good lesson. I'm saying that Caplan's, and your, underlying idea here is wrong. Nurture is critical. The more time and positive energy parents can invest in their children, the smarter children will come out. I don't think we need to pressure our kids or overload them with activities, but to say that we don't have much of an impact is just ridiculous. 

 

Also, I disagree with his philosophical point about discipline being something you do to improve the child's behavior in the present rather than their future as an adult. I definitely care whether my child acts considerately in the present, but I have my eyes on the prize and that prize is his independence. There are different, non-abusive modes of discipline in first-world countries, and some are better than others at emphasizing verbal development. It's not all a crap shoot. 

 

Why is it that the WSJ has started publishing these crazy parenting articles? They were the first to break the Tiger Mother thing, too, weren't they? Is the point of WSJ style capitalism that we should stop putting so much energy into nurturing children? 

 

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I've read Caplan's book and read his blog regularly---I was an econ major in college---and I agree with a lot of what he says...

What he really drills into you in his book is simply that in the battle of nature vs. nurture, nurture wins out pretty much every trime---assuming of course you are the average family living in the first world and not abusing your kids. If you look at it on the margin, nurture does very little to improve your child's IQ, future, income, happiness or whatever. Parents (and society) tend to overestimate how much they affect their kids' success or failure or personalities and really, acknowledging that there is very little you can do about it is very freeing. You worry less about OMG--my kid isn't reading at age 2 or whatever and just learn to enjoy your kids and enjoy raising them.



 


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Old 04-28-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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The first article reminded me how I and so many I know were much less uptight with subsequent children than we were with our first. Being a relaxed parent is easier, more fun, and... I think... better for the child(ren).



Yes! I LOVED the article, I too tossed the ferber part out of my mind, but you can't agree with everything all of the time.

 

I don't see how being "obsessive" is at all AP. To me the article wants us to enjoy our children so that they can enjoy their lives and their families. I think when we're uptight over every detail ie eating every bite of food on the plate and being banned from television we're just really missing the point of parenting. 

 

Thanks for sharing OP. 


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Old 04-28-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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Seriously?  An economics professor is now a parenting expert because he had a couple of kids and read a couple of studies (really, how many identical twins have been raised separately then studied?).  Glad he is happy with his choices in life, but to make any sweeping statements based on that very limited experience is kind of silly.  How is he even giving parenting advice?

 

Parenting in a way that teaches kids they are inherently valued and loved unconditionally can definitely impact them into adulthood.  How we do that will look different in each family based on that particular family's beliefs, values, and personality.  AP or not AP, just love your darn kids!  That is MY expert opinion.  I am now an expert because I know a lot of kids, including but not limited to my own four.  Some of the kids I know are twins, do I get bonus points?  twins.gif

RIght, just like all of us here at MDC.
 

 


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Old 04-29-2011, 02:28 PM
 
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RIght, just like all of us here at MDC.
 

 

But this is a message board.  We come here to swap ideas about parenting.  And we certainly don't pay money to people for their posts.  If we did it would be a valid comparison.  He is writing books and blogs.  Poising himself as an "expert" whose advice we should follow.  Is he a child development expert of some sort?  No, he is an economics professor.  Maybe his has some good ideas, but I take them with the same grain of salt that I do with posts on MDC. 
 

 



 

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Old 04-30-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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But this is a message board.  We come here to swap ideas about parenting.  And we certainly don't pay money to people for their posts.  If we did it would be a valid comparison.  He is writing books and blogs.  Poising himself as an "expert" whose advice we should follow.  Is he a child development expert of some sort?  No, he is an economics professor.  Maybe his has some good ideas, but I take them with the same grain of salt that I do with posts on MDC. 
 

