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14

First of all, recognize there is a difference between having a favorite, and engaging in favoritism. I think having a favorite is somewhat unavoidable, unless your children all happen to have personalities that mesh equally well with yours. When having a favorite becomes problematic is when you let it affect your words and actions toward your children. ...


12

The short answer is that there is absolutely no way to accurately quantify the extent of influence parenting has on children. There are just too many variables. Genetics, birth order, familial influences outside of parents (siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, etc.), geographic/regional, educational, and peer interactions all play a part. ...


11

Actually there are theories that contradict what you guys are saying. None of you are citing any sources for your theories. For instance: children might exaggerate their plight since you won't listen to minor gripes. Telling a tired, hungry and upset kid to speak in its normal voice... well, hasn't worked for me. Do you guys want to know what has worked? ...


10

I hate this answer, but: it depends. Mathematics alone won't do anything. In your observation you are correlating mathematics skills with personal behaviour. What you can't see is whether math made them who they are or who they are makes it easy for them to understand math. Focusing on becoming very good at something is character building. Encouraging your ...


6

Why do some parents have a favorite (or least favorite) child? One possible answer would be that there are parents who want to see a version of themselves in their children - or what they would like to have been. The children that match that view are favored, those who don't are less favored. Imagine a major league football player who has a son who ...


6

If you replace "mathematics" with "hard science" or "engineering" then I think I see where you're going with this. Much like the first answer, I believe that logical thinking and a good understanding of how things work make it easier to be organized -- but it doesn't help with personal character per se. You could be a math genius, or a fantastic engineer, ...


6

About personal character not so much, learning maths won't change who you are. However it will help with logical thinking and problem solving throughout your live, thus it will help with confidence in solving tasks/activities. The good thing about math is passion. With my experience math helped me in this way. Having a passion to solve something gives you ...


6

Some people object to older cartoons as being politically incorrect, violent etc, but I agree with you that the classics contained useful messages about good and evil, right and wrong. That said, many modern cartoons also bring a good message, so I would suggest allowing them to see cartoons from any era but just check age appropriateness.


5

That is a part of it. When children know that, when they whine, they get what they want, they'll use their new tool. To discourage it, you have to show them that whining doesn't get them what they want: Ignore minor whining - Basic Pavlovian behavior modification; reward good behavior, ignore bad behavior. If they're whining about general "the world isn't ...


4

As with any TV show, you should pick and choose. In my opinion, modern cartoons like "Jane and the Dragon" and "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks" offer a lot more than Bugs Bunny. My 4-year old loves cartoons like "Shaun the Sheep" and "Fireman Sam". On the other side, I find cartoons like "Ben 10" tedious and violent so we tend to avoid those.


3

I think the causation is flipped. In my experience, getting very good at anything, but especially at something abstract like math, is difficult. People who overcome initial difficulties to become good at something generally do so because they have a strong character. A few do so because their parents essentially force them to (music lessons come to mind), ...


3

Answering the topic question: How much of an effect does parenting style have on a child? My answer: 100%. That is to say that 100% of parenting style has an effect, not that parenting style determines 100% of personality. Answering the question at the end of the text: Is there any evidence that the parenting makes a big difference on who the child ...


3

I see two main questions here: "Should I let my kids watch the older cartoons I grew up with?" (what you consider "quality cartoons") "Should I control what my kids watch?" Personally, I see no problem with sharing the cartoons of your childhood with your children. I, too, watched Tom and Jerry as a kid. Through the 20/20 vision of hindsight, I see ...


3

I agree with the sentiment of @monsto's answer, although saying parents contribute 100% to a child's outcome is an exaggeration. Answering a question like "why was child A successful and child B unsuccessul, despite having the same parents?" is very difficult and context-specific. There are so many factors at play. Parenting style definitely has a huge ...


3

Consistency is also an important part of this: both parents have to stick to the same line, denying the opportunity for the child to say, "But Mom lets me do this!" (regardless of its truth). My wife says "I can't understand when you use that voice," and the kids generally drop into a normal tone immediately. (If you say "I can't hear you when you talk like ...


3

I read this book when it came out The NURTURE ASSUMPTION: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do It makes the case that the environmental contribution to personality is mostly from peers, not parents (except in pathologically bad cases like abuse). One simple example is accent -- children tend to have the accents of their peers, not their parents. You'd ...


2

One of the possible reasons is fear. You are a psychologist, I am probably telling you nothing new with this sentence :) but here is an example of how it can work: My aunt has two children younger than me. The boy is two years older than the girl. My aunt and uncle were always afraid that the older boy might start bullying his defenseless little sister. As ...


2

I don't know how much it builds character, but it provides one with an alternative (and perhaps even refined) way of thinking about problems (and perhaps even, the world). It never hurts to have different ways of thinking about problems. I would also like to add that learning how to write computer programs provides one with another way of thinking about ...


1

First of all, for the "snark" .. parenting style is irrelevant. What is relevant is is parenting actions and parenting behaviors. This is indeed the classic "nature versus nurture" dilemma. The real answer is that it is not nature versus nurture, it is nature and nurture interacting. Each of us has inborn tendencies and traits and the parents have a huge ...


1

Absolutely parenting style has a lot to do with how a child will ultimately turn out, but other factors certainly influence that child's outcome: birth order is certainly believed to effect a child's personality, genes, the number of children your parents have, etc. I'm an only child so I have no siblings to compare to, but I've observed some interesting ...


1

I've just read in a german modern psychology bestseller on the "self" (it's about understanding up-to-date psychology and I really can recommend it especially to parents): About 50% of one's self / character are regarded as coming from the genes, about 30% from the first experiences with parents / parenting and the rest from something else (later ...



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