From my commonplace book


I am reading these three books right now. Needless to say, they have all given me a lot to think about. By the time bedtime rolls around I grab whatever novel is sitting on my nightstand to do some light reading and turn my brain off.

Here are some passages that I wrote down from each this week:

Free to Learn:

“As I noted before, hunter-gatherer children always play in groups that encompass a wide range of ages. Even if they wanted to play only with age-mates, they would not be able to. Hunter-gatherer bands are small, and births are widely spread, so it is rare to find more than two or three children within a year or two in age. Research in our culture shows that age-mixed play is qualitatively different from same-age play.  It is less competitive and more nurturing. In age-mixed play, each child tries to do his or her best, but has little or no concern for beating others. When playmates differ greatly in age, size, and strength, there is little point in trying to prove oneself better than another. The age-mixed nature of the play, coupled with the egalitarian ethos of the cultures, ensures  that the play of hunter-gatherer children is highly cooperative and noncompetitive.”

“No human trait is more important to the hunter-gatherer way of life than the willingness to give or share.”


Unconditional Parenting:

“The ironic result is that their students end up achieving at lower levels than their counterparts in classrooms where there’s less top-down emphasis on ‘accountability'”

“controlling parenting has been associated with lower levels of intrinsic motivation, less internalization or values and morals, poorer self-regulation,”

Yes, Your Teen is Crazy:

“Your defining act of love for your child will not be the 2:00 a.m. feeding, the sleepless, fretful night spent beside him in the hospital, or the second job you took to pay for college. Your zenith will occur in the face of a withering blast of frightening rage from your adolescent, in allowing no rage fro yourself in response. Your finest moment may well be your darkest. And you will be a parent.”



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