 

I haven't paid him a cent. If anybody else feels he has an expert opinion and wants to support his work, more power to him and them. :)
 

 


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Old 09-05-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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Yes, typo from a sleep addlled mama brain! Nature wins out pretty much every time---with things like intelligence, it's not even a competition. I've also read Gladwell's outliers and the thing is that the 10,000 hours study isn't the same as surveying adult twins and adopted kids and asking them how happy they are with their life, seeing how successful they are or measuring their IQ. Also, Caplan talks a lot about what he calls "fade-out." For example, while nurture does have an effect on IQ when the babies are younger, by the time they reach a certain age, the effect is gone. Parents can influence their children (think of Tiger Woods' dad making him play gold and the Williams sisters' dad making them play tennis) and alter their paths, but obviously not without the cooperation of the children. And also, it should be noted, his book discusses outliers. Woods' dad or Williams' dad probably don't fall within the typical, average parent range.

As for the person wondering how many twins who were adopted out studies there could be, you've rather misunderstood how the studies work. He explains it much better in the book, but I'm going to give a shot at it. Basically, twin studies compare two types of twins: identical (100% same genes) and fraternal (50% same genes). Any differences between the identical twins can be seen as due to nurture while any differences between the fraternal genes can be seen as nature. Then the adoption studies compare adopted children to the children they were raised with. This group especially showed a lot of fade out effect: they might be more successful or well off or whatever until their mid-20s and after that point, they started to resemble their biological family (whom they had never met) more than their adopted family. Basically, when he gives results in the book, he uses the "switched at birth senario" to explain it: You and your identical twin are born in a hospital, but your twin is switched out for another baby (your accidently adopted sibling), so you're raised together (receiving the same nurture despite different genes) while your twin is raised apart (this would be the nature effect).

so if you look at the section where he discusses intelligence, he first looks at the Minnesota Study of Twins Read apart (sample size 100, featuring twins and triplets who were given two IQ tests) and the results where this: if you did better than 80 of the population on both tests, you should expect your separated identical twin to do better than 72% on the test and 74% on the second. Compared to the control group of twins reared together, the effect of nurture was barely there. Your adopted sibling in the switched at birth scenario do better than 56% on one test and 50% on the other.
if the result is in the 51st and 55th percentile, the result is considered small, if it's 56th to 65th it's considered moderate and anything above 65th is considered strong. And this isn't just one study. He cites 4 that shows the same effect for intelligence. You'd have to read the book in order to get all the information he posts about why twin studies are really good and basically the BEST you can get when studying nature vs nurture (or I can link to a blog post: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/08/twin-studies.html

 

I also have to add that it's also important to "think like an economist" to fully understand where he's coming from. Economists think on the margin instead of looking at the entire picture. So instead of saying, "I want to get my kid every possible IQ point possible, no matter how much the cost" an economist would look at it and say, what is the cost of each additional IQ point and is it worth it? If a point of IQ cost (to put it in simple terms I'll use money though obviously you can't buy them!) $5, I'd probably go for it. Afterall, I've spent $5 on stupider things. $50? Eeeeh maybe. $500? No. $5000? Definitely not! It's the same thing wit parenting. If you're going from 0 units of parenting to buying 1 unit of parenting, the marginal benefit for you and your kids are going to be HUGE but the marginal cost probably not very small. Now, pretending the maximum number of units of parenting you can buy is 100, how much are you willing to give out for that 98th and 99th and 100th point? How much benefit are you and your kids going to get out of it? What if they would prefer having some time to themselves? What if your marriage is suffering because of it and everyone is super stressed because mom is pissed all the time because she's not getting enough sleep? Look at the marginal cost and benefit of your parenting choices and not just the whole picture that says "this is what I have to do to be a good parent and anything less is failing and my kids will end up homeless."
 

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Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

I assume this was a typo and you meant "nature wins out pretty much every time," because the rest of what you say here points to that.  

