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Old 13 Mar 2012, 09:19 AM   #342149 / #51
Cath B
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I have watched Suppernanny, and one thing that has struck me about it is the self-contained nature of the somewhat dysfunctional family relationships.

To some extent this merely reflects the set-up of the programme, which focuses heavily on family dynamics.

But I wonder also whether the selected families lead more insulated lives than is typical, with children (which include a lot of pre-schoolers) and their main carers spending what strikes me as a surprisingly large proportion of their time inside their homes with occasional forays into the garden / back yard rather than mingling with a wider community.

Children can only react to a peer group if and when they encounter one.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 09:30 AM   #342155 / #52
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I'm thinking that the impact of a peer group might itself depend on the varied ways it can be encountered.

My children attended a large secondary school with an annual intake of almost three hundred pupils - well in excess of Dunbar's number and probably larger than a typical prehistoric settlement and medieval village.

No time to take this point further just now so I'll leave it at that.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 12:28 PM   #342235 / #53
Cath B
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Some folk are more easily swayed by their peers than others :-

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Originally Posted by DMB View Post

I came across the ambulance/collar one when I was six. As an ambulance appeared, you were supposed to hold your collar and chant without drawing breath:

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Hold-your-collar-when-you-see-an-ambulance-and-you'll-never-get-the-fever!
I thought it was stupid, so never did it.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 12:43 PM   #342240 / #54
Cath B
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I'm thinking now of some of the old-fashioned children's books I used to read.

Many of these focused more on contact with siblings than with children in the wider community:-

Everything by E Nesbit
Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes
Little Women and What Katy Did (both have one memorable school chapter)

These from an era of larger average family sizes.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 01:56 PM   #342257 / #55
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Well, one just has to watch an episode of 'super nanny' to see how much parenting style influences children behaviour and the manifestation of their personalities. So perhaps, David, you should watch that show if you want clear objective evidence.
I'm not entirely sure that watching a show which features people whose reactions might be coloured by the simple fact that they are featured in a reality show trumps studies.
sure, three, four or five year olds would change their behaviour because they are to be in t.v. and then change it again on the same show... sure. A study that contradicts all human experience is more credible.... sure.

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Nor am I sure that techniques to designed to influence behaviour are particularly relevant to the development of personality, which is the issue here.
hmmm... personality is behaviour.

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Nor am I sure that such a show is not heavily edited.
neither am I... neither am I that the study isn't biased or based on flawed observations... well, actually I am sure about the latter.

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I haven't seen the show. Does it also examine the kids in different environments, such as at school and with friends? Might it not be, as Rich Harris, IIRC, suggests, that children react differently in different environment,
I am quite sure children react different in different environments, because I have observed them do so, and don't need Rich Harris to suggest that. But that doesn't mean their behaviour in that different environment is not influenced by the parental environment. And no one could test that, for the simple reason that the children studied are already being influenced, and can not be tested outside of that influence.

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and that it is the reactions of kids to their peer group, which contain their potential mates and competitors for mates, which has more influence than the non-genetic input of parents?
I have observed that not to be the case.. you are simply no understanding what influence means.

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Not that it isn't common knowledge thousands of years old, much well evidenced in daily life.
Common knowledge or common assumption?
knowledge; you are the one assuming that 'the study' provides some sort of finality, which is beyond me to comprehend how anyone can give credit to a single study, of dubious methodology, which contradicts experience.

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The study of the adoptees is flawed, basically because the children being studied are under the influences of their adoptive parents, and influences is not by necessity mimicri, but how the reactions of the parents to the children's behaviour mold that behaviour. Are they disciplinarian, are they lax, do they build self-confidence, do they disapprove, etc. etc. A child is not unaffected by the way their parents react to their actions.
All that applies equally to natural parenting relationships and adoptive ones, does it not? So, genetics aside, would we not expect similar results concerning personality forming? Are the results similar, when examined?
Doesn't follow, for various reasons. Blood parents and adoptive parents might behave differently towards their children. Blood parents might have a greater influence upon their children based on providing an emphasis to already present genetic commands, while the other is a less direct influence. But again, influence is not mimicri, but how the personality is expressed, or suppressed, etc.

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Quite simply the idea that anyone can take seriously the notion that parenting style does not influence or is among the weakest of influences in the development of a child's personality is beyond absurd.
It counteracts common intuitions, to the point that it might seem absurd. But what happens when we look?
when we look it is proved. I don't let 'studies' do the looking for me.

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Rejecting basic human experience because some 'study' of very dubious standards claims so in a book, written by so called 'experts' is an abandonment of wisdom for the sake of sensationalism.
Rejecting studies to maintain one's unexamined preconceptions is an abandonment of wisdom, as is jumping to conclusions about the motivations of researchers, and taking those conclusions as fact.
Mine are not unexamined preconceptions, but conclusions based on daily observations of various subjects, including the accumulated experience of humanity. Apart from the countless professional studies and opinions of most other experts which which claim the exact opposite, and place much emphasis on parenting style and family environment as the most important element in the development of behaviour (that is, as how genetics are manifested). I am not taking any motivations as fact, I just suggested some. You are the one not examined that you are taking a few, flimsy studies over all traditional and professional wisdom.

