Skip to main content

Super Cool Blue Parents

Last week I talked about how incredibly easy it is to be a good parent.

It really takes almost no work.  As an expert quoted in this WebMD article notes, “what mattered to babies a thousand years ago is still what matters today:  You, the parent, are your baby’s best learning tool.” 

Uhu and Uh, Green Parents
Minus smoke-induced deaths, Uhu was a great Mom.
Parenting: The Ug-Uhu-Acho Story
For literally hundreds of years parents had no real guidance on developmental markers and strategies. Sure, they received plenty of input from in-laws; you have in-laws, right?

And yet children kept getting smarter and making scientific discoveries.  It isn’t like the Uhu, the Mom whose kid discovered fire, checked with some stone-based Dr. Sears predecessor.  I suppose if she had she would have immediately look over at her heavily bearded husband Ug, who was undoubtedly playing with his Apple iCore and ignoring the kids, and say, “Ug!  Acho should play Fire now.  Go get Acho fire for play.”

[Note: Depending on the age of Acho in this story, Ahu probably just doomed him to smoke-inhalation death.  Keep that in mind.]

So that is the bar - if you mimic or exceed the parenting of someone constantly on starvation’s doorstep and in fear of being eaten by a bear, you probably exceed it.  

5 Things
How low is the bar?  Perhaps the most five most important things to your baby’s future are things that take almost no work: 1) talk to your baby; 2) play with your baby; 3) pay attention to its interests; 4) use those interests to foster curiosity; 5) simply love and nurture your baby.

This last is, I think, especially important.  Creating a loving and safe environment allows your child to be curious and explore without fearing the loss of love or environment.

So, its easy to get into that green area in the chart, but you don’t want just an average child.  And anyhow, you want to be the kind of overachieving Super Mom you know you can be.  So how do you get to be “Super Cool Blue” parent? 

Super Cool Blue
Truth is, I just don’t know.  I’m certainly not one of them.  But I know that it is exceedingly hard and likely not worth effort for the small return.  Sure, being a “Super Cool Blue” parent might add some small percentage of advantage to your child.  But in a world where W work produces a perfectly good child (C), why would you want to do 100W in order to produce a child who was 1.03C?

I suppose stay-at-home parents probably have some small step in that direction.  Money probably helps, mostly because it alleviates worries and tends to lead to more secure situations.  But that cuts both ways, because money can ruin a kid as well.  Family certainly helps, except where it doesn't.  I’m a huge supporter of the ways technology makes our lives better, but I’m not convinced one single technology-based toy helps a lick.

In short, you could make your kids 3% better by hitting 100 of 100 constantly moving targets, but why would you when you can do just fine hitting 50 of the targets?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:


What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from www.adagio.com?

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…