I just read this article in Slate.com. The article describes a study (a small study, I must say) of kindergartners and their reading skills. Seems like a pretty run of the mill study, right? Probably it tells you to, say, read to your children, have books around, read yourself, etc.
Nope. It tells you to have “an ordered home.” I am screwed. Or, more accurately, Darwin is screwed.
The article does make the point that “ordered” does not necessarily equate with “spotless,” which is encouraging. However, on a morning when I couldn’t find my work ID for a while, because I didn’t put it in it’s “proper spot,” and then couldn’t find it because I couldn’t find the clothes I had just worn yesterday, “orderliness” is a little worrisome. The article points out that perhaps mothers (there were no fathers used in the study. Go figure. Even the author’s husband leaves his shoes in the front hall — a pet peeve of mine — so if your house isn’t orderly, perhaps the MEN should be getting a few questions about it!) Anyway, perhaps mothers who have an orderly household also have better “executive functioning” — if you have the ability to keep the dirty laundry from overtaking your closet, perhaps you also have the ability to keep a set bedtime routine, even if your child does not want to brush his teeth. Ever. (and, sometimes, you resort to turning on the TV just so he will sit there slackjawed and you can brush away, even if it means he is watching The Family Guy. It’s a cartoon, right??).
But, this explanation is still not very helpful, as I cannot plan my own life, let alone some other person’s. However, I was happy to see that it may be that orderliness only becomes a factor only when kids are older, when the basics are in place with a healthy relationship with books, etc. And, they also think that “warmth and responsiveness” can factor in, as well. So, maybe if I just dial up the warmth and responsiveness, it can make up for the fact that I can’t find the other half of the banana that Darwin started eating last night. It’s got to be around here somewhere…..