Stoicism, Screen Time, and Reward Cycles with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) [Podcast]

dhh-family

David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) joins the podcast. For many people, DHH needs no introduction…but just in case, here is a little background on how David keeps himself busy (apart from fatherhood):

As expected, David brings his energy and passion to the conversation about parenting—a talk which is both opinionated and thought provoking. He shares many of his views, from the “screen time” of his 4-year-old, to which practices promote intrinsic motivation, and why classic reward cycles are completely bogus. Here is a list of the resources that David mentions in the episode:

The systemic risks to “finding the best for my kid”. If the “best” is an Ivy League education or high paying job then you are already lost. Happiness is not correlated to the factors of success that society often put the most weight on.

Show notes (time stamps are approximate)

Magic the gathering card game was the first thing that he sold/traded. Gave him the early understanding of sales and making deals. Spent summers as a young boy trading/selling cards.

3:27 got into selling pirated software. Ran an Elite Bulletin Board forum  (13-15 years old). Made his own money prior to “commerce”, delivered newspapers at age 10. Learned salesmanship in trading.

7:00 Everyone should work jobs they hate to give them memories and experiences.

7:57 Work for other people in the line of business you want and have a bad experience, it teaches you what NOT to do.

10:22 Empathy for those that you are managing/working with is key to learning from experiences and improving on things when you call the shots.

11:50 “If I can see all the things that are wrong here, then I can do a better job here.” DHH on management.

13:47 In the life of most entrepreneurs there is something in their formative experiences that “pisses them off”. They think, I can do this better.

15:00 My dad was wheeling and dealing and fixing electronics which taught me the way NOT to do it and what I would want to change in what I did. “My mom was an incredible pep talk coach” Source of his confidence. Love from his parents were not contingent on results.

20:37 Growing up we were poor by most respects.

23:20 How is he NOT spoiling his children? Artificial scarcity as a practice is false. Having everything does not make a happy kid or happy adult either. What is important is to instill a sense of what really matters.

25:20 Setting things up in a reward cycle is a really bad mechanic. Teaching people self reliance does not happen via carrot reward cycles that kick in when they do things they don’t want to do.

26:30 I’m not going to limit him [my son] by any means. How does it matter if he wants to

27:20 Limiting screen time is bogus. Limiting scarcity only promotes demand. Let him play with the iPad and let him find out what his natural limits is.

29:50 Study on cocaine addiction and rats and who it relates to screen time and the variety of options being a solution.

31:20 Disclaimer: “All of this is sample size of 2, my upbringing and with my son.”

32:19 Put all the activities in front of my son and let him figure out what he gravitates to and him discover his own limits.

33:45 Nature vs nurture in his son

36:00 wife and him on the same page with parenting

37:00 What has influenced your parenting style?

37:19 Alfie Cohen http://www.alfiekohn.org/

Myth of the Spoiled Child (link)

Punished by Rewards book (link)

Flow book by Mihaly C. (link)

Intrinsic motivators are key. The western education system does its best to rid kids of the intrinsic motivation. You need to start early to protect your child’s psyche early on. You are against forces much stronger than yourself.

41:15 Elite institutions are not the path to success.

42:30 Kids age four interviewing for preschools is completely stupid. I want my son to run around and play at preschool and not have pressure to think about what college he is getting into.

47:00 Start of his general overview on parenting philosophy…

48:00 last words of advice.

The systemic risks to “finding the best for my kid”. If the “best” is an Ivy League education or high paying job then you are already lost. Happiness is not correlated to the factors of success that society often put the most weight on.

50:40 Studies on suicide rates among kids that are pushed to the high standards of performance by their parents.

52:00 When your direction in life is driven by fear they you have already shut off many important parts of your mind. Get rid of the fear!

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Source: 2 Cent Dad