Game theory deals with predicting outcomes based on interactions based on known preferences. It’s something parents are already well acquainted with in their daily raising of their kids.
Paul Raeburn, co-author of The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting: How the Science if Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know — Your Kids, discusses how to use this sometime complex method used in economics and trade in simpler terms on the latest Modern Dads Podcast. The results: practical win-win parenting methods that teach kids about human nature, negotiation and cooperation.
“There is a fluid, natural feel to the authors’ examples,” says the Kirkus Review in its take on the tome. “Tantalizing perspectives on cultivating sharing, honesty and cooperation via game theory.”
Here’s what the book blurb says:
“In The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting, the award-winning journalist and father of five Paul Raeburn and the game theorist Kevin Zollman pair up to highlight tactics from the worlds of economics and business that can help parents break the endless cycle of quarrels and ineffective solutions. Raeburn and Zollman show that some of the same strategies successfully applied to big business deals and politics―such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Ultimatum Game―can be used to solve such titanic, age-old parenting problems as dividing up toys, keeping the peace on long car rides, and sticking to homework routines. …
“Through smart case studies of game theory in action, Raeburn and Zollman reveal how parents and children devise strategies, where those strategies go wrong, and what we can do to help raise happy and savvy kids while keeping the rest of the family happy too. Delightfully witty, refreshingly irreverent, and just a bit Machiavellian, The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting looks past the fads to offer advice you can put into action today.’
The Parents’ Phrase Book author and L.A. Dads Group member Whit Honea also participates in the podcast. He offers some words on his parenting approach, which is perhaps the opposite of strategic parenting.