 

Another very popular book was Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. Did you read that? He makes a cogent argument for nurture, with his thousand hours of practice idea. So does Richard Nisbett in Intelligence and How to Get It--he points out that studies have shown many adopted children are more intelligent, because their parents pay more attention. Basically, we mystify intelligence and inherent qualities and pretend that it doesn't matter whether children have access to opportunities, that adult-child interaction is unimportant, and so on--but there's a lot of support for nurture as the key factor. 

 

I'm not arguing for people to have fewer children or that being relaxed is a bad thing. I wish I had more children and I enjoy relaxing with the one I'm lucky enough to have. I think relaxed parenting can still be attentive, and that parents are capable of paying attention to more than one child at a time! That's all a good lesson. I'm saying that Caplan's, and your, underlying idea here is wrong. Nurture is critical. The more time and positive energy parents can invest in their children, the smarter children will come out. I don't think we need to pressure our kids or overload them with activities, but to say that we don't have much of an impact is just ridiculous. 

 

Also, I disagree with his philosophical point about discipline being something you do to improve the child's behavior in the present rather than their future as an adult. I definitely care whether my child acts considerately in the present, but I have my eyes on the prize and that prize is his independence. There are different, non-abusive modes of discipline in first-world countries, and some are better than others at emphasizing verbal development. It's not all a crap shoot. 

 

Why is it that the WSJ has started publishing these crazy parenting articles? They were the first to break the Tiger Mother thing, too, weren't they? Is the point of WSJ style capitalism that we should stop putting so much energy into nurturing children? 

 



 



 


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Old 09-05-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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I was surprised when I figured out this guy's twins were only what, 9 yo?  The way he was writing, I thought he was talking about older children, like in their 20's and looking back on it. Like when he said "We enrolled them in an activity or two, but they spent a lot more time watching cartoons while we relaxed. Our family specialized in activities that were literally “fun for the whole family”: reading books together, playing dodgeball in the basement, going to the pool for a swim." Doesn't that sound like he is looking back on it all?

 

 

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Old 09-06-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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He could be looking back on it...what they did 3 or 4 years ago vs what they're doing now, or whatnot.


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Old 09-06-2011, 08:08 PM
 
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Thanks for responding to my comment. I'm still not following, though:

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Originally Posted by Geist View Post

Yes, typo from a sleep addlled mama brain! Nurture wins out pretty much every time---with things like intelligence, it's not even a competition. I've also read Gladwell's outliers and the thing is that the 10,000 hours study isn't the same as surveying adult twins and adopted kids and asking them how happy they are with their life, seeing how successful they are or measuring their IQ. 

 

Are you saying that nurture beats nature every time only with things like intelligence, where it's not even a competition, whereas with other things, like happiness, it's different? Or did you mean that nature wins out every time, and you just mistyped it again? Because if you're arguing that nurture is more important than nature, you're agreeing with me and disagreeing with Caplan, at least in part. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geist View Post
Also, Caplan talks a lot about what he calls "fade-out." For example, while nurture does have an effect on IQ when the babies are younger, by the time they reach a certain age, the effect is gone. Parents can influence their children (think of Tiger Woods' dad making him play gold and the Williams sisters' dad making them play tennis) and alter their paths, but obviously not without the cooperation of the children. And also, it should be noted, his book discusses outliers. Woods' dad or Williams' dad probably don't fall within the typical, average parent range.

 

 

But the point of Gladwell's book is that outliers become outliers not because they are brilliant and unusual, or even because their parents pushed them, but because they have access to resources, like a tennis court, a piano or a computer on which to practice. 

 

Thanks for the link to the twins study and the summary of the results--very helpful.

