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Author Topic: 5 Year Old EL'er Becomes the Youngest Pilot in the World, How did we miss this?  (Read 8113 times)
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« on: April 18, 2014, 08:46:50 PM »

I'm a bit surprised that no one posted the story of Duo Duo Liesheng, because he got significant press two years ago when camera crews showed up to take photos of him working out in the NY winter snow wearing nothing but sneakers and underpants.

I only came across the story by chance while browsing old articles on a site that I'd never publicly admit to reading  LOL

3 Year Old With 218 IQ Thanks to Eagle Dad (Daily Mail)
4 Year Old Does Push-Ups in the Snow as Part of Early Education (Daily Mail)
Eagle Dad Trains 5 Year Old to Pilot (Huff Post)
Child Aged 5 Is World's Youngest Pilot
5 Year Old Takes Flying Lessons at 5:00am Sharp

I will be gone for a few days, but thought I'd post and see if anyone is interested in the story. I certainly have some thoughts (good and not so good, but mostly good)... what do you think?


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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 12:12:04 PM »

 ohmy  well I can't actually think of anything nice to say about that at all.
Quite frankly he isn't a pilot. He flew a plane already in the air (so it seems?) in a strait line. I am sure my kids could do that too. In fact at the same age they were riding motorbikes, quads and occasionally the family car sitting on our laps. I was more impressed with the sailing a yacht than the pilot bit. I am sure sailing a yacht in a competition would take more skill.
Plus dad is clearly nuts.


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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 02:03:15 AM »

Okay, first the good stuff (imo).
The father believes that kids can achieve if given the opportunity
The father subscribes to a "you are capable" mindset (his "eagle" description is somewhat similar to how I view learning through the lens of zone of proximal development)
He obviously did something correct if he truly was tested at 218 IQ
Pilot training, now that is really out of the box thinking (even if it is a bit over stated in the headlines)
His comment of getting into college at age 10 is over the top, BUT not too dissimilar to what I might hear from other BK parents - though he added an adjective to his claim making it seem like a 10 year old can easily gain access to an elite university when this is not true at all, "elite" being a key discriminator. 

I think the negatives speaks for themselves... but, his over the top antics coupled with pursuing media attention (how else do camera crews show up?) gives EL a bad name. I also wonder what this parent-child relationship will look like in 10 years, 20 years, etc. I hadn't thought of teaching "toughness" but I could see where this could all backfire on him real hard.

When reading the opening chapter of It's OK Not to Share, I sit there and wonder who the audience is. All these writers such as David Elkind basically set up straw men arguments to beat up on. Well... this is the straw man parent they write about - other than this guy, there's basically no EL household this extreme. Our homes are usually homes of play, fun, games, songs, and maybe a little instruction.

Anyway, that's my take on it. I will try and remember this thread in the future so that I can google and see what they're up to (because it seems as though the father pursues media attention that it will be easier to follow their progress)

EDIT: one of my top secret plans for PokerCub is to teach him how to drive at some point around the age of 4-6. I'll take him electric goCarting, at the local UnserRacing if it's still open at that time. They can slow the cart down and he'd be on a restricted track.... maybe not motorbiking, but hey, I'm not quite as adventurous as some  LOL

« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 02:07:03 AM by PokerDad » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 06:06:49 AM »

