Another Parenting Study?

We couldn’t resist posting this amazingly funny comedic piece from the New Yorker by Sarah Miller. There are a lot of parenting studies out there and there will continue to be plenty more. In the end, what’s right for you and your family will depend on you and your family. You might pick and choose what works for you from one study, or agree wholeheartedly with a study and stick to it. Or maybe you will just avoid studies in general. We like to pick and choose what to share with our members and we do it only to share the option of having the information. Now take a moment and read below, it’s hilarious!

As seen in the New Yorker:

A recent study has shown that if American parents read one more long-form think piece about parenting they will go f***ing ape sh*t.

The study was conducted by Susan Waterson, a professor of behavioral psychology at the University of Massachusetts and the author of zero books, because, Waterson says, “another book at this point would just be cruel.” In the course of seven weeks, Waterson interviewed a hundred and twenty-seven families about their reaction to articles that begin with a wryly affectionate parenting anecdote, segue into a dry cataloguing of sociological research enlivened with alternately sarcastic and tender asides, and end with another wryly affectionate anecdote that aims to add a touch of irony or, failing at that, sentimentality. “I wasn’t looking to prove there was too much of this content,” Waterson said. “I’m a behaviorist, not a sociologist. Only one part of this equation interested me—the f***ing ape sh*t part.”

Her study was focussed on families in central Massachusetts, but her findings were echoed by parents across the country.

Frieda Duntmore, a thirty-nine-year-old Baltimore-high-school teacher and the mother of twin six-year-old girls, recounted standing in line at a supermarket, reading a magazine article about how being a parent sucked, and then recalling that, that very morning, she’d read another article, which said that being a parent was awesome, and that anyone who didn’t have kids might as well just take their own life. “All of a sudden, I felt my skull start to split right down the middle. I put my hand up, and there was literally blood there.” Duntmore paid for her groceries and fled. “About fifteen minutes later, my skull pieced itself back together, so I figured I’d forget about it,” she said.

Paul Nickman, forty-five, was taking a coffee break at his Visalia, California, law office when he began to leaf through an article about the importance of giving kids real challenges. “They mentioned this thing called grit, and I was like, ‘O.K, great. Grit.’ Then I started to think about how, last year, I’d read that parents were making kids do too much and strive too hard, and ever since then we’ve basically been letting our kids, who are ten and six, sit around and stare into space.” Nickman called his wife and started to shout, “Make the kids go outside and get them to build a giant wall out of dirt and lawn furniture and frozen peas!” He added, “Get them to scale it, and then make them go to the town zoning board to get it permitted, but don’t let them know it was your idea!” Nickman has no idea how many minutes passed before he realized he was standing in a fountain outside a European Waxing Center, rending his clothes.

During Nickman’s three-day-long stay at U.C.L.A.’s psych ward, his wife, Anne, forty-four, brought him a pile of newspapers, one of which happened to briefly mention Waterson’s study. “I was so relieved,” Nickman said. “I turned to Anne and said, ‘I think I was just going f***ing ape sh*t, that’s all.’ And Anne said, ‘I think I might be going f***ing ape sh*t, too.’ ”

The Nickmans and Duntmore both got in touch with Waterson, and, following her advice, they began a protocol of recovery. They cancelled their Facebook accounts, and they go online only when absolutely necessary. If they leave their house, they wear horse blinders, which Waterson’s husband, an inventor, has adapted for human use, and which can be purchased on Waterson’s Web site. Upon greeting other parents, they hand out pre-printed cards (also available on their Web site) that read, “Please do not talk to me about my children or your children, or children, or schools, or schooling, or learning, or Tae Kwon Do, ballet., etc. Also, please ignore the horse blinders.”

“Most people just smile and walk away,” Duntmore said. “But, once in a while, someone wants to talk about Crimea, which is a treat.”

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