Day-to-day individual choices matter less than we think, but national policies seem to matter a lot.

Does anything you do as a parent matter?

This is a question that surely most parents have asked themselves, as they push through some of the harder parts of raising children — sleepless nights, tantrums, vomiting illnesses, harassing children to finish their homework.

Given how much work parenting can be, most of us probably want to believe that, yes, it does matter.


The evidence, however, is not always as clear.

We can stack up evidence from many fields — psychology, sociology, economics — suggesting