Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The smartest, happiest children

It is safe to say that parents, as a general rule, want their kids to be smart. They want their kids to be happy. They want their kids to grow up to be rich. Things like that. There are parenting magazines full of tips, and stories appear in the news all the time. What if you started to assemble a list of all of the things that a parent should do to optimize a child's chances of success in today's world?

For example, in the September 1 issue of Time, there is this fascinating blurb:The implication is that kids who have no siblings do better, at least in terms of eventual net worth.

There's been a number of articles over the last week discussing the fact that older kids do better in school. For example: Age in School Determines Mental Health. The article states: "In England and Wales, the oldest children in the school year -- born in the fall months -- had much higher mental health scores than the younger children -- born in the summer months."

It's been known for a long time that kids who breastfeed are more intelligent than kids who drink formula. For example, see this article and this article.

From these three data points, you can start to develop a profile. The most successful people would be children with no siblings who were breastfed and held back a year before starting kindergarten...

It would be interesting to flesh this out with 10 or 15 other data points and create the profile of the theoretically perfect childhood in today's society.

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