“As it turns out, the science supports a totally different and ultimately empowering message: Trying to predict how a child will turn out based on choices made by their parents is like trying to predict a hurricane from the flap of a butterfly’s wings.
Do you know about the proverbial butterfly that flaps its wings in China, perturbing the atmosphere just enough to shift wind currents that they end up fueling a hurricane in the Caribbean six weeks later?
If you are a parent, you are the butterfly flapping your wings. Your child is the hurricane, a breathtaking force of nature. You will shape the person your child becomes — just like the butterfly shapes the hurricane — in complex, seemingly unpredictable but powerful ways. The hurricane wouldn’t exist without the butterfly.
You might ask, “What about all the successful parents who have successful children? Or the struggling parents who have struggling children?”
They seem to show the power of parenting, but children are shaped by many forces that they grow up with and that are often intertwined — forces like genes, peers and culture. This makes it hard to know which forces influence who children become.”