A while ago, a website asked me a question: How do you raise a prodigy?.
No, they didn’t call me up or anything like that. They just put the question in a headline, which was pretty clever of them. Though an email would have been more direct.
Well, I didn’t read the article because I hate it when people ask a question then just spend 30,000 words answering it themselves. Why did you even ask if you’re just going to try to tell me? Just let me answer the question.
I tried to leave a comment, but I always preface my online comments with “I haven’t read whatever this is and am pushing my own agenda.” Comments regulators do not like that sort of thing, apparently.
The thing is, it’s not that complicated a question. You see, my son is a prodigy. How do I know? Because he’s a little miracle. Literally. He can do magic and heal the sick, give sight to the blind, that sort of thing.
How did he get this way? Because of my amazing parenting.
Here’s how I did it:
Every night, I read several chapters of a classic novel to my little miracle baby. At the end of each chapter, I ask him questions to test his comprehension of the book’s themes. If he gets any of these questions wrong… well… he knows what happens.
When you’re a prodigy, it’s not just the mind that needs a workout. So every weekend, I spend three hours in the gym with my boy. We work every angle of his muscles and toss the medicine ball around. He can’t catch it yet, so he just stops it with his rock hard abs.
Some foods are good for the brain. I cook a different meal for my son every night, but they all have a kale base. Kale and pork bake. Kale and carrot fudgesicles. Tasty stuff like that.
It can’t be all Wiggles all the time. My son just finished watching all ten hours of by Krzysztof Kieślowski’s The Decalogue and we’re about to take a random walk through German Abstract Expressionism and American pre-code allegorical anti-socialism.
If I’m pressed for time, sometimes I’ll pull him out of daycare to attend the mid-day Neofuturist Yugoslav Black Wave musical retrospective. Tasty stuff like that.
I know it’s kind of old school, but there’s nothing like hunting for whales to sharpen a young person’s mind.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But all work and some play aimed at stupid babies makes Jack a big dummy. So, yes, play with your child if you want him or her to become a prodigy, but make sure it’s the right kind of play.
Trivial Pursuit, for example, is good. Candyland is bad. I’d argue that it’s also blasphemous, but that’s an essay for another time. Another time very soon. (I’m comin’ to get you, Candyland!)
If your child is a prodigy, he or she better start dressing like it. Baby Gap short pants and puffy Christmas sweaters just aren’t going to cut it in this competitive climate. I dress my boy completely in linen at all times. He also wears Crocs, but that’s his mother’s call, not mine.
If you suspect that there is even a slither of a chance that your child is a prodigy, you need to pull him out of whatever dumdum indoctrination “school” you’ve enrolled him in and get the right tutor. Someone who knows Latin – and how to keep a secret.
Diapers for your child – AND for you. After passing on all your own intelligence, you are not going to know how to go to the bathroom. That’s just how it is when you’re raising a prodigy.
[Photo via FreeImages; This post originally appeared on Life of Dad.]