One More Mommy

Thoughts of a mom and her husband, son, daughter, pets, friends, job (or lack thereof), house, family, trying to be more ecologically aware...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Eye Cue

I just got my new issue of Parents magazine last night, and I went to bed and read a few articles before turning off the light. I love parenting magazines in general - they talk about a variety of childhood issues, which hopefully are being stored somewhere in my head for when Luke hits those stages, and obsess on that all important 'thing' in my life, my kid.

But there's also a lot of crap in parenting magazines. I don't really scour the internet, newspaper, and magazines for all the latest info on child-rearing, but I do stumble across it a lot. And I dismiss most research out of hand, because it doesn't provide me with a lot of hard evidence, and if you wait? They'll do another study and reverse their findings. I've got a science background, in chemistry, and having a 'hard' science background (as opposed to 'soft' sciences like psychiatry) means that I like 'hard' results. I want numbers and irrefutable proof.

When you're doing studies on people? Irrefutable proof is hard to come by. You have to isolate things and change ONE aspect of an experiment to really really prove that caused the difference. How do you do that with people?

The reason I'm going off on this is that Parents wrote an article which stated that children who were taught and used sign language as infants had an IQ of an average TWELVE POINTS higher than those who didn't. 12 points is a HELLUVA lot in IQ. That alone makes me doubt the results.

Years ago, (I should really cite articles, but I'm lazy, and I always hated citing) articles came out saying that breast fed babies are smarter. Breast is best! Your child will never be all they can be if you don't breast feed! Except they recently published ANOTHER article saying no, not so much. Turns out that the people in the study who breast fed also were spending more time with their children and doing more enriching activities. In other words, the study didn't isolate the variable of breast feeding.

I think breast feeding is great. I think baby signs are great. Do I think that a child who is breast fed and taught baby signs has a better chance of curing cancer? No. Do I think that the child of parents who are involved enough in their child's life that they try new things (baby signs) or sit with their child and devote unlimited attention to them (nursing) are going to have smarter children? Yes. And more importantly, they'll probably have more secure, confidant children who can navigate a social world.

1 Comments:

Anonymous mk said...

I think you hit the nail on the head- it is the parents that spend quality time interacting and initating activities have smarter children and more well rounded children. Great post!

and speaking of studies.. I read a few that said c-section babies would be smarter too- this one excited my husband! But I think they all fall into the same.

12:38 PM  

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