Gardens

Doughboy Trail, Copper Falls State Park, Wisconsin, June 8, 2018Gopnik is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She’s got a mean way with metaphors, and her main idea is that we should raise our children like gardeners, creating the right conditions for our children to grow and bloom, rather than sculpting them—acting like carpenters who attempt to shape and create their children with a desired outcome in mind. Carpenters often try to build replicas of themselves. Gardening involves a bit more humility: it acknowledges that you can’t make a shy child become outgoing, anymore than you make a loud one shut up. But you still can play huge role in supporting the shy one to become more comfortable in groups, or teaching the loud one how to create space for others.

Jenny Anderson

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