Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

If you are pregnant and not yet preparing your child for school, you may be too late. You may not be able to detect the sarcasm, but the fact is, more and more “experts” and parenting gurus are suggesting that if your fetus hasn’t achieved a kindergarten reading level prior to making his or her entrance to the world, you’re doomed.

Give me a break.

Don’t get me wrong – I do think parents should play an active role in their children’s academic efforts…but I also think that when you’re pregnant, if you’re not reading to your infant or playing Mozart to your belly your baby will still be ok if you’re not smoking but you are taking prenatal vitamins. In fact, I think the best things pregnant moms can do is take care of themselves! The healthier you are while you are pregnant, the better chance your baby has of being healthy too. Eating right, exercising, and managing your stress is critical.

Yes, all the studies show that playing classical music and reading to your baby in the womb ensure better academic success, but if we see beyond the study to the type of parent capable of doing this (one who is financially prepared for baby, has time to sit and relax and read) that it probably has less to do with what you’re reading and listening to and more to do with the environmental factors that allow that kind of prep to happen in the first place.

You know what I think kids need, from the time they are conceived until the day they die? Parents who love them unconditionally, accept them for who they are, and teach them to be critical thinkers while trusting them to take risks and grow and learn.

Take care of you when you’re pregnant, and when the baby is born, skip all the mumbo-jumbo and just love him or her. Every day, all the time.

Read to your baby; play music if you want..but realize that it is the human interaction and the nurturing that helps foster the successful development of your child.