In fact, there were more instances in which children had higher levels of achievement when their parents were less involved than there were among those whose parents were more involved. Even more counterintuitively: When involvement does seem to matter, the consequences for children’s achievement are more often negative than positive.
Conventional wisdom holds that since there is no harm in having an involved parent, why shouldn’t we suggest as many ways as possible for parents to participate in school? This conventional wisdom is flawed. Schools should move away from giving the blanket message to parents that they need to be more involved and begin to focus instead on helping parents find specific, creative ways to communicate the value of schooling, tailored to a child’s age.
What should parents do? They should set the stage and then leave it.
Very suggestive and thought provoking
If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
One very thorough study of “children’s independent mobility,” conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it’s even lower. When you ask parents why they are more protective than their parents were, they might answer that the world is more dangerous than it was when they were growing up. But this isn’t true, or at least not in the way that we think. For example, parents now routinely tell their children never to talk to strangers, even though all available evidence suggests that children have about the same (very slim) chance of being abducted by a stranger as they did a generation ago. Maybe the real question is, how did these fears come to have such a hold over us? And what have our children lost—and gained—as we’ve succumbed to them?
Hanna Rosin writes yet another fascinating story.
The other day I started to think about all the jobs I’ve had, and the people that helped me get them. I have started a fair amount of projects and companies together with others, but this note isn’t about them. It is about the people that saw me and gave me a chance for a job. This is a little thank you note to them.
GP - Göteborgs-Posten (a newspaper in Gothenburg)
Thank you Johan Rylander, for taking me in as an intern and letting me spend my time making an awful website with my new found HTML skills. And thank you for remembering me when you started working with the web and needed a junior reporter.
Thank you Katharina Johansson, for being a supporter and an internal champion for the whole youth section of the newspaper that I worked for. Thank you for fighting the good fight and for helping to launch so many people’s careers.
Thank you Johan Boström, for offering me the possibility to become a web editor although I hardly had any qualifications for it. It was brave of you to bet on a young guy that had been hanging around the editorial room for quite a while, but didn’t really have any formal experience. My first summer working the night shift at the paper was the crash course in journalism that I had never had. Thank you.
SVT (Swedish National Television)
Thank you Anders Laag and Annika Forsberg, for seeing through the intensely arrogant letter I had sent, proclaiming my existence. Thank you for taking me to an interview anyway, and for hiring me straight away in that meeting. It was a big confidence boost and I lived off that for a while. I had never worked with TV before and knew almost nothing about it. So thank you for that opportunity.
Sydsvenskan (a newspaper in Malmö)
Thank you Jonas Gruvö, for hiring me to the online newspaper that summer. Thank you for helping me get to run some fun projects, and for helping me get a permanent job in a time where there weren’t that many. Thank you for reaching out and acquiring half of Manolo.se - that was a completely new experience for me. And also, thank you for reading The Economist that day and introducing the concept of sudoku to me. I lived off that phone call for years afterwards, literally. Thank you so much.
Thank you Sara Öhrvall, for taking a meeting at Torsgatan and listening to a rant about the future of advertising from me. Thank you for taking me in to do some of the most fun projects I’ve ever done. Thank you for giving me a break and for opening so many doors for me.
Thank you Casten Almqvist, for betting on that Emil and I could pull off what would become Toca Boca. It wasn’t the most obvious choice - we had never even made an app before. Thank you for being patient when I was stressing out about not making any money and for instilling confidence in my own decision making. It worked. Thank you.
These people have meant a lot to me and have given me a chance in situations where they had many other options. I hope I can do the same for a few of my own, one day.