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    #54324 09/02/09 05:21 PM
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    Wren Offline OP
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    I was singing DD to sleep, thinking about "your baby can read". And I started thinking about all the things you are suppose to do to increase IQ, like breastfeeding, music lessons, exercise, etc. etc. I know there are thoughts about hot housing, but maybe doing these exercises -- your baby can read program -- does push the brain development and creates a higher IQ for the child.

    I was having a turtle and hare discussion with DD the other day -- outshoot of rough piano practice. You get someone like Hiliary Clinton who wokes extraordinarily hard, IQ estimate around 125. And you get someone with IQ 150 who doesn't do the work, just slides through. Clinton comes off as more intelligent. Maybe not cleverer. But more intelligent.

    I kind of lost the point here. But is hot housing so bad? If my kid was 125 and I still wanted them to have every option available, wouldn't I want them to push themselves. The quote was made about Joe Kennedy to Teddy, re: sailboat race. "They may be better and smarter, but we will work harder and beat them."

    DD learned to ride a two wheeler this week. A result that she didn't want to ride her bike because she was bored. She really lacked confidence when we started and didn't push herself and I got frustrated with her giving up but I didn't. I made her do some everyday. She got farther and farther and today, she was doing it all her own. She was so pleased with herself and happy and kept saying "I can do it, I can do it." I am happy she is so smart but I am realizing that her IQ isn't going to carry her. She needs the life lessons of perseverance more than anything else. Too much does come easily. That is more of a problem than I thought.

    Ren

    Wren #54330 09/02/09 05:44 PM
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    Ren- I think I get what you are saying (and agree) but I perhaps use different words to describe it. Maybe I'm wrong but I think there is a big difference between stimulating and hothousing.

    I believe that everyone should be encouraged to work hard at things they find challenging so that they learn the fabulous rewards associated with working to achieve something.

    I believe that some things need to be forced by parents even if children are resistant aka parent-driven; this includes building work ethic (as above), eating a balanced diet, basic hygiene, age-appropriate academic study, age/ability-appropriate motor skill development . . .

    I also believe that children (at all ability levels) should be provided with every resource possible for them to delve into the things they are most passionate about. Feed that passion!! This passion, which is outside of requirements, should be child-driven.

    I think hothousing is parent-driven where providing stimulation is child-driven (but parent-fueled??). I see hothousing as the parents forcing their child to do something above expectations for the sake of being better than others. Stimulation is giving your child every book in the library on George Washington because he's a history buff (child-driven).

    Does that align with your thoughts?

    My DH and his brother are both PG but have very different levels of ambition and work ethic. It is always interesting �to watch from the outside� to see their life paths unfold because of this.

    Last edited by sittin pretty; 09/02/09 05:48 PM. Reason: Clarification

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    I just heard about a study by a psych out of Berkeley on NPR today. She talked about babies and young kids being "lanterns" of learning. They see everything but don't focus well. OTOH, adults are spotlights: better able to focus, but that means excluding a lot from notice. She suggested that instead of saying that kids aren't good at paying attention, we should say they can't NOT pay attention! That made a lot of sense to me.

    I think this sort of program ignores the way most babies and young kids learn. That's what is wrong with it. It's not about hothousing per se. It's about bad pedagogy.

    IMHO...


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    I just heard about a study by a psych out of Berkeley on NPR today. She talked about babies and young kids being "lanterns" of learning. They see everything but don't focus well. OTOH, adults are spotlights: better able to focus, but that means excluding a lot from notice. She suggested that instead of saying that kids aren't good at paying attention, we should say they can't NOT pay attention! That made a lot of sense to me.


    I've heard something similar but I love the way that was phrased!

    On the actual Your Baby Can Read -I've seen it but don't really know enough about it to form any kind of opinion. I have a four year old watching the History Channel right now so I probably should keep my mouth shut either way. smile


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    Here's what I think: It is one thing to want your child to be healthy enough to be able to achieve at his or her highest possible level (which is where breastfeeding, a healthy diet, an environment free from lead, etc., etc., come in), and it is another thing entirely to want to push that child to achieve beyond what that child would naturally be able to do. I think the latter is what people call "hothousing" and it is neither healthy nor beneficial. It might result in a few increased points on a test here and there, and it might result in a hard-working, driven person. But the trade-off is in the child's autonomy and mental health.