 

 

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Originally Posted by Geist View Post

I also have to add that it's also important to "think like an economist" to fully understand where he's coming from. Economists think on the margin instead of looking at the entire picture. So instead of saying, "I want to get my kid every possible IQ point possible, no matter how much the cost" an economist would look at it and say, what is the cost of each additional IQ point and is it worth it? If a point of IQ cost (to put it in simple terms I'll use money though obviously you can't buy them!) $5, I'd probably go for it. Afterall, I've spent $5 on stupider things. $50? Eeeeh maybe. $500? No. $5000? Definitely not! It's the same thing wit parenting. If you're going from 0 units of parenting to buying 1 unit of parenting, the marginal benefit for you and your kids are going to be HUGE but the marginal cost probably not very small. Now, pretending the maximum number of units of parenting you can buy is 100, how much are you willing to give out for that 98th and 99th and 100th point? How much benefit are you and your kids going to get out of it? What if they would prefer having some time to themselves? What if your marriage is suffering because of it and everyone is super stressed because mom is pissed all the time because she's not getting enough sleep? Look at the marginal cost and benefit of your parenting choices and not just the whole picture that says "this is what I have to do to be a good parent and anything less is failing and my kids will end up homeless."

 

Which is all extremely silly, since parenting doesn't actually work that way. I mean, it's also the reason that admitting nurture makes a difference doesn't require you to stand over the child forcing him to practice the piano. I just don't think it's a binary choice between being relaxed and accepting and helping the child realize his or her potential, and I'll never be able to swallow the idea that all achievement is due to the individual's inherited qualities. 

 



 



 


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Old 09-07-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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OK, so, I went to this blog post you linked, and it was a critique of an article in Slate, which dismisses twin studies as eugenics. So I went to the article in Slate and read it, too. Then I read the comments, which included, to my surprise, some pretty heavy-hitting academics, and were the most revealing part of my reading. 

 

http://www.slate.com/id/2301906/pagenum/all/#add-comment

 

(Anyone clicking the link: there are a LOT of comments!)

 

What I gleaned from all of that was that twin studies are NOT unambiguously "the best you can get when studying nature vs. nurture" but 1. one of many kinds of studies of nature vs. nurture, and people conducting twins studies put their work into a broader context; 2. not an uncontroversial source of data, even among specialists (though the Slate author was not a specialist and probably didn't understand the current work on twins very well.) The comments are loaded with links and citations and there does not seem to be agreement about the significance of the studies even among knowledgeable people. 

 

 

When I read Intelligence and How to Get It, I couldn't understand why Richard Nisbett felt the need to write it. Why summarize the overwhelming evidence that nurture matters? The Bell Curve was debunked, wasn't it? Um, no. Apparently nature vs. nurture is a live debate.

 

Even though I essentially agree with Caplan that parents shouldn't be over-involved (well, of course, once you say "over" involved, it's too much, right?) and that fears about nurture shouldn't prevent people from having more children. I just don't think you can say "oh, twin studies are the best thing ever, so nature is more important than nurture and you can let your kids watch TV instead of making them do their homework."

 

It's pretty similar to breastfeeding, actually. We have a lot of evidence that children who are breastfed are healthier, but since mothers who nurse tend to be more affluent and highly educated and to do many other things to ensure their children's health even in the absence of affluence, I've read intelligent people arguing that breastfeeding isn't really the key factor. But there's no evidence at all that not breastfeeding has any benefits! From a parent's point of view, an investment in nurture has to pay off.  

 

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Originally Posted by Geist View Post
 And this isn't just one study. He cites 4 that shows the same effect for intelligence. You'd have to read the book in order to get all the information he posts about why twin studies are really good and basically the BEST you can get when studying nature vs nurture (or I can link to a blog post: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/08/twin-studies.html


 


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Old 09-11-2011, 04:02 PM
 
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Alright, so this is third time I'm going to try to reply to this. Hopefully my keyboard won't mistakenly decide I want to close this tab, the window, or destroy the universe and will actually let me post :P

Quote:
Are you saying that nurture beats nature every time only with things like intelligence, where it's not even a competition, whereas with other things, like happiness, it's different? Or did you mean that nature wins out every time, and you just mistyped it again? Because if you're arguing that nurture is more important than nature, you're agreeing with me and disagreeing with Caplan, at least in part.

