…but research shows…


The rather annoying thing about having me as a mother:

Flora: Mom? I made my bed yesterday.

Jane: And?

Flora: And what?

Jane: Is that the whole story? Did you find something, break something, think something, learn something?

Flora: No. That’s it. I made my bed.

Jane: That totally doesn’t work as story.

Flora: Does everything I tell you have to have a plot or a climax? And character development?

Jane: Yes.

What? I’m busy. And I like to be entertained.


The kinda awesome thing about having me as a mother:

My 10 year-old can define plot or climax. And character development.

So can the five-year-old.


The really annoying thing about having me as a mother:

Flora: Ok, let me do this again. Mom? I made my bed yesterday.

Jane: I’m waiting…

Flora: Did you know that studies show that people who make their beds are happier than people who don’t make their beds?

Jane: What studies?

Flora: You know. Studies.

Jane: Where did you hear about these studies?

Flora: You-tube?

Jane: Did you know that most people who say “studies show” or “research says” are just making shit up? Whenever someone says, “Studies show” without referencing the specific study, what they’re actually saying, “I read this article on the Internet once and I’m now passing it on to you as proven truth, assuming you’re just as lazy as I am and will not track this information to its source.”

Flora: Does everything I tell you have to be supported by evidence?

Jane: Yes. Except when we’re talking about unicorns. Where are you going?

Flora: I’m going to Google the fucking bed-making study.

Jane: Good.


The really awesome thing about having me as a mother is that I’m going to loom over her shoulder as she scrolls and tell her: “Not a real source. Not real science. This is a blog—this is a blog post, and that is not research. Yes, this looks like a journal article, but what does it say, right here? See? ‘Research shows…’ What research? Yeah, this one’s not worth anything either. Keep on going… OK, now that one’s better, but what institution is he professor at, exactly? Let’s check that out… ”

My kids are going to know that typing search terms into Google is not research.

Research shows that children whose parents take the time to explain this sort of thing to them make better researchers. ;P



nbtb-research shows

PS My original headline was “Research shows people who make their beds in the morning don’t understand climax is necessary to good story” but apparently it had subtext.


9 thoughts on “…but research shows…

  1. Awesome, hehe. What I really love is that your daughter curses and you don’t bat an eyelash 🙂 I plan on writing a post on kids and cursing…

      • I plan on watching your You Tube video on writing with my 7-year-old. He writes stories about Minecraft, the video game. I really want him to learn technique. Too bad we’re in Toronto. I’d take him to one of your workshops.

      • Cool. The video’s on interviewing. Here, the K-3 workshop in a line: what do you want to reader to know/learn from the story? Oh, those three things? Great. Tell them… 😉 The really important part of the workshop is teaching the parents NOT to kill the storyteller in their child…

  2. The people who work the reference desk at the library of any University your kids go to (for example, people like me) are going to be so thankful they already know what constitutes proper research.

  3. Your original title also had a smutty overtone Ms Jane ;). Yeah, fuck research. Turns out you can buy your way into just about anything if you pay for ‘scientific research’. According to ‘research’ our cloth-eared Prime Minister, who last week was just about to be ousted by his own brigade has ‘bounced back!’ Just wondering who they polled for that little bit of ‘research’, his family perchance? Good on you for educating your kids in the science of true research. There appeared to be a degree of schadenfreude going on but then parents win so very rarely that a degree of schadenfreude can taste like a true victory. Don’t forget, these kids are the ones that are going to pick your nursing home.

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