1. FT review of various parenting books. Excerpt:
“Our society is in thrall… to “the cognitive hypothesis: the belief, rarely expressed aloud but commonly held nonetheless, that success today depends primarily on cognitive skills – the kind of intelligence that gets measured on IQ tests, including the abilities to recognise letters and words, to calculate, to detect patterns – and that the best way to develop these skills is to practice them as much as possible, beginning as early as possible.”
This is the edifice upon which modern, academically focused, pushy parenting has been built, yet Tough finds plenty of evidence that it is, at best, shaky as a predictor of future success. What matters more, he argues, is “a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence”.
Love, consistency and support are the best guarantees of nurturing a child – any child – towards a good life. All the rest is froth.”
2. A very different account from the front line by Drew Magary. Excerpt:
“When I was single and saw parents losing it with their kids, I used to frown at them. I’ll never be like that, I promised myself. But single people are pathetically naive. They don’t know what it’s like to spend fourteen consecutive hours with a child. They don’t understand how that massive span of time allows for every single possible human emotion to be bared: anger, fear, jealousy, love … all of it. More to the point, they don’t realize what little assholes kids can be. They have no idea.”