I don’t necessarily agree with the binary thinking implicit in the book title (are you a gardner OR a carpenter?), but I agree with the author pointing out the danger of thinking that adults can “build” the perfect child, by doing everything “right”. Child rearing doesn’t work that way.
“…she takes aim at the whole premise of modern parenting, ‘that if parents just practice the right techniques, they can make a substantial difference in the way their child turns out.’ Raising children has become a job, Gopnik writes, and it’s a high-pressure one even for those of us who fancy ourselves to be low-key types…Her diagnosis will resonate painfully with anyone trying to raise good humans in a relentlessly outcome-obsessed culture.”
Use this link to a New York Times book review of The Gardner and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik.