The name of the book is 'Einstein Never Used Flash Cards' and it is hands down a must read for mother's and father's of babies and young children.
This book points out that "in today's world, the prevailing message is that it's no longer sufficient for infants and toddlers to learn independently through play as they have for millennia, via their own curiosity and a little help from family members when teaching opportunities arise." It seems now a days we bombard our children with things "that will be good for them" like flash cards with words on them at 1 year old thus 'teaching' early reading which is just not possible cognitively or violin lessons at 2 years old expecting a 2 year old to sit still. Why do we have to hurry our children out of early childhood through inappropriate activities to make them a genius or get them reading at a ridiculously young age? Their brains are not ready but they are ready for play and movement!
"Parents who don't want to participate in all of the early accelerated activities for their children often feel anxiety in this new childrearing climate."
Moreover, "if parents are being stripped of the emotional satisfactions of ambling along with their little ones through the carefree world of childhood, children are paying their own price. We have entered into a world of defensive parenting and hurried children, which is the unfortunate by-product of the tremendous pressure places on modern day parents."
Whatever happened to play?
The 3 R's:
The next time you read a sensational headline in a parenting magazine or hear about the latest child research on development, apply the three R's to the situation.
1. Reflect: Ask yourself if this experience/class/drill/activity is worth reducing my child's playtime any further.
2. Resist: Stop yourself from joining the frenzy! Allow time to slow down again and know that less can be more when it comes to children, its a scientific fact. If you don't believe me, read the book I spoke about earlier.
3. Re-center: Reassure yourself that you have made a good healthy choice for you and your child. That you have recognized that the true center of a child's life is play, not work.
Now, I'm not saying do nothing outside of your home with your children but be realistic. Play=learning and movement=learning.
"Research shows that a child's intellectual awakening takes place during the normal adult-child interactions that occur in everyday, purposeful activities."
There are two myths that need discussing here. The first is parents are their child's brain sculptors, responsible for forming and molding their intelligence and capabilities of their children." This is wrong!
Myth number two is that scientific research provides us the manual/directions for building a better brain for our child. Also wrong!
Fact: "Children with loving parents who enjoy them, play with them, and offer guidance and suggestions as they explore their environment will be children that are healthy, emotionally well adjusted, and psychologically advanced."
So what is my point?
Don't get bogged down with all of the latest crushing research that says get the 1 year old flashcards, make a 2 year old sit 'still' through violin lessons, etc. and for goodness sake don't overbook your child, they are hurried enough as it is and they have plenty of time to be grown up. Being grown up lasts a heck of a lot longer than being a kid. Movement and play=learning let them do their job!
All direct quotes in prothesis taken from the book 'Einstein Never Used Flash Cards' by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff.