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The VINTAGE Podcast is a fortnightly books podcast, released every other Sunday. Author interviews, book news and discussions on subjects ranging from literary fiction to graphic novels, cookery to crime fiction, history and travel to biography and poetry. It comes from the publishers of Jo Nesbo, Nigella Lawson, Irvine Welsh, Haruki Murakami, Ian McEwan, Joe Sacco, Anne Enright, Mark Haddon and more. #VINTAGEPodcast

The Gardener and The Carpenter by Alison Gopnik – Off The Page

Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call ‘parenting’ is a surprisingly new invention. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parenting is profoundly wrong – it’s not just based on bad science, it’s bad for children and their parents too. In this special podcast she explains more about the contradictions at the heart of being a parent and why the best thing for both parents and children might also be the easiest thing.

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Alison Gopnik – The Gardener and The Carpenter

Selected as a Book of the Year by theFinancial Times

The Gardener and the Carpentershould be required reading for anyone who is, or is thinking of becoming a parent’Financial Times

Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call ‘parenting’ is a surprisingly new invention. In the past thirty years, the concept of parenting and the huge industry surrounding it have transformed childcare into obsessive, controlling, and goal-orientated labour intended to create a particular kind of child, and therefore a particular kind of adult.

Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. ‘Parenting’ won’t make children learn – but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.

InThe Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parenting is profoundly wrong – it’s not just based on bad science, it’s bad for children and their parents too.


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