2004-03-26

Parents

An old, yet interesting, article originally published in The New Yorker discusses Judith Harris’s hypothesis and observations that a child is more influenced more by her peers than she is by her parents.

…her article was accepted, and in the space below her name, where authors typically put “Princeton University” or “Yale University” or “Oxford University,” Harris proudly put “Middletown, New Jersey.” Harris listed her CompuServe address in a footnote, and soon she was inundated with E-mail, because what she had to say was so compelling and so surprising and, in a wholly unexpected way, so sensible that everyone in the field wanted to know more. Who are you? scholars asked. Where did you come from? Why have I never heard of you before?

This article was a precursor to her book The Nurture Assumption.

To me, it seems that in order to satisfy this hypothesis and influence the type of person Hailey becomes when she is older, I would need to influence the type of children that are in her peer group. The only problem is that I have always hated the medaling parent who stereotyped and excluded people based on their looks, family, or last name.