There is a saying about kids passed down from one generation of parents to another: “When they are little, your arms hurt. When they are older, your heart hurts.” This is not just folk wisdom: According to data tracking how parents spend time with children at different ages, it checks out statistically.
This is, of course, as it should be if the goal is to raise independent, competent adults. “Even if we could shape our children to come out a particular way, we would have defeated the point of having children in the first place,” says Alison Gopnik, a professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Berkeley. “The point of having children is to have people to do something new, something unexpected, the things we never would have anticipated.”
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