No, sorry, another typo. Nature and nurture need to start with different letters. I went and edited. Intelligence has a strong nature effect. Other traits that he lists as having nature effects (varying from small to strong) include various measures of success (income, education), happiness, character traits, and values. Nurture affected a few things like age of first sexual activity for girls, but not for boys. It also affected labels (whether one called themselves a Catholic, Baptist, Jew, Hindu, etc or political party label), but not political beliefs. And as I mentioned earlier, the biggest nurture effect was how kids felt about their parents. That had nothing to do with nature and all to do with how the parents raised their children. You'd have to read the book to get the actual results. In one of my replies, I tried posting a lot of the information but that all disappeared and it's too time consuming to try to do again.

 

 

Quote:
I mean, it's also the reason that admitting nurture makes a difference doesn't require you to stand over the child forcing him to practice the piano. I just don't think it's a binary choice between being relaxed and accepting and helping the child realize his or her potential, and I'll never be able to swallow the idea that all achievement is due to the individual's inherited qualities.

 

I know, I'm not saying it is a binary system, but a lot of parents think it is. A lot of parents think that if they aren't 100% with their child all of the time and constantly nurturing and paying attention to them, their children won't reach their full potential. What the twin and adoption studies suggest is that this isn't the case. As long as you're an average parent (in a first world country), your kids will be fine and they will reach their full potential. The idea of thinking on the margin is simply a way to maximize the benefits while minimizing the costs. You mention breastfeeding in your second post and I would consider that to be a good example of marginal parenting. Your baby benefits the most from breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life. There are still benefits afterwards, but the largest benefits are in the first 6 months. So, if you really don't like breastfeeding but want your kid to still reap the benefits of it, the logical choice would be to maximize the benefits while minimizing the costs and breastfeed the first 6 months while formula feeding the 6 months there after. I breastfed until my son was 2 years and 3 months because I liked breastfeeding, had no difficulties and was a stay at home mom, so my marginal benefit and marginal costs were different.

 

 

Quote:
What I gleaned from all of that was that twin studies are NOT unambiguously "the best you can get when studying nature vs. nurture" but 1. one of many kinds of studies of nature vs. nurture, and people conducting twins studies put their work into a broader context; 2. not an uncontroversial source of data, even among specialists (though the Slate author was not a specialist and probably didn't understand the current work on twins very well.

But that's pretty much the same with any scientific study or theory. Caplan does include a section discussing twin and adoption studies and why he believes them to be some of the best studies for studying the influences of nature vs. nurture as well as a critique on "environment" and the like

Quote:
I just don't think you can say "oh, twin studies are the best thing ever, so nature is more important than nurture and you can let your kids watch TV instead of making them do their homework.

 

But that's not what Caplan says. What he does say is that it's okay to let your kid watch an hour of television and it's not going to hurt anything--it might even be  good because it gives kids a valuable source of cultural literally and gives the parents a break. He specifically mentions that none of this means that genes are destiny (if they were, there would be no difference at all between twins in the switched at birth scenario), but he does say that the nature vs. nurture debate is settled in favor of nurture (and it does seem that things like IQ are pretty firmly in the nature field). But he also quotes from one of his favorite books on the topic, The Nurture Assumption:

:

Quote:
People sometimes ask me, "so you mean it doesn't matter how I treat my child?" They never ask, "So you mean it doesn't matter how I treat my husband or wife?" and yet the situation is similar. I don't expect that the way I act toward my husband is going to determine what kind of person he will be ten or twenty years from now. I do expect, however, that it will affect how happy he is to live with me and whether we will still be good friends in ten or twenty year
 

 

Honestly, on the whole, I thought his book was pretty similar to what Dr. Sears recommends in his baby book simply because the general attitude is one of flexibility, not rigidity and "if it doesn't work, change it!"

