Thursday, March 16, 2006

World: are three parents better than two?

Are two parents better than one? Why?

Anecdotally, I’ve come to the conclusion that – economics aside – one of the notable reasons two parents are better than one is because you have a variety of experiences to draw upon. In Radiant Day’s words, the weaknesses of one can be compensated in the other. The combined parenting experiences of two would more than offset differences of opinion.

So, for three parents, the returns are even better! Although, I suspect, the marginal returns get smaller as the numbers get bigger. This because the gaps to be compensated would diminish, but the differences of opinion would increase. So I don’t think Radiant Day’s suggestion of five parents would be very effective.

This is not entirely stupid. There’s quite a wide range of family experiences, including grandparents, step-parents, and associated hangers-on. In some Koori communities, adults act more collectively as parents, to the benefit of all.

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