Rachael's Reviews > Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids by Bryan Caplan
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's review
Jun 03, 2011

really liked it

This was a thought-provoking economics approach to childrearing. Caplan investigates the results of many twin and adoption studies to reveal that parents often pressure themselves to do things for their children which are a complete and utter waste of time. IQ, behavior, health, success are all highly heritable. While parents can affect short term behavior, those effects completely wear off on adults and leave no lasting impression or 'step up' (obviously within 'normal' childrearing). Caplan concludes that the reason to take kids to lessons or play with them is not to boost their IQ or their chances of getting into college but to give them a fun time, now. He also points out that when kids are actually asked what they would change about their parents it is not that they would spend more time with them, but that the parents would be less stressed out and happier. His conclusion is that parents rationally ought to back off on stressful extras, enjoy their own hobbies, and engage their kids in stuff that everyone enjoys.

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