Every parent wants their child to have the best possible start in life and encourage them to learn, but it seems like these days, some moms and dads are getting a little bit carried away with rushing their kids into growing up.
More and more parents are attempting to teach their babies to read from a very early age, because they believe they'll give them a big leg up on learning by introducing reading skills before their little ones even know how to talk.
Get this one: a mom named Dana Wilkey went one step further -- she started teaching her son to read when he was only 4 days old. (Four days old!)
She would show him 10 flashcards twice a day and says, "I would show John words like 'milk,' give him my breast, and then show him the baby sign language for milk. I did it morning and evening."
Good grief!! When my son was 4 days old, I could barely manage to stay awake let alone bust out a set of flashcards!
By the age of 9 months, Dana reports that her son knew baby sign language for 20 words, and says she "knew he could read" at that point because he would sign words back to her after viewing the flashcards.
Impressive? Yes. Necessary? No freakin' way. Our kids grow up too fast as it is, so I just don't understand why any parent would want to force them to learn skills like reading when they should be enjoying playtime and bonding with their moms and dads instead.
Babies are just babies, for crying out loud, so what's the point of trying to teach them to do things 5-year-olds are supposed to do? I mean, there are plenty of ways to expose them to language without literally using flashcards -- like reading to them instead of trying to teach them how, for example. (There's an idea.)
I will always treasure the times I spent while my son was a baby with him cuddled up in my lap while I read books to him. And I'm just so glad I let him be a baby instead of getting all caught up in trying to speed his development along.
The precious time we have with our kids while they're infants needs to be savored, because it's a period in our lives we'll never get back. And if you try to make it progress too fast, you'll run the risk of missing out on the little moments that make it so special.
Would you try and teach your baby to read?
Image via quinn.anya/Flickr