Just skimmed Parenting Doesn’t Matter, the main premise of which is that according to science, your parenting is unlikely to be the thing that messes up your kid. It reminded me of an argument I hear sometimes for a variety of possible parenting choices that makes me grouchy: “I [insert whatever here] and I turned out okay.” For example, “I was bullied in elementary school and I turned out okay.”

This rhetoric seems to me to rely on the assumption that childhood experiences only matter to the extent that they impact our adult lives. But I take issue with this assumption.

Children are not raw material waiting to be formed into real people when they reach adulthood. They are full-on human beings, with emotions and thought processes, and they deserve to have positive experiences NOW, not just when they are adults.

So when I have the opportunity to make life better for my kid, I don’t ask myself whether I turned out okay in spite of not having the experience I’m considering. I ask myself how it will impact his life NOW.