Friday, September 09, 2005

Insights from magazines

In one new baby magazine, one poor soul confessed that she and her husband thought that right after the baby was born, while she was on maternity leave, would be the perfect time to go to Europe. After all, the baby wouldn't be on a regular schedule yet anyway, so it wouldn't be bothered by the time difference! They didn't actually go. But I can't believe anybody was that naive. Have they never encountered a newborn? Did they never read their own magazines? On the other hand, there were a few times immediately after D1's birth when I pondered whether a quick move to China would be the easiest way to solve the day/night issue.

Also saw an ad for a new TV program that, in response to research showing that people who face their problems with humor and a positive attitude do better in life, is going to try to teach preschoolers this skill. It reminds me of how people, hearing that babies had the ability to distinguish all speech sounds in all languages, would start playing them tapes of foreign languages to give them an edge. Then it turned out babies only paid attention to talking when it was a real person talking to them.

So before you all bother with the research, let me tell you right now: Preschoolers will not learn good attitudes from TV programs. They will learn them, or not learn them, from other people.


the Joneses said...

I came across the "give preschoolers a sense of humor" idea recently. After reading the article more carefully, I realized it was an advertisement for Cartoon Network.

The whole idea bothers me (marketing opportunities aside) mostly because really can't even encourage a child's sense of humor. It's there or it isn't. I say this, having one serious child who didn't laugh regularly until she was three years old; and one jolly child, who was making his own jokes by the time he was a year.

Giving them a happy home, lots of tickles, and lots of laughter I think is your best bet. Or, in the case of my serious child, a sibling who finds the whole world funny.

-- SJ

Jeremy said...

Here Here!

Also, how you view the world is a choice. But you can heavily influence a child's choice by your good example. :~)

Rose said...

Bother! And here I was planning to play foreign language tapes to my children so I wouldn't have to actually learn the language myself.

That reminds me of the Victor Borge episode when he describes putting a tape recorder playing Japanese language lessons under his pillow so he could painlessly learn to speak the language: 'So now I fluently speak Japanese - but only in my sleep.'