Much wisdom from readers on The Life! and the odds
of finding myself with a totally unmanageable teen. Some key points: (1)
Never forget the genetic phenomenon called “regression to the mean.” Very
tall people tend, on average, to have kids who are tall, BUT NOT AS TALL AS
THEMSELVES. Very short people tend, on average, to have kids who are short,
BUT NOT AS SHORT AS THEMSELVES. It’s the same with smarts, and other
heritable personality characteristics. Regression to the mean. Remember
it. And, of course, that is only a statistical truth–genetics is a
lottery. Very smart people can have seriously dumb kids, and vice versa.
(2) The middle-class scholarly rat race is not for everybody, and not for
evey kid. A kid who is no good at lacrosse, soccer, violin, chess or auto
mechanics can turn out happy, useful, and confident in many ways–he/she
might join the army, for instance. (3) Bartending is quite well paid, if
you can handle the hours.