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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to make your baby a genius, или я говорю по-русски

Ha! I knew that second language early on is important! Now the all-mighty prophet of liberal burkenstock-wearing parenting and childrearing, aka The New York Times, agrees. Aha. I feel justified. Well, not really, but this article is pretty interesting:  

According to it, bilingual children learn to be more flexible in their problem-solving skills and other high-order cognitive functions. The article keep bringing up Mandarin and Spanish languages (I guess those are the “it” languages that all cool cloth-diapered and breast-fed upper class infants are learning) and no one mentions Russian. With Cold War over, the demand is not as high as it was. Here’s a recap of zaiki’s Russian lessons (as promised, no mention of poop anywhere in this post!):

So I found a Russian school without exorbitant (for our family anyway) fees. Do-Re-Mi school in Livingston NJ. It’s a hike for us, but totally worth it. Their teacher is super nice, and I think zaiki like it in their own spastic, destructive 2-year-old way. They are starting to say color names in Russian, as well as few words here and there. They switch between languages amazingly fast, although still prefer English. It’s my fault, because I speak English to them. I know I have to be diligent and only use Russian, but it is virtually impossible. I try, and try, and fail. So I’m beating myself up about that, feeling time to instill language knowledge in them is slipping away…

This brings me to a free bit of wisdom from Lida for today: no matter what you do and where you turn, parenthood is ridden with hidden (you like that, ridden-hidden rhyme? I’m so cool!) guilt-traps. How do I lessen the guilt? Well, according to NYT parenting blogs, this is what you do:
                Learn a second language and speak it to your kids exclusively
                While you are at it, feed them an all-organic diet
                Never lose your temper 
                Hand-make their clothes 
                Never vaccinize them
                Be a hands-on parent (but not too much, because you don't want to be hovering and stiffling)
                Don't project your values on your kids
                Make sure they go to the right school district (move if you have to!).

Did I forget anything? I'm sure I did, and that's why I'll probably screw my kids up in some way. But at least they'll be able to tell it to their therapist in two languages. And I need to stop reading the blogs..До свидания!

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