Your kid is amazing

Yesterday afternoon on Slate’s parenting podcast Mom and Dad are Fighting (the “This Job Sucks” edition), panelists Allison Benedikt, Gabe Roth and Carvell Wallace responded to a question from a listener whose 11-year-old, a straight-A student, was not too interested in the kind of reading and writing they (the parent) wished he would cultivate. The question (which starts at the 30-minute mark) was, basically, how the parent could make the child a better writer or convince him to read more than just comic books. After the question had been read aloud, all three parent panelists let out a heavy sigh. It was Carvell’s response that implanted itself firmly in my brain and has not let me go: “Your kid is amazing,” he said. “And part of your job as a parent is to find the ways in which they are amazing, not to make them amazing according to your own definition of that. And that gets confusing, because there’s so much overlap between what we value and what our kids end up valuing that often times we can take that overlap and confuse it for some measure of influence over how they turn out to be amazing. … but that’s luck.”

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Ros's library choices this week, ranked

Good thing Ros doesn’t care at all whether I like a book or not - and yes, that really is a good thing! My powers of suggestibility are rapidly dwindling, and my authority to veto exists only if I want to fight for it, which at bedtime, I don’t. She doesn’t get a lot of choices, so I respect that she wants to exercise as much control in this arena as she can get her hands on.

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