YOUR BABY CAN’T READ
|A dumb commercial a few years back set off this rant, the commercial is gone, the rant may still be valid. It is from November 2011|
Parents have an obsession with making their children the best that they can be. Pregnant women play classical music to their developing embryo in an attempt to give their child-to-be a head start in music ability and appreciation. Every toy sold to children from new born to teen has some educational/developmental aspect. Colors, numbers, letters, words, animals, sounds, textures, every toy tries to disguise learning with play. When children do not use the toy for its intended educational purpose, parents jump right in to demonstrate the correct way to play and learn.
Children today have tutors to teach them to read before they reach kindergarten. Children are taught karate and other martial arts in the name of self-esteem and self defense before they go to school. Parents send their young athletes to sports trainers and sports facilities to gain an advantage over their budding young competition. Parents today are panicked that they will not help their children to develop to their fullest potential.
Your child will learn to read when he is good and ready. She will be a natural athlete if she was born a natural athlete. Your little genius will be a math whiz and will invent world altering stuff without your constant prodding and fretting their whole life.
If they ask for help, if they show an unusual talent, if they exhibit an aptitude in a given direction, help them. Get them lessons. Buy that guitar. Embrace their talents, give them opportunities to grow in many directions, but don’t force them to do or learn stuff in competition with your niece, the kids around the block, or the children of the braggadocios annoying lady at church.
Your children will find their niche. Water will always seek its own level. When pushed, children will drag their feet, they will shut down, and they will burn out.
Given encouragement and a little help children will thrive. You cannot hide genius. If you locked a five year old Beethoven in a closet with a spoon, twelve glasses and a bottle of water he would emerge with a symphony.
What started this tirade was a commercial I have been seeing on late night TV. It is the “Your Baby Can Read” commercial. This scam asserts that with their flash cards and constant prodding you can teach a one or two year old child to read. The ad shows dozens of kids all under three reading from the flash cards. These children are reading, smiling, and laughing and the parents are beaming. I knew this ad was bull crap when one of the two year olds read, with perfect word use inflection, the word “OUTSTANDING.” PAALEEZE!!
Your baby can be taught to mimic a word on a flash card. Your baby CAN’T read.
My dog can bark, roll over and play dead on command.
Your baby CAN’T read.
You can guide your children, you can’t mold them. They will learn to do shit when they are ready. They need to build muscles and coordination in order to walk. They need to learn sounds and experiment with them in order to talk. They do these things on their own schedule. You can retard growth; you cannot speed it up. Children need tools, direction, and encouragement and they will learn.
You can spend your day with flash cards, videos, and books. You can knock yourself out for months 24/7 with these flash cards. Your baby may learn to say “Outstanding” when she sees that card. She will say it with the exact inflection as you say it to her. My Parrot can do the same thing. My parrot can’t read.
Your baby CAN’T read!