Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call "parenting" is a surprisingly new invention. In the past 30 years, the concept of parenting and the multibillion-dollar industry surrounding it have transformed child care into obsessive, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult.
In The Gardener and the Carpenter, pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar 21st-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong - it's not just based on bad science, it's bad for kids and parents, too. Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. "Parenting" won't make children learn - but caring parents let children learn by creating secure, loving environments.
©2016 Alison Gopnik (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
"Narrator Erin Bennett commendably presents this unique audiobook on raising children. Alison Gopnik, an expert on children's development, lambasts the current style of parenting, which she calls the 'carpenter method' because it relies on an established blueprint (as in making a chair) to produce a successful but predictable child who also excels at test taking. Gopnik prefers the 'gardener approach,' which gives the child love, encouragement, and freedom to play and imagine, which she says results in a more creativity. Bennett's delivery of Gopnik's passionate argument is appealing and easy to understand. She also captures Gopnik's subtle humor and supporting quotes from experts. The moving conclusion comes full circle as it discusses end-of-life commitments that adult children have to their elderly parents." (AudioFile Magazine)
Although the title suggests telling us about scientific side of child and parent relationship and it does while annoyingly mixing facts with lots of personal individual experiences of the writer.
This book enchanted me when I read the introduction, when explaining about carpenter and gardner parents, difference of parenting and being a part, when she elegantly put pieces together why we have children in this age, in this world.
But the more I read, the less she explained the reason of having children and simply stoped after one simple fact that we have children because we love them. Almost entire book is about science of having baby and less and less carpenter and gardner parents.
I think the writer was lost from the very subject of book, from very enchanting, smart introduction through out the whole book.
It is a good book to realise new findings in science related to babies and how they grow up BUT extremely poor to make any original point about parenting and being a parent.
"Stop Parenting and Be a Parent"
Yes - the book makes a strong case for being a parent to your children rather than parenting them toward your own specific end. It's definitely a message to hear and appreciate more than once.
The author talks about her experience as a grandmother throughout the book, which is a nice backdrop to the scientific understanding of the parent-child relationship.
Erin conveys some of the coy remarks well - I'm not sure they would have stood out as clearly in the text.
I like this book in snippets - listening all in one sitting wouldn't do it justice.
Alison Gopnik is quoted so frequently in other books. It was nice to hear her voice directly - she has a wisdom about her work that other authors miss entirely.
"Great book about modern parenting misconceptions"
Really great book that takes you through historical and traditional child rearing ideals to modern day misunderstandings. It was an enlightening read on how childrens' brains develop and how wrong our traditional ideas of this are. It's a very short book but touches on many examples and interesting view points. It had a good flow but not many action points to take away, except that I feel I need to read more about the subject!
Best book in the genre I've "read". Fascinating and entertaining from start to finish. I highly rec
"Equal parts science and wisdom"
The best chapter is the last one, in which Alison Gopnik weaves together the science of child development with philosophy and policy making.
"A Scientific Explanation of the Love Between Parents and Children"
This is probably the most useless book that I have ever read. If you can imagine an alien coming to earth and observing the intense love that parents have for their children and being completely unable to identify with that feeling. The alien then tries to prove scientifically that this love exist, and that caring for children is a valid endeavor (even though the alien cannot explain why). If the airline then tried to publish its findings it would be a lot like this book. If you ask me, an 8 hour audio book trying to scientifically prove that parents love children and caring for them is a valid endeavor is a foolish waste of time. I don't know who this book would interest.
"Always love Gopnik. This book was right up there."
At some level this book felt so much more personal. I have always loved the author's "reporting" on the latest discoveries. So, coming across a book where she opens up her soul, so to speak, was welcomed & refreshing! it was nice to hear that even a grandparent research scientist is ..... still a grandparent. This was a most enjoyable read.
"Lot of research"
If you're looking for a traditional book or the newest thoughts & ideas on child raising, this is not the book for you. So much work and research went into this book that it's disappointing there isn't more profound ideas or at least something new.
"Too much of a summary of experimental work "
While the topic very interesting for parents, the material from the experimemts dominates the book way too much at the expense of possible guidelines on how parents could change their attitude once they buy into the key paradigm that gardener is better than carpenter. It opens the eyes of willing parents (which is great nits own) but leaves it with that it seems.
"good book. could be better written though"
more of a social standpoint describing the big picture. like the general opinion of the author however not very easy to read
"Not much insight"
Sites tons of research and offers little New or insightful information. Very long winded. This book could have been shortened by 90%. Author needs to consider her audience and have a writing style that suits them. Parents don't have time to read hours of pages just to get to a few good points.
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