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David
yes, I know...
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 02:04 PM   #342262 / #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cath B View Post
I'm thinking that the impact of a peer group might itself depend on the varied ways it can be encountered.

My children attended a large secondary school with an annual intake of almost three hundred pupils - well in excess of Dunbar's number and probably larger than a typical prehistoric settlement and medieval village.

No time to take this point further just now so I'll leave it at that.
The way children react to peer groups is influenced by parental style. If a child is reared to be self-confident, or the contrary, in his home, it will affect his outside home behaviour. If he is taught by his parents to repress or the contrary, a particular aspect of his personality, it will affect his behaviour in peer groups, which could be continuing the repression, or overcompensating by exaggerating the characteristics. This are well observed phenomena of daily life. To posit that children outside of the presence of their parents exhibit a personality without the slightest presence of their influence, but rather would assimilate other influences over that, does not reflect daily experience or traditional knowledge, or professional standards, which is why the claims of the 'study' in question seems to me beyond absurd.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 02:22 PM   #342274 / #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cath B View Post
I have watched Suppernanny, and one thing that has struck me about it is the self-contained nature of the somewhat dysfunctional family relationships.

To some extent this merely reflects the set-up of the programme, which focuses heavily on family dynamics.

But I wonder also whether the selected families lead more insulated lives than is typical, with children (which include a lot of pre-schoolers) and their main carers spending what strikes me as a surprisingly large proportion of their time inside their homes with occasional forays into the garden / back yard rather than mingling with a wider community.

Children can only react to a peer group if and when they encounter one.
Excellent, pertinent observation which proves my point: Living an insulated life, or living a highly social life is PARENTING STYLE.

That is why the study is absurd, and that is what D. is not getting: Parenting Style is how the parents manage the life of the children, and this influences how their personality develops. A child kept from groups will develop a different personality than those constantly exposed to groups; A child placed in stimulating creative environments will develop differently from one placed in stifling ones. A child who is spoken too like a baby will develop different than one spoken too as an adult. A child who is disciplined correctly will develop different values than one who is spoilt. etc. etc.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 03:45 PM   #342303 / #58
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Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes
Now I come to think of it Ballet Shoes focuses on foster sisters, not genetic sisters.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 07:03 PM   #342372 / #59
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Originally Posted by FUGUE-DE-BACH View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cath B View Post
I have watched Suppernanny, and one thing that has struck me about it is the self-contained nature of the somewhat dysfunctional family relationships.

To some extent this merely reflects the set-up of the programme, which focuses heavily on family dynamics.

But I wonder also whether the selected families lead more insulated lives than is typical, with children (which include a lot of pre-schoolers) and their main carers spending what strikes me as a surprisingly large proportion of their time inside their homes with occasional forays into the garden / back yard rather than mingling with a wider community.

Children can only react to a peer group if and when they encounter one.
Excellent, pertinent observation which proves my point: Living an insulated life, or living a highly social life is PARENTING STYLE.

That is why the study is absurd, and that is what D. is not getting: Parenting Style is how the parents manage the life of the children, and this influences how their personality develops. A child kept from groups will develop a different personality than those constantly exposed to groups; A child placed in stimulating creative environments will develop differently from one placed in stifling ones. A child who is spoken too like a baby will develop different than one spoken too as an adult. A child who is disciplined correctly will develop different values than one who is spoilt. etc. etc.
IIRC Pinker's The Blank Slate raises the point that parents and carers can indirectly influence peer group influence in so far as they can exert some influence on the choice of peer group with which a child comes in contact, particularly while the child is young.

Of course parents are not completely free to make these choices. A parent might, for example, lack financial and other resources to move a child into a neighbourhood they consider more desirable.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 07:18 PM   #342386 / #60
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I'm thinking now of what I remember of Jane Goodall's books and TV series about the Gombe chimps.

My understanding is that to a large extent chimps tend to have a similar social status to their parents. Reasons for this might include a combination of genetics, womb environment, copying maternal social behaviour and some degree of awareness of family social status by the chimp tribe.

However, I seem to recall that such cultural traits as new methods of obtaining food are learnt from other young chimps as well as adults. I'll maybe do a bit of on-line research to check that out.
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Old 13 Mar 2012, 07:29 PM   #342399 / #61
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^ ^ ^

Interesting link here, though no details of whether chimps copy young or adult chimps:-

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Imitation learning among chimpanzees is important because imitation is more likely to produce a community of chimps that all do certain behaviours the same way. The imitation learning method will result in chimp culture being more faithfully preserved.

