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Poor? You are a TV-Watching Screamer.

"Children who don’t go to preschool are usually from more disadvantaged families, which means they watch lots of TV and are yelled at more than they are praised, which some researchers believe can stunt cognitive development." 

This sounds really scientific!  But it got one commenter very confused.

"What happens if my kids are from a middle income family who does puzzles with them, reads books with them, plays games, takes them on outings, but also lets them watch television and the praise/shouting ratio is probably around 50/50 depending on the day?" wrote Reality_Jane.  "Do we send them to preschool for half a day, then?"

In totally unrelated news, my four-year-old attends preschool for four half-days each week. Ha ha!


  1. My kids didn't go to pre-school. We homeschooled. Those poor, disadvantaged darlings were both reading at age 4.

    1. By Slate's logic, you are therefore rich. You know where I live. Please send a check for $500,000 in the mail. I know it will be hard to go without your pocket change for the week, but I'd be ever so grateful. :)

  2. That is such crap. Actually, I just read a study that said that the government's own research into the benefits of Head Start/PreSchool pretty much found that there were NONE, and in fact, in some cases, there were actually negative impacts on the kids.

    See Also: Neener, Slate, you dummy-heads.

    1. Hey, now. They had a good stereotype going on. Who needs data? This is science along the lines of, "You might be a redneck if..."

  3. My eldest didn't go to pre-school because I couldn't afford it and she is just as high achieving as the others.
    TV in our house was Sesame Street in the morning, then it was turned off until after dinner. While they were little that is. Even when they were all at school, I didn't watch daytime TV.

  4. BALANCE. It all comes down to balance. You don't have to be rich or poor to do the right thing by your children.

  5. Remember when most kids didn't start socializing on a daily basis until kindergarten? When we didn't try to rush them through all developmental stages toward the prized stage known as "cooperative play"?

    I didn't send mine to preschool because we didn't need it--most small children don't. If I'd had an only child (or an only child with special needs), I MIGHT have considered it. Maybe.

    It actually bothers me to see young parents being taught that this is the normal thing to do.

  6. I'm not poor. I was raised poor, so I know the difference. But we watch TV. And I am a yeller. Maybe I just have no class... or teens who don't hear anything the first time you say it.

    Anyway. Preschool was a waste. My son decided to be selectively mute for 6 months before someone thought it might be smart to mention that my child would not speak in school. So how could I address it and help him? My best guess is they decided is was a home issue and that they could fix it.

    I have respect issues with schools.


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