Raising Freethinkers by Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura, Amanda Metskas, and Jan Devor.

At the heart of this book lies the conceit that what parents teach actually matters (~50% genetics, ~10% parenting, ~40% peers). With a blog named "The Memeing of Life", the authors have an financial interest in keeping this idea afloat. Not too mention that an ever-larger number of adopting parents want to believe that they matter more than they actually do.

To start, I assume that kids look like input-output machines with increasing capabilities and that the child's weighting or valuation of those inputs changes over time. So parents need to vary the inputs and monitor the outputs in order to effectively train the child.

Given my assumption, the authors skirt around the idea that (like religious parents) they are trying to program their kids. Just like any C hacker knows, parents need to know what the deployment platform can do *now*, and how that will change going forward. The authors realize this since they provide age-appropriate activities and exercises.

However, age-appropriate serves only as a rough guideline. What we need is a development timeline, so that the baby hacker can devise tests for monitoring the changing capabilities of the baby. Given the cognitive changes in babies as they grow, it seems unlikely that a static ruleset would be optimal in programming the child.

Parents need to provide instruction and feedback to educate the kid, which means the authors should have included what we know about Behavior Modification, but they avoid discussing incentives and efficacy in various situations. And since children's peers remain more important than direct nurture, parents need a framework for choosing the community of other parents, so that the children are surrounded by controlled inputs.

Ultimately, this leaves their ideas without a structured framework that provides internal reasoning for their recommendations. Without this understandable structure, they have hobbled their argument: Why would you ask freethinkers to just accept your words as written?

Best Practices for Nonreligious parenting:
  1. Encourage ever-widening circles of empathy
  2. Encourage active moral development
  3. Promote ravenous curiosity
  4. Teach engaged coexistence
  5. Encourage religious literacy
  6. Leave kids unlabeled
  7. Make death natural and familiar
  8. Invite the questioning of authority
  9. Normalize disbelief
-- Preface
Relationships should be consensual, nonexploitative, honest, mutually pleasurable, and protected against disease and unintended pregnancy.
-- Chapter Four, The Physical Self, What are the humanist principles that relate to sex and relationships?
Pollyanna teaches Sex Ed ;)
Authoritative parenting is very consistent with the kind of parenting approach outlined in Parenting Beyond Belief and throughout this book. Let your kids know that you have high expectations of them, and you set rules, but use reason giving as a way to explain and potentially modify those rules. Help your kids understand why your family has certain rules, and if they convince you that the rules should be modified, change them.
-- Chapter Four, The Physical Self
It seems that all of my daughter's friends are getting "promise rings" from their fundamentalist Christian dads. We are certainly not going to do that, but it makes my daughter look like the slut in the crowd. How can I help her with this issue?
-- Chapter Four, The Physical Self
98 percent of boys masturbate
-- Chapter Four, The Physical Self
Really? Who's the two percent? What do they look like? What about girls? ;)