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When it comes to making stupid comments…Republicans can’t seem to help themselves.
Posted: 03 November 2012 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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mid atlantic - 02 November 2012 11:11 PM

When we talk about parenting skills, we have to realize there are skills like: changing diapers, bathing a child, treating a sick child, teaching them to read,tell time, etc. -  these can all be learned by a new parent.

However, things like teaching a child to be honest, sense of fair play, empathy -  these cannot be taught.

Well thanks for acknowledging that parents or potential parents can learn something about taking care of children.

Now consider this: If a parent did not care for their infant/toddler by changing diapers regularly, bathing the child, treating it when ill except to the minimum degree to keep it alive, and did nothing to teach it to talk, or read, or tell time, etc., would those infants/toddlers be more or less likely to develop empathy?  Would they be more or less likely to grow up to even understand complex concepts such as honesty or a sense of fair play?  Would they be more or less likely to be successful in peer interactions later in life?

Findings such as Harris’s, in The Nurture Assumption, that socialization of children depends heavily on peer interactions, do not negate the importance of the parents’ taking care of and teaching their children what they can earlier in their lives.

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Posted: 03 November 2012 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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As far as the environment goes, peers are the only influence on the socialization of the kids. Well, peers and something else. But whatever that something else is—which, BTW, accounts for very little—we know it’s not the parents. IOW, parents account, as Pinker has said, for one big fat zero.

But yes, if you don’t feed your children and let them starve to death, they won’t get a chance to be socialized at all. In that aspect, parents matter a lot. Is that something, though, parents or potential parents need to be taught? Effective Parenting 101: feed your kids!  grin

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Posted: 03 November 2012 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 03 November 2012 05:50 AM

However, things like teaching a child to be honest, sense of fair play, empathy -  these cannot be taught.

 

Yes they can Mike. And just the opposite is true. Ever seen the videos of family shoplifters? The parents distract the clerks while the kids steal the merchandise. Kids can be influenced to do just about anything that doesn’t cause them to harm themselves, lying, cheating and stealing not to mention bullying which has become rampant lately. I do admit that genes come into play as well as I responded to George, but not in every case. I’ve worked with local families for the past 36 years and have noticed similar traits in their children and now grandchildren and spot the same traits in the kids that their parents displayed when they were students. You could almost predict their behavior as some were carbon copies of their parents. And yes I was careful to treat each kid as an individual as an experiment to view their behavior with neutral stimuli. Their backgrounds were similar to those of their parents regardless of their racial distinction and most of our Arfican-American kids are from mixed families descended from former slaves who were sent here in 1853. I Don’t want to belabor the point here and I know it’s anecdotal but I’m convinced that environmental issues shouldn’t be thrown out completely.


Cap’t Jack

Consideration of neither environmental issues nor genetic issues should be thrown out completely, except in those rare instances that we know that one or the other is 100% in play in the development of a particular skill/trait.

(We also have to consider biological issues that can be a combination of environmental and inherited factors, e.g., some kids may be more exposed to lead or mercury than others and some kids may be more or less suceptible to damage by exposure to such toxins).

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Posted: 03 November 2012 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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George - 03 November 2012 11:00 AM

As far as the environment goes, peers are the only influence on the socialization of the kids. Well, peers and something else. But whatever that something else is—which, BTW, accounts for very little—we know it’s not the parents. IOW, parents account, as Pinker has said, for one big fat zero.

But yes, if you don’t feed your children and let them starve to death, they won’t get a chance to be socialized at all. In that aspect, parents matter a lot. Is that something, though, parents or potential parents need to be taught? Effective Parenting 101: feed your kids!  grin

Well, some parents are better at feeding their kids than others, but that is not the only thing (by a long shot) that parents need to be good at.

Please give me a quote where Pinker said that parents account for one big fat zero in influencing the socialization of their kids.  I find this very hard to believe, as an infant/toddler that never had a parent or parent substitute touch them except to feed them and change their diapers and never had a parent or parent substitute respond verbally to them would likely be so impaired in their development as to be extremely dysfunctional at even relating to peers.

Examples of this are seen in neglected institutionlized kids.
http://www.livescience.com/21778-early-neglect-alters-kids-brains.html

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Posted: 03 November 2012 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Sure, I’ll give you the quote. It’ll be either later on tonight or tomorrow, when I will also read your and Jack’s links.

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Posted: 03 November 2012 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Jack,

I’ll have to get back to you on this. My weekends are crazy busy (busy doing effective parenting) and I only get a few minutes here and there to check the forum. I’ll respond when I am done shaping my kids’ behaviour to argue against such thing. 


