Great Britain has the longest running study ever done on child development. Researcher and journalist, Helen Pearson, recently did a TED talk on this subject. I thought I would a very brief summary of the highlights of her presentation and this might encourage you to watch the video yourself. Great food for thought!
- Children born into affluent homes do better on average in education, earning and health than children born into poverty. That’s kind of obvious, but it’s not really the money that matters as much as it was the behaviors associated with people on the bottom of the monetary ladder.
- Children who have regular sleeping patterns do better than those that don’t. Put the kids to bed at a decent hour and get them up at the same time every day.
- Read to your kids, the sooner the better. Then encourage them to do recreational reading on their own. Children that were read too did far better than others.
- Take time to socialize with your kids. Show an interest in what they did during the day, what they struggled with or had difficulties with and what they enjoyed doing.
- Factors such the genes they inherit, personal growing experiences and many other things of course all shape the child into an adult. However, poverty as the study concludes (and the bad habits associated with poor parents) seem to have the most lasting scars. The study acknowledges that good parents do matter, but, good parenting isn’t enough. Good parenting will only take the child so far. Poverty does tremendous damage to creative minds and to raise children out of poverty and good parenting seems to be the formula for success.
- From personal experience the Christian religion also offers help to kids much like good parents. Not sure if religion was mentioned in the research, but it should have been. I think it does build character and provides a sense of community and conscience