some random parenting ideas

post by mike_hawke · 2021-02-13T15:53:43.855Z · LW · GW · 7 comments

These have been bouncing around in my head for years. I finally wrote them down and showed them to a friend and he said I should post it.



The Ideas:

(In random order)


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Gyrodiot · 2021-02-13T21:11:48.910Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is one of the rare times I can in good faith use the prefix "as a parent...", so thank you for the opportunity.

So, as a parent, lots of good ideas here. Some I couldn't implement in time, some that are very dependent on living conditions (finding space for the trampoline is a bit difficult at the moment), some that are nice reminders (swamp water, bad indeed), some that are too early (because they can't read yet)...

... but most importantly, some that genuinely blindsided me, because I found myself agreeing with them, and they were outside my thought process! The one-Brilliant-problem a day one, the let-them-eat-more-cookies, mainly.

I appreciate, in particular, the breadth of the ideas. Thanks for sharing, even if you don't practice what you preach, you'll be able to get feedback.

Replies from: mike_hawke
comment by mike_hawke · 2021-02-14T23:47:35.306Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you so much! I hesitated before posting, so I'm glad to read your comment :]

comment by Viliam · 2021-02-17T22:34:49.439Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Your parenting style will probably mostly be derived from that of your own parents

The good news is that your partner provides an alternative set of parents to imitate.

Do what the mr. money mustache did: He only made a kid only after accumulating $1,000,000 (working as a software engineer and living frugally) and retiring (at ~30 years old).

I admit this sounds wonderful. But if you have university education, this leaves you maybe 5 years to accumulate the money, so you need to negotiate a $200K+ salary with very little work experience. How realistic is that?

Train them in effective emotional coping and processing. This one is hard and I’m still not good at it, so I leave the details up to you, sorry.

Being able to discuss this topic explicitly is a good start. Heh, my daughter just told me today: "If you take away my computer as a punishment, I already know how to win. I will just imagine I never had one!" Smart girl.

If your kid is intelligent, speak to them intelligently.

I would even suggest to speak to kids intelligently even if you are not sure they are already capable of understanding it. Worst case: you wasted some time. Best case: they surprise you pleasantly.

Generally, little kids often understand more than it seems. Or rather, their understanding is horribly unbalanced, so sometimes they misunderstand simple things, but then sometimes they understand things that seem difficult.

Develop their taste for vegetables.

Here I'd say try many different things, and see which ones are okay. Try them in different forms, e.g. many otherwise unattractive vegetables become acceptable when blended.

For example, broccoli seems to be a popular example of a vegetable kids hate to eat. We make a broccoli soup (cook one broccoli + one potato, blend) and no one objects.

Also we used to have breakfast like "there are four or five different vegetables cut on the plate, take any that you want, as long as you take some". Better than having a fight over one specific type of vegetable.

Don’t feed them energy drinks.

Don’t let them drink swamp water

Check them for the alcoholism genes. Give them something to do other than drink.

OK, now I am confused. What else is there to drink? Water from toilet?

comment by Kenny · 2021-03-04T05:46:01.699Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

These are pretty good but I think you're over-weighting waiting to have kids. I think that's generally a mistake, but especially for the people that are inclined to follow your advice anyways!

I like Bryan Caplan's parenting advice too.

comment by Kenny · 2021-03-04T05:38:19.395Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Would you be open to numbering the ideas, purely for easier reference in comments?

I haven't read the rest yet, but in regard to your first idea, I stumbled on a similar one – someone needs to be 'the dictator'. (I like that term better as, historically, there were benevolent dictators, but I believe 'tyrants' were always terrible!) This is definitely true, at least sometimes, for children, particularly those younger than teenagers. But it turned out to also be a good rule/framing for nearly any group project – who is both 'ultimately' responsible and thus endowed with final executive decision-making abilities? (And also, who should be expected to follow-up with everyone else in the group about their progress on delegated tasks or sub-projects?)

comment by remizidae · 2021-02-14T00:12:31.538Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Check them for the alcoholism genes.

Is this possible? I did 23andme and that wasn't included.

Replies from: mike_hawke
comment by mike_hawke · 2021-02-14T23:48:34.191Z · LW(p) · GW(p)