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'The Baby Book for Ambitious Parenting'

A baby book for ambitious/manipulative parents
  (+8, -4)
(+8, -4)
  [vote for,

Form a collection of (commonly) aspired to occupations- e.g. Professional Tennis/Football Player, Racing Driver, Prime Minister/President, Revolution-Leader, Concert Pianist, Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist, Ballet Dancer, Author.

Research and identify skills and attributes common to practitioners of each discipline, combined where possible with brain scanning of relevant successful individuals to reveal peculiar hyper-developed brain regions. Also, perhaps through interviews with these individuals (and their parents), discern what experiences and pressures led to their selection of vocation.

Write a book: Divided into three sections. The third section is an appendix consisting of a series of about 50 exercises/games/etc to perform with a baby, each designed to enhance a particular aspect of cognitive development. E.g. Hand-eye coordination, Reaction speed, Musical sensitivity, Verbal ability, Empathy/Emotional Development, etc.

The second section consists of a single page devoted to each occupation, with anecdote about a relevant individual and a list of the appropriate exercises from the appendix to perform in order to aid the child's development of those skills he/she will need for the preferred vocation. These pages also feature cute pictures of babies dressed up with appropriate props- i.e. a baby in an F1 car, a baby in a suit at a piano.. The most affecting of these pictures can be used for the cover.

The first section (which is optional) deals with motivating the child to aspire to the occupation chosen by the parents. This might involve postive reinforcement of particular stimuli. We don't want to go overboard here; we are not talking about shots of endorphins every time the child touches a tennis racket, simple measures such as taking the child to watch a professional tennis match and giving it prodigious amounts of chocolate.

Publish book.

Objections/criticism from libertarians will provide publicity for the book. You will go on talk-radio/morning-TV and be accused of encouraging a manipulative-living-through-child, placing-unreasonable-pressures, social-engineering type attitude. You will defend yourself by saying that your book specifically discourages parental oppression, as this will inevitably lead to a backlash in puberty and consequent non-fulfillment of objective. You say that your book is a postive means for a parent to help a child be happy/fulfilled and realise their potential, by providing them with commutual aspirations and skills. You say that: firstly, enhancing a child's cognitive development is not considered immoral, and secondly, a child's aspirations are usually formed through arbitrary random experiences; so how can shaping these aspirations to match their abilities be immoral either? (You also say that the book is largely tongue-in-cheek; you simply hope the parents may use some of the exercises to help their child's development.) The opposition will not agree and the debate will break down to shouting. This would be especially effective on morning-TV with the opposition being provided by aggressive, and hopefully uneducated, audience members.

You will make a small amount of money. Nice work, now go get a coffee.


A supplementary section (sequel?) could deal with production of Murderers, Dictators, Perverts etc. i.e. parenting to be avoided; it might be hard to find the right tone, however.

radicalllama, Jun 08 2005

And, if you call now! Super_20Mario_20Is_20My_20Kid_20Smart_3f
Find out YOUR child's propensity for life! [daseva, Jun 08 2005]

C.I. Guides http://www.idiotsguides.com/
I was looking for "... to enabling your brat" but other than a few near hits, no cigar. [reensure, Jun 08 2005]


       Hey, [radicalllama], we could team up, sha'mon! !
daseva, Jun 08 2005

       Yes, but not enough people, and none of them are being parted with their money.   

       Sure, [daseva], as long as you work on level 4... ...'radicalllama not have fun.. radicalllama not play stinky game! Pbleeeurgh!'
radicalllama, Jun 08 2005

       I like. How can my kid become the next Oprah?
crater, Jun 08 2005

       'At a young age Winfrey's parents separated and sent her to live with grandparents in very poor surroundings until the age of 6 when she moved to live with her mother. She was consequently sexually molested by male relatives at a young age and endured the hardship up until she was 14 when Winfrey moved to live with her father in Nashville Tennessee.'   

       'Living with her father did not eliminate her problems even though he was loving (yet strict) towards her...'   

       'Her father's high standards inspired her to aim for and achieve more from life.'   

       From reading these four sentences, I would say that the stability/love her father provided made her seek his approval, and made thus made her ambitious.   

       The common attributes of successful TV presenters would be good communicative skills, confidence, and an irrepressible desire for attention. I suggest the latter could be cultivated by giving the child all the attention it desires and more for the first few years of its life, and then removing this attention after the impressionable period.. roughly age 5. This will create a void in its life which only its own morning TV-show will fill.
radicalllama, Jun 08 2005

       " loving (yet strict) "   

       I've been searching for a girl like this...
crater, Jun 09 2005

       I used to excersice my children's muscles when they were infants by guiding them through simple excercises.
I have no idea if it did any good for them, if so, there are times when I regret doing that as they run me out of energy long before they do themselves.
They seem quite strong, but I don't really have a control for the experiment. I have twins, but using one as a control just didn't seem ethically correct.
I also used to sing and play the scales to them when they were infants and only now do I notice any musical tendencies in them (they're almost 5.)
It would have been interesting to see a book such as you mention. I just thought those things up and did them.
Zimmy, Jun 09 2005

       I know I'm going to sound like a radical, tree-hugging hippie pinko libertarian communist here, but it might be wise to have a section on determining possible aptitudes.   

       Not every kid is going to have the raw talent to be a gymnast, for example. Success rates would be much higher by employing some simple tests to determine strengths and weaknesses.   

       For example, if your child is strong and lithe and demonstrates an early aptitude for coordination, gymnastics training would be appropriate. If your child is large and strong, but not so limber, you might consider training him or her to be a footbal linebacker. If your child does nothing but eat the dog's poop and regurgitate it with a smile, consider prepping the little bugger for a career in politics.   

       Ah, whoops... Didn't see [daseva's] link.
justaguy, Jun 09 2005

       I think raw talent is overrated. Obviously there are some vocations, such as gymnastics, and of those I mentioned, ballet dancing, that require a certain degree of physiological uniqueness, but I think that much can be achieved if the development is started early enough; indeed I would say much that is considered 'raw talent', for example a propensity for maths or tennis, comes as a result of early exposure to the right circumstances.   

       I certainly think anyone with an otherwise average level of mental capacity could become a: Professional Tennis/Football Player, Racing Driver, Prime Minister/President, Revolution-Leader, Concert Pianist, Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist, Author.
radicalllama, Jun 09 2005

       I'm not sure about that. In theory, yes, but I suspect that there is a point of diminishing return where the child simply stops seeking the approval of their parent and washes out.   

       On the other hand, the positive reinforcement of being a "natural" might inspire a virtuous cycle of constant self-improvement for its own sake.
justaguy, Jun 09 2005


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