 

 

Quote:We have a lot of evidence that children who are breastfed are healthier, but since mothers who nurse tend to be more affluent and highly educated and to do many other things to ensure their children's health even in the absence of affluence, I've read intelligent people arguing that breastfeeding isn't really the key factor. But there's no evidence at all that not breastfeeding has any benefits! From a parent's point of view, an investment in nurture has to pay off.

 

And it does pay off with a strong bond with the child. Honestly, I'm not sure which category breastfeeding should go into: nature or nurture. Before there was formula, all babies were breastfed, it was the way nature provided to feed kids, so it didn't become an act of nurture until you could choose formula, so perhaps it fits in both nowadays. Also, I like the way LLL phrases it: it isn't that breastmilk makes babies smarter, it's that formula makes them dumber because breastmilk is what they're supposed to be fed. Not that I'm dissing all formula feeders. The fact that we can feed our kids formula and they not only survive, but thrive and grow and there are plenty of smart and successful people who were formula fed (I'll flatter myself and include myself in that category ;)). So I just see that as more evidence that humans are really quite resilient and while nurture is important, nature is even more so.


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Old 09-11-2011, 10:45 PM
 
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Sorry you're having struggles with the forum software. It used to be more straightforward--I'm finding the quote function now requires a rudimentary knowledge of CSS, which is really OTT. 

(css= cascading style sheets and ott=over the top!) 

 

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Intelligence has a strong nature effect. Other traits that he lists as having nature effects (varying from small to strong) include various measures of success (income, education), happiness, character traits, and values. Nurture affected a few things like age of first sexual activity for girls, but not for boys. It also affected labels (whether one called themselves a Catholic, Baptist, Jew, Hindu, etc or political party label), but not political beliefs. And as I mentioned earlier, the biggest nurture effect was how kids felt about their parents. That had nothing to do with nature and all to do with how the parents raised their children. You'd have to read the book to get the actual results. In one of my replies, I tried posting a lot of the information but that all disappeared and it's too time consuming to try to do again.

 

According to Caplan and the twin studies he cites, which I cannot blithely accept, intelligence has a strong nature effect. According to many other writers, nurture is the key factor in academic achievement and IQ testing. I just read all the bickering from all the psychologists on the two sides of the twin studies divide, and abstracts of the articles insisting that twin studies are inherently skewed. This doesn't pass the smell test. 

 

I still remember people I grew up with telling me that of course The Bell Curve was right. (This was a famous book about racial inferiority published to the shame of the United States in the late 1980s and accepted by the media as true.) Then a decade later several social scientists published books debunking it. 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geist View Post
And it does pay off with a strong bond with the child. Honestly, I'm not sure which category breastfeeding should go into: nature or nurture. Before there was formula, all babies were breastfed, it was the way nature provided to feed kids, so it didn't become an act of nurture until you could choose formula, so perhaps it fits in both nowadays. Also, I like the way LLL phrases it: it isn't that breastmilk makes babies smarter, it's that formula makes them dumber because breastmilk is what they're supposed to be fed. Not that I'm dissing all formula feeders. The fact that we can feed our kids formula and they not only survive, but thrive and grow and there are plenty of smart and successful people who were formula fed (I'll flatter myself and include myself in that category ;)). So I just see that as more evidence that humans are really quite resilient and while nurture is important, nature is even more so.

 

Actually, feeding babies formula is one of the things we do in the US that may be killing them. The WHO just posted its findings on neonatal deaths. The US was in 28th place and now its in 41st place, and breast feeding may be one of the key reasons:

 

http://singularityhub.com/2011/09/08/us-child-mortality-rates-rank-41st-in-the-world/

 

(Other things people worry about on MDC may also be reasons for neonatal mortality, like not carrying babies to term, high rates of c/s, and so on.) 

