Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Why Bother?

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on some new research. Sociologists doing time studies have concluded that parents are spending more time with their kids now than in the past. Other researchers have concluded (by looking at twins and adopted children) that nature is more important, a lot more important, than nurture in determining what kind of people we become. Finally, other research shows that kids are happier when their parents don’t spend as much time with them. Seems that parents don’t really like spending a lot of time with their kids and doing so makes them unhappy. The kids are unhappy because their parents are unhappy. The same issue of the Chronicle carried another article reporting that significant numbers of Ph. D. students at prestigious schools do not plan on teaching at major research universities, so that they can spend more time with their kids.

Discussions - 8 Comments


I read the hard copy. Don't know if you can get it online. It was in the Jan 6 (I think) issue.

You have to pay. I'd have to read it before commenting.

DO you want me to mail it to you the old fashioned way?

I believe we have natures. After raising six children and seeing how hard it is to nurture their better natures, I agree that people are as God made them. Parenting is about managing that and eventually, helping the child manage himself, given what he is. Increased parental involvement probably means an increase in the amount of discipline the child receives. Parties on either side of that issue may not be "happy" about it, but isn't it good?

How does this article define happiness?

It is hard to tell from the summary of the research but I believe that the reserchers would claim that self-discipline is largely genetic as well. Again it is hard to tell from the summary but I imagine the researhcers did not define happiness. They just asked the parents and the kids if they were happy.

No doubt about it, there are people who are naturally self-disciplined. Happy them! (Not me. I am supposed to be editing a chapter, not gadding about here.) How to help a child who is not, by nature, disciplined, develop that as a skill is a parental responsibility.

To be "happy" in the short term, I would just as soon have shirked that hard job.

That's o.k., David. I can go to the library!

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