Kid Geniuses, Gimmicks, And Plain Old Interaction
Is your kid a genius? Do you want them to be one? Or more to the point, do you want to invest your time (and possibly money) into making them look like geniuses? I hope your answer is no. Here’s why.
Take a look at these videos. Sure, they’re cute. Maybe some kids come wired to do this stuff at a very young age – and maybe these kids are having a blast. But here’s the rub. Parents may watch these kinds of videos and start to panic that their kids aren’t doing these “amazing” things. So they may think about buying whatever gadgets or apps or programs are out there to turn their kids into astounding readers and math problem solvers by age 2. When they read to their kids, they may start to focus on drilling word recognition into them. Numbers get replaced with equations to be solved.
Although I understand the pressure parents may feel, I hope you all can take a deep breath and realize that all of this is nonsense.
Research continues to show that the most basic and natural interaction patterns between parents and their kids predicts their later academic success. What are we talking about here? Things like … playing with your baby … singing to them … talking to them … reading to them … yes, plain old interaction. No technology, no gimmicks – just positive interaction that encourages reciprocity. You read a sentence from a book, your toddler gets interested, you smile, they smile, you ask them something, they answer, you expand on what they say, they say something else. You get on the floor with them and roll with their imaginations and let them show you how they want to play.
These are fun things! Believe me, when your kids get older, these will be among the moments that you will miss about the early years. And I guarantee you will have great memories – whether or not you preserve the moments on video – of wonderful, funny, and fascinating things that they say and do. I’m sure you could generate quite the list right now.
So no need to worry if you aren’t trying to put your kid on the genius fast track. Play, read, sing, and laugh… and play some more. Be engaged. Soak up the world the way kids do. Just be what you are – great parents who love their kids and enjoy letting them act their age.Add a Comment