Anxious parents: its time to put your feet up and relax. It’s OK to dump the flashcards, shut off the Mozart, and turn off those obnoxious Baby Einstein DVDs. Turns out the very best thing you can do for your child’s intellectual development is to let them play with plain old blocks.
As it turns out, my laissez-faire approach to parenting is actually a brilliant strategic move. Phew!
This article in the Boston Globe Magazine brings up a couple of interesting points about the wisdom of letting children develop at their own pace; the theory is that children that peak too early academically suffer from “neurological crowding” where too much information too soon actually clogs up synapses in the brain that could be used for more creative tasks in later years. Late bloomers tend to outperform early achievers because their brains develop later, say at around 12 years versus 8 years, so their brains adapt to a more complex world.
Makes sense to me.
The author also warns about the very real risk that late bloomers, despite having greater potential than early achievers, may never realize that potential because they don’t meet the unreasonable expectations of today’s competitive childhood academic environment.
Remember kids, all work and no play is stupid.