    And honestly, though there may be value in high intelligence, there is more value in being a happy, well-balanced person. I have no desire for my child to turn into Hillary Clinton. If she is happy with a job in a blue-collar field, that will be fine by me. If she wants to work hard and compete with other hard-working, extremely intelligent people in a mentally challenging field, that's fine too. I think it is more my job to keep her healthy (and keep her childhood relatively stress-free) than to make that decision for her.

    ETA: Not to say that all blue-collar work is not mentally challenging, or that all white-collar work is. blush I don't think that at all, but I can't think of a better way to phrase it.

    Last edited by no5no5; 09/02/09 07:43 PM.
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    Val Offline
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    I definitely push my kids occasionally. I feel that they need it so they can learn that their boundaries may be farther out than they realized. I also think it's essential that they be forced to puzzle something out at times. My opinion is that when learning comes very easily for too long, the child is at risk for not learning how to challenge himself.

    People for whom learning isn't so easy have an advantage in this regard, because working hard to get something is more familiar to them. Our school system isn't set up to teach gifted kids how to...well, struggle. There's a lot to be said for internalizing the idea that "This looks impossible right now, but if I keep trying, I'll get it."

    Val

    Val #54350 09/02/09 09:32 PM
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    There's a difference between a healthy stretch that takes into account the child's needs, and a push that is utterly inappropriate to a child's learning needs. Two different things altogether.


    Kriston
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    Wren Offline OP
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    But, as sittin pretty put it, her DH and his brother are both PG but very different in terms of ambition. What if your kid doesn't have the passion? Or not consistently?

    One day, DD asked me why we didn't start her piano lessons at 3. But having her practice is not fun. She really wanted the lessons and we told her that if we started, we would keep going. She is not Mark Yu practicing 8 hours a day. And she loves to be able to play the pieces, especially as they increase in difficulty. But there is no passion in wanting to practice. And I do not expect her to become a concert musician. DD is resistent to the challenge, by nature, except physically when she sees another kid can do something.

    And this isn't about blue collar work or white collar work. I actually do not believe there will be any decent blue collar work by the time DD is employable and white collar work will be very competitive to get. Hence, my belief in the downward spiral of the US as nation of opportunity makes me want to teach DD the best work habits. So that she can provide for herself and provide for a lifestyle that she wants to live. Somehow I do not think it will be that downscaled.

    Ren

    Wren #54361 09/03/09 04:37 AM
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    This Baby Reading ad. just scares me. Reading is one thing, learning some sight words quite another. MY DS8 was a very early reader (2 1/2), but that was because he was obsessed with books the way my other kids were with trains and animals. He would constantly be bringing books to me (it would drive me nuts a lot of the time) and 'demand' to be read to. He just loved the stories and jokes etc. and started figuring out words for himself.
    Now I do believe reading is sometimes left too late. Just like foreign languages, some things can be left too late to be absorbed easily, but sticking a bunch of sight words in front of a baby is not what a baby needs.

    lulu #54363 09/03/09 05:23 AM
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    See, I guess to me it is also important that kids learn to work hard and overcome challenges. But the idea that forcing them to work hard will teach them to work hard is sort of like the idea that forcing them to eat broccoli will teach them to like broccoli. I think if you offer broccoli regularly, and model enjoying it yourself, your kid will eventually like it. Or, if not broccoli, another healthy substitute. Whereas if you force them to eat it, they may learn to eat it, but they will never enjoy it and, worse, they will not learn to listen to what their body tells them about what to eat & when, because they've been forced to ignore that inner voice.

    So I will offer DD plenty of challenging tasks, and let her decide how hard to push herself. So far (and she is only 3), she chooses to push herself. She has accomplished even more than I would have dared to try to push her into, if indeed I was that sort of parent.

    That said, I think perhaps for older gifted kids who have had years of inappropriate schooling, a bit of a push might be a good thing. It is hard to overcome bad habits once they are ingrained. But I just don't think a prophylactic push is at all necessary. smile

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