What Makes A Perfect Parent?

Does reading to your child, living in a good neighborhood, and picking out the “best” school really make an impact on your child’s life? Levitt and Dubner don’t think so. They revealed in this chapter that its not what the parents do, but who the parents are that what factor in on a child’s success. Sure, there might be some correlation behind certain things, but being an “obsessive” parent isn’t as successful as some people think.

For example if Jimmy’s parents are wealthy doctors, but never read to him, he will be just as successful as LaFonda whose parents are factory workers but read to her every night. Why is this? Because growing up in a prestigious environment has more of an impact than over-caring, but yet average parents. Slightly harsh sounding, right?

So Jimmy grows up to be a briefcase holding economist, an LaFonda becomes an assistant to Jimmy, because she just couldn’t get her test scores to be above him.

I challenge this idea. I agree with the idea that its more of who your parents are than what they do that makes an impact on you, but is that it? What a small part of what factors in to make up someone… You never know. Maybe LaFonda might just take that suitcase right out of Jimmy’s hands. And neither of their parents would ever see it coming.


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