Chapter 6&7

I found it very interesting that children who started first grade at the age of 5 were at a higher risk of dying early than those who started school at the age of 6. I find this interesting because to me the age gap doesn’t seem that big. I would think that 5 and 6 year olds are able to relate with each other fairly well. I do understand that the younger children could be pushed by their parents to attend school at a younger age, but I am considered to be fairly young for my age but I still am able to relate with people a year older than me. In addition, I didn’t feel like my parents pushed me too far. I think that this finding depends on the amount of pressure parents put on their younger children because some children want to go to school earlier. I do agree that better educated individuals were more productive as they aged and they were more successful in their careers and more likely to continue to work. This may be because better educated individuals set themselves at a higher standard and set bigger goals for themselves.

In Chapter 7, it was interesting to see that children from divorced families died almost 5 years earlier than children from intact families. In addition, those who had experienced parental divorce reported fewer group memberships and poorer community relations when they became adults. This finding was interesting to me because I didn’t realize that divorce impacted a child’s life more than a parent dying. It’s strange that divorce can reduce lifespan by 5 years. The book doesn’t really go into detail about why divorce decreases lifespan other than the fact that divorce tended to lower the children’s standard of living. It would be interesting to see whether loss of contact with a parent after divorce has a direct effect on lifespan. The book says that children who lived through ongoing clashes and those who were shocked by a seemingly sudden split took things badly. It would be interesting to see if children with different coping mechanisms lived longer than others.

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2 Responses to Chapter 6&7

  1. Elizabeth Doll says:

    I was also surprised by how much of a difference they found in starting school a year earlier. I think it probably depends a lot on the type of schooling–whether it’s competitive vs. whether it allows sufficient play time for the kids. For kids like you, it probably didn’t have the same negative impact because you were able to adjust socially just fine and didn’t have the issues with impulse control that some early-start kids show.

  2. Brittany Woo says:

    Reflecting on your experiences as a child and reading chapter 6 of this novel, are there things you would have changed growing up? Would you have pushed yourself further if your parents didn’t? Were your parents motivating even though they were not “pushy?”
    Did you find yourself setting more goals for yourself or holding yourself to a higher standard? From my personal experience, my parents were not pushy either, however because of that I was more motivated to prove something to them and to myself as a person. My goals were much higher than the ones they set for themselves when they were going through college/ school.

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