I think it’s safe to say that every parents wants their children to live long, healthy lives. Chapters 6 and 7 discuss how the decisions made by parents can have lasting effects on the longevity of their children’s lives. Chapter 6 talks about schooling, more specifically starting early. It is commonly believed by parents that having their children begin school as early as possible is only a positive. However, the authors made a shocking discovery that this in fact is a myth. Children who began primary school, first grade, early were less likely to be conscientiousness adults and engaged in more risky behavior. These children are more likely to experience problems, due to the age gap from a young age. They will likely be less mature as their classmates, and be a disturbance in subjects that do not interest them. Though, the authors found that children who skipped a grade did not have this issue. Chapter 7 discusses divorce and the long term effects. It is commonly known that children of divorced parents experience issues in the short term. Yet, many do not know the effects in the long term. The authors uncovered the effects divorce can have on children’s longevity. It is almost common sense to know that children of divorced parents engage in more negative health behaviors than children of parents happily married. These children are also likely to repeat their parents and get a divorce, as well. However, the authors found that these children could almost reverse the blow of having parents divorce, if they went on to live satisfying lives. Relationships formed had a lot to do with how these individuals viewed their lives in mid adulthood. In men, the environment of the household prior to the divorce also had influence on how they recovered from the divorce. The divorce rates in America are currently climbing and sit at around 50% for first marriages. While this is becoming more of a norm, the effects of divorce on children have still remained the same.
I found both of these chapters very interesting. The statements made by the authors are pretty consistent in what I have experienced in the past. While I didn’t start early or skip a grade, I was advanced for my age when I first began school. I didn’t go to preschool, and I started first grade at 6, but at a public school. I remember always getting in trouble because I would finish my work before any of my classmates and become very bored. This lasted 2 months before my mother took me out of that school, and place me in a private school. I was then placed in an environment where every kid was advanced, and even had kids in my class who were younger than the rest. The children that were a year younger when I first began school, were often the most troubling in my class, but also some of the brightest. The authors were also correct about children of divorce. While I never had to personally experience the hardship of having parents divorce, some of my closest friends have gone through it. Some of these friends have engaged in behaviors I never once thought they would do. However for the sake of my friends, I hope they are the type that bounces back from the divorce of their parents and don’t repeat history.
These chapter provided some insight on how I may want to approach raising a child in the future. I would want the best for my son or daughter and am now more convinced to have my children start school at the normal age. If they are bright enough to skip a year, that would be pretty cool, but initially I want to provide the best chance of a long life for my future child, which would be starting primary school at 6. I would also like to provide the best home life for my child. I would hope to not put my child through the trauma of having his or her parents divorce, but that all starts from me and my future spouse. I also learned that it would be better to just get a divorce, if the family environment is a negative and destructive. However, if the family environment is positive it would be more advantageous to the children to stay together and not make them experience divorce. Even if their economic status is not effected.