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Teaching Parents To Play With Their Kids: What If They're Wrong?

Apparently playing on the carpet and making up stories with little kids isn't as "natural" as we are being told -- and may not be so much better for them. (Plus which, it's boring -- admit it.) That's the idea that this largely-ignored Boston Globe article from a couple of weeks ago raises (Leave those kids alone) -- along with questions about the idea that schools and other agencies should try and teach low-income and minority families to play with their children the way that many affluent, white families currently do. "The proselytizing on behalf of playful middle-class approaches vexes many anthropologists," according to the article. This apparently includes Paul Tough's article on the differences between low-income and middle-income parents, which may according to the article have over-stated the deficits of low-income parents when it comes to stimulating their children's development. There are also lots of implications for the universal preschool crowd (Clinton et al), whose programs often include a hefty dose of parenting instruction.
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