Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask

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An award-winning scientist offers his unorthodox approach to childrearing: “Parentology is brilliant, jaw-droppingly funny, and full of wisdom…bound to change your thinking about parenting and its conventions” (Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother).

If you’re like many parents, you might ask family and friends for advice when faced with important choices about how to raise your kids. You might turn to parenting books or simply rely on timeworn religious or cultural traditions. But when Dalton Conley, a dual-doctorate scientist and full-blown nerd, needed childrearing advice, he turned to scientific research to make the big decisions.

In Parentology, Conley hilariously reports the results of those experiments, from bribing his kids to do math (since studies show conditional cash transfers improved educational and health outcomes for kids) to teaching them impulse control by giving them weird names (because evidence shows kids with unique names learn not to react when their peers tease them) to getting a vasectomy (because fewer kids in a family mean smarter kids). Conley encourages parents to draw on the latest data to rear children, if only because that level of engagement with kids will produce solid and happy ones.

Ultimately these experiments are very loving, and the outcomes are redemptive—even when Conley’s sassy kids show him the limits of his profession. Parentology teaches you everything you need to know about the latest literature on parenting—with lessons that go down easy. You’ll be laughing and learning at the same time.
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About the author

Dalton Conley is University Professor at New York University. Conley holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MPA and a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University, and an MS and PhD in Biology from NYU. He lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 18, 2014
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Family & Relationships / General
Family & Relationships / Parenting / General
Social Science / Sociology / Marriage & Family
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior now asks: what are the effects of children on their parents?

In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear.

Recruiting from a wide variety of sources—in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology—she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations—and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards.

Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today—and tomorrow.


From the beloved TV disciplinarian and bestselling author of Supernanny comes an amazingly simple five-step program of Toddler Rules to help parents tame tantrums, prevent bad behavior, and create long-term peace and stability in the home.
Jo Frost has always had a natural gift for connecting with kids, and for helping parents navigate milestones with practical know-how and ease. With the success of her hit TV shows Supernanny, Extreme Parental Guidance, and Family S.O.S. with Jo Frost, she’s proven her ability to expertly rein in unacceptable conduct and bring peace and stability to millions of homes worldwide. Now, in this invaluable book, she shows you how to identify and eliminate toddler tantrums, and curb behaviors in other child rearing areas. Frost’s effective five-step program for disciplined parenting addresses such challenges as
• Sleep: winning those nightly battles—going to bed and staying there
• Food: what to cook, trying new things, and enjoying meal times
• Play: sharing toys, defusing squabbles, developing social skills
• Learning: listening, language, and development
• Manners: teaching respect, showing examples, and positive praise
The key to achieving success with these Toddler Rules is Frost’s proven S.O.S. method: Step Back, Observe, Step In. Complete with troubleshooting tips for living tantrum-free, this welcome, honest, straightforward guide has all you need to help your children grow, thrive, and make family time even more precious.

Praise for Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules
“The indomitable Frost shares both her wisdom and experience for parents of toddlers. The five rules . . . are presented in her charming and conversational tone and provide not only a foundation for sanity but sure scaffolding to greater learning and happier parenting. . . . Frost is a favorite with many, and her engaging manner carries into her written work.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Common-sense and practical advice on raising young children by an expert in the field . . . A full chapter devoted to handling temper tantrums is an added bonus for parents in crisis mode.”—Kirkus Reviews

From the Trade Paperback edition.
For a century, social scientists have avoided genetics like the plague. But the nature-nurture wars are over. In the past decade, a small but intrepid group of economists, political scientists, and sociologists have harnessed the genomics revolution to paint a more complete picture of human social life than ever before. The Genome Factor describes the latest astonishing discoveries being made at the scientific frontier where genomics and the social sciences intersect.

The Genome Factor reveals that there are real genetic differences by racial ancestry—but ones that don't conform to what we call black, white, or Latino. Genes explain a significant share of who gets ahead in society and who does not, but instead of giving rise to a genotocracy, genes often act as engines of mobility that counter social disadvantage. An increasing number of us are marrying partners with similar education levels as ourselves, but genetically speaking, humans are mixing it up more than ever before with respect to mating and reproduction. These are just a few of the many findings presented in this illuminating and entertaining book, which also tackles controversial topics such as genetically personalized education and the future of reproduction in a world where more and more of us are taking advantage of cheap genotyping services like 23andMe to find out what our genes may hold in store for ourselves and our children.

The Genome Factor shows how genomics is transforming the social sciences—and how social scientists are integrating both nature and nurture into a unified, comprehensive understanding of human behavior at both the individual and society-wide levels.

Class differences permeate the neighborhoods, classrooms, and workplaces where we lead our daily lives. But little is known about how class really works, and its importance is often downplayed or denied. In this important new volume, leading sociologists systematically examine how social class operates in the United States today. Social Class argues against the view that we are becoming a classless society. The authors show instead the decisive ways social class matters—from how long people live, to how they raise their children, to how they vote.

The distinguished contributors to Social Class examine how class works in a variety of domains including politics, health, education, gender, and the family. Michael Hout shows that class membership remains an integral part of identity in the U.S.—in two large national surveys, over 97 percent of Americans, when prompted, identify themselves with a particular class. Dalton Conley identifies an intangible but crucial source of class difference that he calls the “opportunity horizon”—children form aspirations based on what they have seen is possible. The best predictor of earning a college degree isn’t race, income, or even parental occupation—it is, rather, the level of education that one’s parents achieved. Annette Lareau and Elliot Weininger find that parental involvement in the college application process, which significantly contributes to student success, is overwhelmingly a middle-class phenomenon. David Grusky and Kim Weeden introduce a new model for measuring inequality that allows researchers to assess not just the extent of inequality, but also whether it is taking on a more polarized, class-based form. John Goldthorpe and Michelle Jackson examine the academic careers of students in three social classes and find that poorly performing students from high-status families do much better in many instances than talented students from less-advantaged families. Erik Olin Wright critically assesses the emphasis on individual life chances in many studies of class and calls for a more structural conception of class. In an epilogue, journalists Ray Suarez, Janny Scott, and Roger Hodge reflect on the media’s failure to report hardening class lines in the United States, even when images on the nightly news—such as those involving health, crime, or immigration—are profoundly shaped by issues of class.

Until now, class scholarship has been highly specialized, with researchers working on only one part of a larger puzzle. Social Class gathers the most current research in one volume, and persuasively illustrates that class remains a powerful force in American society.

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