Having actually read the Nurture Assumption, I’m feeling a little embarrassed that I hadn’t read it up until this point. Now that I actually have a child of my own, I was more motivated to see what it said, because based on what I thought the book was saying, it seemed like there was a hole in my worldview. I could tell that I didn’t believe the conclusions.
The book is much better than I thought it would be. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much completely intellectually honest, which is so rare! I’ve been reading a bunch of parenting books recently that seem particularly bad in this area. And the book addresses all the obvious objections and reactions much more completely than I thought it would.
But, most importantly, I now understand that the book is much more about the importance of the peer group than about how parenting has no effect. More specifically, it’s about how the personality developed in the peer group is the one that ends up being the adult personality. There’s a ton more I could (and maybe will) say about the book, but the upshot is that Will and I are currently feeling much more motivated to optimize Lydia’s peer group.