 

Of course we all know lots of people who survived being fed formula. We also know lots of people who survived riding around in cars without car seats, or seatbelts, who were exposed to second-hand smoke in the womb and in infancy. We wouldn't choose to do those things. Why not? After all, it's only a marginal difference, right? I feel like I'm being barraged with articles explaining to me why I shouldn't want my kid's playground to be too safe -- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/science/19tierney.html --

because it's not like most people who fell off playground equipment died. Just some of them. Articles about how if I make my child too happy now, he will be miserable later. (See: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/how-to-land-your-kid-in-therapy/8555/ ) Lots and lots of articles which I don't have to cite here because they were all originally posted as citations here, about why it doesn't matter if you breastfeed. 

 

 

 

You know, I also nursed my kid until he was 3 and a half, and I do not believe for a second that you nursed your kid until he was over two just because you liked it. I also just happen to like reading books on physics out loud and making nutritious lunches in which no foods touch and listening to the plots of all the Captain Underpants books. It's so relaxing. 


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Old 09-12-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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You know, I also nursed my kid until he was 3 and a half, and I do not believe for a second that you nursed your kid until he was over two just because you liked it. I also just happen to like reading books on physics out loud and making nutritious lunches in which no foods touch and listening to the plots of all the Captain Underpants books. It's so relaxing.

Wow that's a rather snarky and rude response. Now I wonder why parents do so many things "for the children" if it's apparently going to make them so bitter. I'm glad I can look back on nursing with fond memories instead of saying, god, what a miserable experience that was.

 

Oh and it wasn't hte forum software, but my keyboard. It often decides to close tabs and windows because too many liquids have been spilled on it and have shortcircuited some things


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Old 09-12-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

 

 

Another very popular book was Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. Did you read that? He makes a cogent argument for nurture, with his thousand hours of practice idea. So does Richard Nisbett in Intelligence and How to Get It--he points out that studies have shown many adopted children are more intelligent, because their parents pay more attention. Basically, we mystify intelligence and inherent qualities and pretend that it doesn't matter whether children have access to opportunities, that adult-child interaction is unimportant, and so on--but there's a lot of support for nurture as the key factor. 

 

 



 


That is what I was thinking.  Last I heard success in school was very closely linked with parents values towards education.  If you grow up with people who do not value education and your community as a whole does not value education - hey!  You are much less likely to graduate!  

 

Nature is important - but he seems to be sweeping nurture under the rug and I think he is wrong to do so.  You can be relaxed while still acknowledging that nurture might play a role.  As nurture is the only variable we can control in nature and nurture I do think we should attempt to parent thoughtfully.

 

I think the nurture/nature thing is a false dichotomy.  You do not have to pick one or the other - and taking either to an extreme is not healthy.  

 

Nurture only - hey, it does not matter what you do with the kids!  They will be what they will be.  Lets parents off the hook a bit too much, and reality does not seem to support this (haven't you ever seen anyone with a lot of baggage due to their family of origin?)

 

Nature only would be exhausting and guilt ridden for the parents, which is not good for either the parent or child.

 

BTW, Captain optimism (darn quote feature is not working!)  I absolutely nursed to 3 years with each child because we enjoyed it.  If I did not enjoy it, I would have tried to hang on till 1 yr or so for health reasons - but I did enjoy it so we kept doing it.  No other reason. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 09-12-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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Well, I didn't hate nursing until three and a half, and I actually enjoy reading physics to my kid, along with  quite a few other things that I never liked before I had him. He makes a lot of things enjoyable that weren't before I knew him. Algebra--I never thought I would be excited to read about algebra, and it's still not inherently exciting, but how can I not be excited when my third-grader wants to learn about it. 

 

But if I didn't enjoy it, I'd do it anyway, you know? Because I love him and I think what I do will make a bigger difference than merely sharing my genetic inheritance. 

 

(Which, you know, I'm still trying to figure out the whole "enjoys arithmetic and yet is obviously my child" thing.) 


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