A different study on chimp behaviour and genetics from the University of Liverpool also seems to corroborate this theory. Dr Stephen Lycett and his team built a chimpanzee genetic family tree as well as a chimpanzee behavior evolutionary tree. While they expected chimpanzees with similar genetic patterns to show similar behaviors, that just wasn’t the case. They determined that cultural learning fit their findings better than genetic inheritance of behaviours.
http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com...models-too/679
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Old 15 Mar 2012, 08:23 AM   #343159 / #62
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I've been pondering a bit about the possibility that different folk have different susceptibilities to various environmental influences. I've managed to unearth a little information about research in this field, though I don't consider myself sufficiently well informed to judge its reliability:-

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A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high psychological sensitivity (or innate sensitiveness as Carl Jung originally coined it). According to Elaine N. Aron and colleagues as well as other researchers, highly sensitive people, who comprise about a fifth of the population, may process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems.
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Recent research in developmental psychology provides further evidence that individuals differ in their sensitivity. According to the differential susceptibility hypothesis by Belsky (1997b; 1997a; 2005) individuals vary in the degree they are affected by experiences or qualities of the environment they are exposed to. Some individuals are more susceptible (or sensitive) to such influences than others, however, not only to negative but also to positive ones. For example, research by Pluess & Belsky [10][11] has shown that children with difficult temperaments in infancy are more susceptible to the effects of parenting and child care quality in the first 5 years of life. Intriguingly, these children not only had more behavioral problems in response to low quality care, they also had the least problems of all children when having a history of high quality care suggesting that children with difficult temperament are highly susceptible rather than difficult and therefore able to benefit significantly more from positive experiences compared to other less susceptible children.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highly_sensitive_person

See also http://pps.sagepub.com/content/4/4/345.abstract

I find myself thinking about a half-remembered passage Mervyn Peake wrote about a despairing Fuchsia Groan in Gormenghast where he reflects on how much better things could have turned out for her had her sensitive nature been nurtured rather than crushed.

Last edited by Cath B; 15 Mar 2012 at 09:34 AM. Reason: correcting link
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Old 15 Mar 2012, 08:35 AM   #343161 / #63
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Hilary Clinton on villages being needed to raise children, and kibbutzim come to mind.

It is strange how the nuclear family - actually a very recent phenomenon - is assumed to be normal.

It used to be that people thought mafia when the term family was used!

Why are we no longer experimenting with life styles?
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Old 15 Mar 2012, 08:48 AM   #343162 / #64
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Originally Posted by Clivedurdle View Post
Hilary Clinton on villages being needed to raise children, and kibbutzim come to mind.

It is strange how the nuclear family - actually a very recent phenomenon - is assumed to be normal.

It used to be that people thought mafia when the term family was used!

Why are we no longer experimenting with life styles?
Well, I'd say we still are in the UK.

Many pre-school children now spend a lot of their waking hours in daycare while the parent(s) of the household work for wages compared with when my children were small and, more so, since I was small.
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Old 15 Mar 2012, 10:58 AM   #343196 / #65
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Yep even in the womb the tiny being is listening to voices, music, quarrels... in short it's your child's future ambience. When I first held Dancing Daughter after a three hour labour (good golly miss molly!!!!) she smiled a beaming smile right back at me.... it was like "So that's how you look.. ain't it great".
And it was and it still is.
Yeah, but it was just gas making the smile.

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Old 15 Mar 2012, 11:33 AM   #343208 / #66
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Originally Posted by Clivedurdle View Post
Hilary Clinton on villages being needed to raise children, and kibbutzim come to mind.

It is strange how the nuclear family - actually a very recent phenomenon - is assumed to be normal.

It used to be that people thought mafia when the term family was used!

Why are we no longer experimenting with life styles?
Well, I'd say we still are in the UK.

Many pre-school children now spend a lot of their waking hours in daycare while the parent(s) of the household work for wages compared with when my children were small and, more so, since I was small.
just in the UK? That sounds exactly like the situation in Puerto Rico...
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Old 15 Mar 2012, 03:55 PM   #343385 / #67
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Why have our expectations become so narrow? We have incredible knowledge and technology, but we seem not to be asking what are the best ways to raise kids.

The options seem to be work till your late sixties to get a pension, send your kids off to somewhere else where they can do the same, fill their heads with rubbish at maddrassah.

What happened to learning to love and live, create together, commonwealth?
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Old 15 Mar 2012, 04:48 PM   #343403 / #68
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but we seem not to be asking what are the best ways to raise kids.
I don't see how that is the case
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Old 22 Mar 2012, 07:04 AM   #346482 / #69
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I would say that context defines, but it is of mind blowing complexity, for at every point in development, it is that point of development that is being recreated/redefined, added to or subtracted from, and this is a never ending process, until death knocks upon your door. Granted we are all born with a certain health, vitality and propensities, but it depends upon our context weather these propensities/talents are called forth or even suppressed. Identity is a mysterious process, and is not the essence of WHAT you are.
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Old 23 Mar 2012, 08:46 AM   #346901 / #70
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Today's BBC news has an interesting piece on epigenetics, the process by which the impact of genes can be switched on and off by environmental factors.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17381491
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Old 25 Mar 2012, 12:21 PM   #347586 / #71
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