Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Books: How Children Succeed


Title: How Children Succeed
Author: Paul Tough
Category:Parenting book ( I call it Brain book as well)
ISBN: 978-1-847-94711-6

Does early education make a child smarter?
The answer is no, obviously.
We all know love is the most important factor. And genetics, of course.
Studies show that any advantage in the younger years level off around third grade. So, why bother with Doman or flashcards unless you are actually brain injured?


So, if my child is not a genius, why bother?
Many profoundly gifted children go to college and fail to succeed in life. I was not profoundly gifted but I have never struggled academically in primary school. When I got to secondary school, subjects that required extra effort such as Add Maths and physics made me feel stupid. Why do I have to study? I was always told that I am smart! What I lacked was the curiosity to learn, to dig deeper than what the words represented. I blame the system, really I do. For my kids, I am going to beat it.
The conclusion is, if your child is not a genius, don't despair. Instill grit, determination, outline goals and strong character that will withstand trial and tribulations, and they will triumph. It is about instilling a love for life, a thirst for learning. Not drilling information, not obeying commands, not following instructions. Notice the lack of posts? I am still figuring out, HOW?


From the book.... (I am writing my thoughts on the book, from memory. Please read the book for more information)

1. LOVE
Paul Tough mentioned LG mothering (demonstrated by rats). LG stands for Licking and Grooming in rat mothers who were affectionate to their litter of pups. The opposite are the nonchalant mothers. See how rat labs mirror our society? I am a "licky" mom (Tiger and I have a kiss-three-times routine. Like lip smacking kisses) Just by telling your kids you love them and being a present parent, you are already a good parent. So easy, right?

This has been mentioned many, many times by other books. It is basically a test on delayed gratification conducted by researches in Stanford. Can your child wait or is he generally impulsive?  He who sees far, wins.

3. OVERCOMING OBSTACLES (GRIT & DETERMINATION)
Tough mentioned studies in inner cities where drugs, shooting and fights are considered part of their cultures. When the failing students find the right mentor and the motivation from within themselves, they actually make it to college and towards a better life.

It reminds me of a documentary of Will.I.Am, a fourth of Black Eye Peas. He was raised in an area where children barely out of teens were recruited into gangs. Yet, he prevailed because he has a loving Tiger Mom who did not allow him to cross the sidewalk in front of his home after school! Imagine him standing just behind that imaginary line, calling out to his friends. By the way, he is taking a course on software programming now. Genius!

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Am I boring you? Cause there is a lot more..... and I find these really interesting. Hence the ramblings

What do you think of the education system?
Is it created to promote thinking? To create entrepreneurs? Or factory workers? In Malaysia, don't worry, you can always work for the government provided you are of a certain race. I am not whining, instead I always look for a silver lining since I am one of those irritating cup half full person.

Singapore is also stuck in this Stone Age education but at least they are doing something about it. Their preschool "booklet" is 125 pages long. Geez!

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