Gopnik, a psychology and philosophy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is author of the book “The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children,” in which she describes two distinct type of parents: gardeners and carpenters.
The Gardener Parent vs. the Carpenter Parent
According to Gopnik, the carpenter parent believes they have the power to shape who their child will become. Much like a carpenter with his truckload of specialized tools, the carpenter parent believes that as long as they parent their child the “right” way, they can influence a particular outcome.
The gardener parent, on the other hand, knows and accepts that many variables are out of their control. The gardener parent provides a nurturing environment but understands that you can’t force an outcome any more than a gardener can control when the sun shines or how big a plant will grow or whether it will yield fruit.