Why It's Better to Be a Parent Than to Parent

Erika Christakis reviews Alison Gopnik's new book, "The Gardener and The Carpenter"
"To be a parent, Gopnik argues in her trenchant analysis, is to be in a loving and nurturing relationship with a young child, not unlike a gardener who tends the soil in which a variety of seedlings are given the ingredients to thrive. To parent, on the other hand, is to labor toward a specific outcome — getting into college, for example — just like a carpenter building a piece of furniture. "