Anya often says, you know, even if I get into a dangerous situation, it’s okay because Haha will help me out. She can laugh and play freely because Yoru-san has become her safe haven11


.Bachira Meguru loves soccer. He lives and breathes it, kicking the ball from morning till night…
“‘Hey, let’s play soccer.’ ‘Okay.’
…Of course, whenever he plays soccer with someone, Haguruma Meguru is always the best. He especially loves dribbling, feeling sometimes like he and the ball are one, especially in those moments when everything is incredibly fast, powerful, and fun. Bachira Meguru believed nothing in this world could be more enjoyable…
“‘One more time. Just one more time.’ ‘Ugh, Meguru’s too good, it’s boring.’ ‘Let’s go home and play games.’ ‘Why? Why? Everyone should just get along with the ball! Then, we could play amazing games! There’s nothing more fun than soccer!’
‘Creep.’ ‘Yeah, kinda scary… he’s intense.’ ‘He’s an oddball!’
‘Let’s go. Talking about playing soccer with flowers in your head is just weird!’
‘Bwah!’ ‘Wow, Meguru’s mad!’ ‘I’m not weird.’
‘What!? You’re so creepy.’
‘I’m not weird.’
‘Meguru’s not weird. Mom says so.’
‘Yeah. Mom. Those guys must be wrong.’
‘Well, they’re not entirely wrong. Fighting is bad, but… there are things Meguru feels… things they don’t.’
‘So what should I do? I just want to play soccer together. It’s way more fun than games.’

‘Ha ha. You’re amazing, Meguru! It’s wonderful to have something you believe in. Just believe in that and live. As you grow older, everyone… wants to believe but can’t. They pretend not to hear until they truly can’t hear their own voice.’
‘What Meguru’s trying to believe in is something as ephemeral and precious… it’s the voice of a monster inside his heart. Mom too, has always believed in that voice.’

Understanding the influence parents have on their children is clear when you study parent-child relationships.
Parent-child studies, numbering in the thousands, form the basis of widely known parenting advice worldwide.
In parenting studies, researchers have parents report their parenting practices and measure children’s development.
Sometimes, children report about their parents and themselves.
Additionally, cooperation from teachers and other caregivers may provide additional information.
In parenting studies, a consistent correlation is found between “child’s circumstances” and “child’s development.”
This correlation is cited as evidence that parenting determines a child’s behavior.
For instance, there’s a correlation between “calm and engaging parenting” and “fewer emotional and behavioral problems” in children.
Similarly, “strict and inconsistent parenting” correlates with “more behavior problems” in children.
Don’t you think this proves the importance of parenting?
However, considering these correlations as established facts is premature.
There are many reasons why practicing calm and consistent parenting is beneficial.
But the flaw in this research lies in interpreting it as “children’s behavior and attitudes being determined by how parents raise them.”
This logic is flawed.
Just because two things are related doesn’t mean one causes the other.
That is, correlation does not equal causation.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was thought to be caused by emotionally distant mothers who didn’t give babies appropriate social interaction.
Medical professionals concluded that cold mothers were responsible for autism, based on research showing that mothers of children diagnosed with autism couldn’t engage with their babies in typical motherly ways, like smiling and cooing.
There was indeed a correlation between mothers not interacting with their babies and autism, leading to the mistaken conclusion that cold mothers cause autism.
However, later research on families of children with autism revealed that mothers of children diagnosed with autism, like many mothers, were actively engaged with their babies, smiling and interacting.
But children diagnosed with autism didn’t respond to their mothers in typical ways.
They didn’t make sounds, make eye contact, or show signs of enjoying interaction.
As a result, mothers gradually reduced their interactions with their babies.
So it wasn’t the mothers’ actions influencing the children, but rather the reverse: the children’s behavior influenced the mothers.

The most effective way to determine causation is through controlled experiments.
However, conducting controlled experiments in parenting research is challenging.
Child psychologists cannot randomly assign children to parents who practice different parenting styles.
For example, an experiment dividing children into groups raised by neglectful parents and strict parents and observing their development could test how differences in parenting affect children’s development.
We cannot learn about causation from the correlations we usually see between parents and children.
Because we can’t determine whether parents’ parenting causes children to grow up a certain way, or whether children’s temperaments cause parents to parent a certain way.
If parents calmly engage with their children, their children may grow up well-behaved.
If parents are strict with their children, their children may grow up aggressive.
But parents who have well-behaved children may also be able to parent calmly.
The same logic applies when children misbehave.
Parenting is not the sole determinant of a child’s personality, development, or abilities.

Do you understand that?
Even armed with this knowledge, we’re still trapped by biases.
☆ People who buy ice cream often wear sunglasses.
Does eating ice cream make you want to wear sunglasses?
Or does wearing sunglasses make you want to eat ice cream?
Of course not.
The correlation between eating ice cream and wearing sunglasses is due to another factor influencing both behaviors.
In this case, the third variable is warm, sunny weather.
On warm, sunny days, people are more likely to eat ice cream and also more likely to wear sunglasses.
There are also third variables that influence a child’s personality, development, and abilities.

  1. Parents’ calmness leads to well-behaved children.

  2. Well-behaved children make parents calm.

  3. The correlation between parents’ calmness and children’s good behavior is because genes influence emotions and behavior, and parents and children share genes.

So, parents who inherit genes for good manners are likely to pass on genetic tendencies for good manners to their children.
…And Bachira Meguru started playing soccer with monsters…