Me too but it’s effective grandparenting for me. I’ve already shaped my children’s behavior and except for my son’s stint with drug abuse, he’s ok now BTW, I think we did a pretty good job. Read the references when you have the time and don’t think for a minute that you have no effect on your children’s behavior. They’re watching you! Is nihilism genetic or learned!?

 

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Posted: 03 November 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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I’ve been trying to find where Pinker asserts that parents have zero influence on how effective their children can grow up to be.  So far I have only found that he thinks that parents have no effect on what their personalities will be.  I also see where Pinker has said that parents don’t have an influence on their children’s behavior “as much as people think”.

But this is a far cry from the assertion that nothng parents do or don’t do matters in how effective their children will be in their eventual capacity to establish and meet their goals.

If Pinker is correct that personalities are pretty much set at conception (and if he is not overstating in order to generate controversy so as to sell more books) still consider that people can have different personalities and yet be more or less effective as adults. 

Also, I am not familiar enough with the scientific findings that he relies on to make the assertions about parent’s limited impact in their children’s behavior later in life.  Is it mostly studies of separated twins?  Does he cite any studies where one twin was raised from infancy by a neglectful or abusive parent/s and the other twin was raised by a highly responsive and affectionate parent/s?

I will concede that most parents probably learn or have learned the basic necessary skills and/or have inherited the basic necessary traits that enable them to functionally provide what their children need so that their kids can develop in such a way as to be effective in their lives.  But from 1st hand experience, in working in Early Childhood Intervention, it appeared to me that there are a lot of parents who don’t know or have what it takes, but can learn. 

Again, I believe that if we could reach and teach that subset of parents before they become parents, society in general would benefit greatly.

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Posted: 03 November 2012 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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TimB - 03 November 2012 02:23 PM

I’ve been trying to find where Pinker asserts that parents have zero influence on how effective their children can grow up to be.  So far I have only found that he thinks that parents have no effect on what their personalities will be.  I also see where Pinker has said that parents don’t have an influence on their children’s behavior “as much as people think”.

This is an accurate reflection of what Pinker says, following the data. Parents’ measured effect on their children’s personalities comes only through genetics. But “personality” isn’t the same as “behavior”. We’ve discussed this at length several times in the past.

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Posted: 03 November 2012 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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I will concede that most parents probably learn or have learned the basic necessary skills and/or have inherited the basic necessary traits that enable them to functionally provide what their children need so that their kids can develop in such a way as to be effective in their lives.  But from 1st hand experience, in working in Early Childhood Intervention, it appeared to me that there are a lot of parents who don’t know or have what it takes, but can learn. 


Tim, if you have the time to check my reference at #89 your point is addressed in the JAMA article and twin studies are also mentioned. The article focuses on the effects of depressed parents and how their children are effected as a result of their home environment plus the genetic inheritance of that trait and how it generates abnormal social behavior in the child. I’ve personally witnessed this several times. also, what Pinker book included the reference to personality inheritance? I’m reading the Blank Slate now but am only a third of the way through it.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 03 November 2012 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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dougsmith - 03 November 2012 03:17 PM

But “personality” isn’t the same as “behavior”. We’ve discussed this at length several times in the past.

Behaviour is what personality does. A person with violent personality behaves violently.

I’ll answer to you privately tomorrow, Jack. I am getting tired of this nonsense here. There is always another type of free will, consciousness2, behaviour is caused by god knows what, and on and on it goes.

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Posted: 03 November 2012 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 03 November 2012 06:21 PM

I will concede that most parents probably learn or have learned the basic necessary skills and/or have inherited the basic necessary traits that enable them to functionally provide what their children need so that their kids can develop in such a way as to be effective in their lives.  But from 1st hand experience, in working in Early Childhood Intervention, it appeared to me that there are a lot of parents who don’t know or have what it takes, but can learn. 


Tim, if you have the time to check my reference at #89 your point is addressed in the JAMA article and twin studies are also mentioned. The article focuses on the effects of depressed parents and how their children are effected as a result of their home environment plus the genetic inheritance of that trait and how it generates abnormal social behavior in the child. I’ve personally witnessed this several times. also, what Pinker book included the reference to personality inheritance? I’m reading the Blank Slate now but am only a third of the way through it.


Cap’t Jack

Yes, I scanned that article. Thanks.  I guess Pinker touches on the personality inheritance somewhere in the Blank Slate, but here is a quote from an interview:

“We know that genes matter in the formation of personalities. Probably about half of the variation in personality can be attributed to differences in genes. People then conclude, well the other half must come from the way your parents brought you up: half heredity, half environment, a nice compromise. Right? Wrong. The other 50% of the variation turns out not to be explained by which family you’ve been brought up in. Concretely, here’s what the behavioral geneticists have found. Everyone knows about the identical twins separated at birth that have all of these remarkable similarities: they score similarly on personality tests, they have similar tests in music, similar political opinions, and so on. But the other discovery, which is just as important, though less well appreciated, is that the twins separated at birth are no more different than the twins who are brought up together in the same house with the same parents…” http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/pinker_blank/pinker_blank_p4.html

Again, I wonder whether very basic parenting skills were controlled for in the identical twin studies.  For example, I doubt that in any of the cases, that one of the twins was raised by a morbidly depressed single parent who had the mimimum necessary interactions with the child to keep it alive, while the other twin was raised by a more typically functioning parent/s.  If that were the case and then we saw that there is no difference on personality tests, or tastes in music, and little difference in political opinions, then there is a strong case that basic parenting skills are not a factor in the development of those traits.  I would be somewhat surprised by those results, but I would be even more surprised if both twins developed such that each became as functionally effective as the other, in general, when they reached adolescence or adulthood.

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Posted: 03 November 2012 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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I’ll answer to you privately tomorrow, Jack. I am getting tired of this nonsense here. There is always another type of free will, consciousness2, behaviour is caused by god knows what, and on and on it goes.


Ok George, looking forward to your response as usual.

 

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Posted: 03 November 2012 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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George - 03 November 2012 08:07 PM
dougsmith - 03 November 2012 03:17 PM

But “personality” isn’t the same as “behavior”. We’ve discussed this at length several times in the past.

Behaviour is what personality does. A person with violent personality behaves violently…

 

But even Pinker suggests that the brain has “different modules” and that some can over-ride inherent predispositions
established by one’s other “modules”.  IOW, a person that has inherited a tendency to be violent is not necessarily doomed to become a violent person.

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Posted: 04 November 2012 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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TimB - 03 November 2012 11:03 AM
Thevillageatheist - 03 November 2012 05:50 AM

However, things like teaching a child to be honest, sense of fair play, empathy -  these cannot be taught.

 

Yes they can Mike. And just the opposite is true. Ever seen the videos of family shoplifters? The parents distract the clerks while the kids steal the merchandise. Kids can be influenced to do just about anything that doesn’t cause them to harm themselves, lying, cheating and stealing not to mention bullying which has become rampant lately. I do admit that genes come into play as well as I responded to George, but not in every case. I’ve worked with local families for the past 36 years and have noticed similar traits in their children and now grandchildren and spot the same traits in the kids that their parents displayed when they were students. You could almost predict their behavior as some were carbon copies of their parents. And yes I was careful to treat each kid as an individual as an experiment to view their behavior with neutral stimuli. Their backgrounds were similar to those of their parents regardless of their racial distinction and most of our Arfican-American kids are from mixed families descended from former slaves who were sent here in 1853. I Don’t want to belabor the point here and I know it’s anecdotal but I’m convinced that environmental issues shouldn’t be thrown out completely.


Cap’t Jack

Consideration of neither environmental issues nor genetic issues should be thrown out completely, except in those rare instances that we know that one or the other is 100% in play in the development of a particular skill/trait.

(We also have to consider biological issues that can be a combination of environmental and inherited factors, e.g., some kids may be more exposed to lead or mercury than others and some kids may be more or less suceptible to damage by exposure to such toxins).

Some research has shown that a person’s capacity for empathy is genetically based - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116163212.htm

Capacity for anger is also genetically based - http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/tag/warrior-gene/


Of course this is not the end of the world, but if it’s impossible for some kids to be molded into the next Ghandi, then no amount of good parenting will help.

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Posted: 04 November 2012 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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TimB - 03 November 2012 09:13 PM
George - 03 November 2012 08:07 PM
dougsmith - 03 November 2012 03:17 PM

But “personality” isn’t the same as “behavior”. We’ve discussed this at length several times in the past.

Behaviour is what personality does. A person with violent personality behaves violently…

 

But even Pinker suggests that the brain has “different modules” and that some can over-ride inherent predispositions
established by one’s other “modules”.  IOW, a person that has inherited a tendency to be violent is not necessarily doomed to become a violent person.

How in the world do you label a violent person as violent, if that person doesn’t behave violently? You might as well say a person X has IQ of 160 but doesn’t know that 1+1=2, or that person Y is a neurotic but always keeps his cool.

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