do you parent like a carpenter or a gardener?

The podcast was remarkable for me personally and some of the parenting examples were so simple (and relatable) yet, when classified within the confines of her talk, made me think twice about some of the ways in which I parent

Typically, I found myself relating to both styles of parenting (yes, guilty!!) and I was even more fascinated to connect our changing culture of community with the skills that I’ve brought to the table as a modern parent. Listen to the podcast, but, just in case, some of the highlights include:

  • believes his or her child can be molded,
  • notes that if just do the right things, get the right skills, read the the right books—all will be good,
  • style motto: engineering an environment with the appropriate skills and resources will shape your child into a particular kind of adult.


  • believes that with nurturing, his or her child will find their path,
  • notes that they are less concerned about controlling who the child will become and emphasizes the importance of providing a protected space to explore,
  • style motto: creating a rich, nurturant but also variable, diverse, dynamic ecosystem will lead to success. for thought, right? Which style are you?
​Which style do you want to be? What style do you find yourself falling into? 


"For as long as we've been human, the whole village has been involved in caring for children. By the time you were ready to have children yourself, you'd had lots of practical experience in caring for children."

In the 20th century, families got smaller. People got to be more mobile and people had children at a later age. For the first time, people were having children who hadn't had much experience of caring for children but had lots of experience of going to school and working. It was kind of natural for people to think, "OK, this is like going to school and working. And if I can just find the right manual or the right secret handbook, I'm going to succeed at this task the same way that I succeeded in my classes or I succeeded at my job."

“The less that mothers and fathers worry about outcomes,
the better their children may fare in life.”


Researches Elizabeth Bonawitz and Laura Schulz preformed an experiment by giving a complicated toy to a 4-year-old. When they let the child explore the object, the child was able to find all the things that the toy could do—it could squeak, had a mirror and it had a light. The experimenters had less success when they introduced the toy by saying “This is my toy, I’m going to show you how it works,” and did one thing, like squeak the squeaker, the child was much less likely to explore. What they did, rationally, was the copy what was demonstrated and merely squeak the squeaker.
I tend to let my kids fall far more than I hover and ensure they don’t, yet, I am guilty of being that parent who is nagging my child through every inch of an activity too. In the end, the conclusion for me was that they’ll get there, everyone will be okay, they’ll figure it all out…and, be better for it in the end!
So parents, rest easy—we’re all probably in the same boat—we’re good parents and for many of us, pumping the proverbial brakes a few extra times (aka. butting out)as we head down the parenting road, might serve us all a little better...

“We’re so concerned about how these children are going to turn out
that we’re unwilling to give them the autonomy that they need to be
able to take risks and go out and explore the world,…”