[2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Blame Quintushalls for this.

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[2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby GollyRojer » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:55 pm

http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/bad-parents

And it did prove true that during my child-raising period, those without children were consistently the ones who knew the most about how to raise them properly.
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby Grismar » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:24 pm

Although the first part of the comic makes a valid (and funny) point about being judgemental, the second bit strongly suggests that someone with no direct experience of something can't have a valid opinion or even judgement of it. Or that they should keep it to themselves because of having no experience.

That's either a logical error, or elections should only allow politicians to vote. And think about what it says about judges and juries?

People without children can have valid judgements and opinions on raising children, but as with most judgements and opinions, they're generally best kept to themselves. And of course experience does tend to improve ones judgement in most cases. (whether that's true for parenting would be an interesting topic for a nigh-impossible study)
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby gvest » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:24 am

Grismar wrote: And of course experience does tend to improve ones judgement in most cases. (whether that's true for parenting would be an interesting topic for a nigh-impossible study)

Eh, not really. Basically collect statistical data on a generation of children (longitudinal study) and look for a few situation where the parents made decisions roughly equally, where one of the choices correlates well with success later in life. Now present people who are and aren't parents those choices as hypothetical, and record which group does better. Note that it's entirely possible to be a better child-decision maker and a worse parent (the same way as a surgeon can have a better understanding of the muscular system than an amateur athlete and still finish far behind them in a race) but since we're specifically testing people's ability to give advice on child husbandry it doesn't matter how good of a "practical" parent they are.
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby Kaharz » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:38 am

Yes, just that. Longitudinal studies on a sufficiently large group for something like that are incredibly expensive and often have issues due to drop out rates. They are done, but they aren't very common.

Even then there are so many uncontrolled variables you are probably only going to be able to make fairly broad or high level correlations for relationships without much ability to check if they are spurious or not, much less the actual strength of the relationship. So you might be able to say that children in single parent house holds do worse in school,* but you probably aren't going to be able to say with any definitiveness "your kid would have been smarter if you limited their TV time to one hour a day instead of two when they were between the ages of 2-5."

*And that could be more due to socio-economic class, parental supervision, bonding time, whatever and not actually be because there is only one parent.
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby Kit. » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:13 pm

GollyRojer wrote:And it did prove true that during my child-raising period, those without children were consistently the ones who knew the most about how to raise them properly.

That suggests that parenting may be a negative-sum game.

Kaharz wrote:without much ability to check if they are spurious or not

Reminds me of https://xkcd.com/882/
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby gvest » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:26 am

Kaharz wrote:Even then there are so many uncontrolled variables you are probably only going to be able to make fairly broad or high level correlations for relationships without much ability to check if they are spurious or not

Don't need to, the law large numbers tells me that if I ask them enough questions that are backed by correlation only (no proven causal relationship) the people who are better at parenting will still float to the top of the pile.

Kaharz wrote:And that could be more due to <...>, parental supervision, bonding time, whatever and not actually be because there is only one parent.

Those are direct consequences of having 50% less parents. Socio-economic class, admittedly, is not, but I would assume they control for that.
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby Kit. » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:56 pm

gvest wrote:Don't need to, the law large numbers tells me

Actually, no, it doesn't. Its preconditions are a large number of independent samples (parents), not a large number of possibly dependent features (questions).
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby egon » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:14 am

Kit. wrote:
gvest wrote:Don't need to, the law large numbers tells me

Actually, no, it doesn't. Its preconditions are a large number of independent samples (parents), not a large number of possibly dependent features (questions).


This! Thank you, thank you, thank you! OTOH, gvest can still write an article an get it published in PNAS, maybe even get some TED talks out of it.
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Re: [2017-01-05] Bad Parents

Postby Kaharz » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:32 am

gvest wrote:Those are direct consequences of having 50% less parents. Socio-economic class, admittedly, is not, but I would assume they control for that.


Not necessarily. The single parent could have a well enough paying job or large enough social support system to not have to work any more than two parent households and have just as much time for their child as the average two parent household. Just like a two parent household could have parents that both work 70+ hours a week and don't have much time for their child. While their is a pretty good correlation, causation is not so easy. Relationships in sociology are very complex and awfully difficult, if not impossible to disentangle. And that is just the start of the problems with social research. And when you try to disentangle parenting choices from environmental factors, biological factors, impacts of peer groups, impacts of experiences, so on and so forth, it is going to get real messy.
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