Good read: Relax, your kids will be fine

A plea in The Economist for middle-class parents to give their children more freedom, as well-educated, rich parents try to do too much (see also this earlier article). And maybe your impact has already been given… as the conclusion of the article is clear:

“Academic success matters more than ever before. But beyond a certain point, parenting makes less difference than many parents imagine. Studies in Minnesota and Sweden, for example, found that identical twins grew up equally intelligent whether they were raised together or apart. A study in Colorado found that children adopted and raised by brainy parents ended up no brainier than those adopted by average parents. Genes appear to matter more than upbringing in the jobs market, too. In a big study of Korean children adopted in America, those raised by the richest families grew up to earn no more than those adopted by the poorest families.

This does not mean that parenting is irrelevant. The families who adopt children are carefully screened, so they tend to be warm, capable and middle-class. But the twin and adoption studies indicate that any child given a loving home and adequate stimulation is likely to fulfil her potential. Put another way, better-off parents can afford to relax a bit. Your kids will be fine if you hover over them less and let them frolic in the sun from time to time. You may be happier, too, if you spend the extra time indulging your own hobbies—or sleeping. And if you are less stressed, your children will appreciate it, even if you still make them eat their fruit and vegetables.”

This brings us of course to a much heated debate on genes and the fear of determination, but this is not necessarily the case. Do read these articles on IQ and SES to see how genes can be surpassed by worries:

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