The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know--Your Kids
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The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know--Your Kids

“I absolutely loved this book, both as a parent and as a nerd.” —Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure

As every parent knows, kids are surprisingly clever negotiators. But how can we avoid those all-too-familiar wails of “That’s not fair!” and “You can’t make me!”? 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.

Raeburn and Zollman open each chapter with a common parenting dilemma. Then they show how carefully concocted schemes involving bargains and fair incentives can save the day. 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.

Title:The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know--Your Kids
ISBN:0374160015
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:222 pages

    The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know--Your Kids Reviews

  • Aydin
    Nov 03, 2016

    This was such fun, and I don’t even have kids! The book beautifully explains and considers applications (to [co-]parenting) of:1. Fair division algorithms (I cut you pick, adjusted winner, balanced ...

  • Mary Messall
    Jan 18, 2017

    This kind of thing is so much up my alley that I bought it as soon as I saw an ad for it. But I have to say that while it is a very decent introduction to game theory (minus all the actual equations) ...

  • Jon
    Aug 12, 2016

    The idea of using game theory to help improve parenting skills and avert family conflicts is, frankly, genius. The book delivers on its promise of outlining strategies to help kids pitch in with chore...

  • Aimee
    Nov 02, 2016

    I admit that I didn't really know what "game theory" was when I picked this up --- and it, sadly, has nothing to do with video game development. If I had known that "game theory" is a mathematics- psy...

  • Rebecca
    Sep 28, 2016

    Great parenting book for the nerdy. Raeburn and Zollman use game theory - which unites classical economics with behavioral science and gives it a spin - to describe family dynamics and help plan for s...

  • Scott
    Dec 08, 2016

    A fantastic read, this book provides a wonderful look at the uses of game theory applied to family situations. The lessons in situations described would be beneficial to anybody, not just parents, in ...

  • Amber
    Jan 16, 2017

    Best for parents with multiple children. If you already like game theory and have done any reading on the subject there isn't much new here....

  • Katherine Lavelle
    Sep 23, 2016

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It's funny, it's organized, and clear. Even though the title can be a little intimidating, the authors do a great job making gaming theory accessible and interesting. This b...

  • Rachel
    Sep 20, 2016

    Great book for nerdy parents....

  • LoriO
    Sep 16, 2016

    Interesting concept, but overall, I didn't find the parenting 'advice' to be very usable. It would take me days to figure out the right strategy for each situation! Still I love the idea....