While it is certainly true that parents influence the development of their children to some degree, and while it is definitely true that I would go over the events of the day every night to see what I should have done differently in order to ensure I didn’t repeat the same mistake twice, it’s also true that various studies have indicated that parental influence on the child’s personality only accounts for 10% — 20%, with genetics conferring around 50% and the child’s socialization conferring the remaining 30%. Furthermore, a glib argument along the lines of “parents shape their children” fails to account for genetic factors such as those coding for (by way of one example among many) autism. As my daughter’s mother is on the autism spectrum and as my daughter exhibits several characteristics of that spectrum also, it turns out that reality is far more complex than simple formulations.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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