Thursday, October 27, 2011

Slacker Parenting

I know what you're going to say, I worry about parenting too much to consider myself a slacker parent. But, the thing is that I spend time thinking of ways that I'm not putting in the effort that I used to.
That's why I was so relieved to see a commercial the other night that said the first five years are the most important. I was a good, engaged parent during my kids' early years.
My kids didn't watch TV. We were outside exploring the natural world. We had in-depth conversations and played make believe. I homeschooled them for nine years, continuing to set the rules and make sure they followed them. When they went to school, that's when I started to slack.
So I was thrilled when I found an article last night that talks about ways to make your child a genius.
I did most of these things. Okay, my kids haven't shown outward signs of being geniuses, but I know they've had the preparation, so they may find a way to be geniuses in their own fields.
One way to make a genius, don't let them have a television in their rooms and don't let them watch too much television. "59 percent of under-twos watch two hours of TV every day." See, I can feel slightly smug. They may watch a ton of television now, but they didn't when they were young.
Next thing I did right to make a genius, breastfed babies score 5 percent higher than non-breastfed. I think it has been established that I might still be breastfeeding my children had my friend Michelle not forced me to go to Paris for 10 days when Tucker was 3.

The next sign is playing the piano or a stringed instrument. Both of my boys played violin and Grace played piano. I'm just whizzing along on this. I'd better check my kids' test scores. They should be much higher.
I'm not sure about whether my kids are able to delay gratification, which is the next sign. They tested kids by giving them a cookie and telling them if they waited 15 minutes to eat it, they could have two. I know Grace would have passed this one, because she used to eat a bit of a candy bar and save the rest for later. I wondered if she might have been switched at the hospital.
Children raised in a home with more than 500 books are 36 percent more likely to graduate high school and 19 percent more likely to graduate from college. (But less likely to have the money for college tuition because their parents spent all the money on books!) Okay, check on that one.
Women who used cocaine don't get geniuses, and I did not, once again saving my children from a life of mediocrity. Overweight children score lower on reading and I pretty much had stick children.
"Aerobic exercise increase executive functioning by 100 percent!" Give my swimmers and basketball player and soccer players a corner office then. We were constantly running and jumping and playing.
Children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate high school. Two of my kids went to preschool. Spencer hated it and by the time I got to Tucker, we were homeschooling so he never went. Hope he stays in high school in spite of my choice not to send him to preschool.
I also messed up in picking an older father for my kids. Children born to 20-year-old fathers have higher IQs that children of 40 year olds. Sorry guys, but your dad has made up for it in other ways.
Juggling apparently increases brain capacity too and I never enforced that particular trait.
Children in poorer families have fewer conversations and hear fewer words than children of professional families. I don't think my children ever suffered from a lack of conversation. They might think I went overboard on that.

Kids who studied foreign languages do better on the SAT. I started teaching my kids French when they were little and they have all studied languages in school, so we're good in that category.
Students who spend more than two hours a day on computers or video games score lower on tests. I think I've already established that I limited their screen time, although their tests scores may be lower now because of it. We didn't even have a game system until Spencer was in 8th grade.
Children whose mother were exposed to pesticides had lower IQs. That's something I managed to avoid too.
So many of the signs of genius are planted in my children. Now I just have to sit back and wait for the seeds to grow. That, and try to keep them out of teenage trouble.
How about you? Did you raise a genius?


Linda said...

I guess I did fairly well. We did have a TV but I only let them watch Sesame Street and Mister Rogers when they were young. They are grown now and I would say any genius tendencies they have are strictly genetic.

Lucia said...

No genius, more a social butterfly, I just hope she has a happy, healthy life and that she has ENOUGH in life to get her by.

aguja said...

Well, my two just grew up and so enjoyed playing and inventing and creating their own entertainment that I, fortunately, did not encounter problems ..... and now they are grown and have, or are about to have, children of their own.

BFF said...

I find this so amusing. I would still be breast feeding Joe if I hadn't had to tell a judge I wasn't any longer. Luke has an older dad, watches 27 hours of TV a day and I have already spent his entire college savings on iBooks. Oh well, he can live at home and care for me after I've had a nervous breakdown. He's that kind of kid

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