an interesting idea teaching toughness. I think it's entirely doable....but perhaps doesn't need to be as extreme as all this. My concern is that kids rememeber emotionally strong situations when they are older. I wonder just how many positive situations this child will remember as he makes adulthood. I believe what the dad is creating is a pessimist. I certainly don't want to raise pessimists. Attitude counts for a lot and I think the balance here could tip either way. I don't think the risk is worth the rewards doing it his way.
Toughness could be taught at an older age through bush camping. Trough sports like martial arts ( which I think this dad has already taught his son)  It would be loads more fun. Even gymnastics or swimming could teach toughness in the right conditions.
Teaching kids to drive is a great idea. We taught my oldest to drive over the weekend. 4WD up and down the beach. This is the first chance when she has been able to reach the pedals  yes if you want to teach driving skills I recommend teaching at no younger than 4 as all the kids who learn to ride quads before 4 just can't concentrate enough when a distraction goes past ( sibling, parent, neighbour, chicken, dog...) and they usually hit the fence a few times  LOL at 5 most kids can ignore or glance at a distraction without losing their place physically. I have no idea how to teach this skill earlier....but I am sure there is a way!
See the iq of 218 really doesn't impress me too much at age 3. Perhaps I am wrong but I think most kids who are taught how to read early can get an IQ test at that level. Just because the tests are so inaccurate under about age 8-10. I would like to hear more about what else he taught his son and how.  Surely a dad claiming so much media attention would have put out a book by now!
I love that he is teaching so many unusual things. Flying, sailing...these are great skills that can lead somewhere in future. I had never considered my kids riding ability all that's pretty common here. At least 4 other kids in each of their classes can also ride. Jaykob can ride better than most kids his age, but he is in LOVE with riding and spends hours at a time on his motorbike. Basically whenever he can convince hubby or I to watch him. ( yes we always supervise still-too many trees!)


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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2014, 01:35:47 PM »

I think toughness can better be taught through sports than through extreme situations like freezing your child out. Funnily enough, Amy Chua mentions making her daughter stand outside in the cold at age 4 or something ebcause she wouldn't obey. Her stubborn little girl toughed it out until Mom brought her back in for fear of being reported to the authorities. The kid won that round!

When I was training as a competitive gymnast as a child, we were instructed to keep our legs straight while practicing uneven bars. Every once in a while our coach would get fed up and tape tongue depressors to the backs of our knees. Inevitably, you would break one on accident and then you had splinters jamming into the backs of your knees if you bent your legs after that. You learned to keep your legs straight! One of my teammates could not attain the proper positioning of her back and our coach threatened that she would need to wear a corset. Sure enough, mom brought one in and she had to practice with a corset over her leotard for a while. When we would have to practice handstands on the balance beam (and not the easy way sideways, but rather the narrow way) and hold it for 60 seconds, Depending on when you fell off determined how much conditioning you had to do that round until you got up to try again. These things made us "tough" but I'm pretty sure some of it would never fly in this day and age. It's kind of nuts when I reflect on it, but that kind of pushing probably DID make us stronger, although we hated our coach for it. My kids whine way too much, but I don't see myself taking on these kinds of tactics anytime soon.

Regardless, by teaching toughness through sports you can come out of it with some skills versus standing out in the cold doesn't get you much but a lousy relationship with your dad. Just hire a mean coach! Wink ....kidding.

Tim, as a fellow former athlete did you endure a certain amount of grueling torture?

And I agree, I like his out of the box thinking on flying a plane. This kid will certainly have confidence, but he might hate his Dad. I don't think Dad really cares though as long as he reaches his goal of creating his own super-human.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 01:42:37 PM by TeachingMyToddlers » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2014, 01:36:14 PM »

This Eagle Dad does make Tiger Mom looks soft.


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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 02:22:11 PM »

Tim, as a fellow former athlete did you endure a certain amount of grueling torture?

First, I think your insights are right on. There is a high chance that this kid will look back and have animosity towards his dad.

Yes, I had "torture" practices all the way up through college. There was no way not to have them. When I was about 10, I had been swimming around a year or two and all my success came from my natural ability to improve. I didn't really have to work all that hard, and yet I could climb the ladder to near the top (locally, not nationally). We moved, and I had a new coach. He had this bamboo stick that he'd put into the water to get me to stop so that he could complain about all the things I wasn't doing to his specifications.

How do you think it made me feel?

A few months later, his mother died and he had to take a week off. I was elated. Yes, elated that his mother died and elated that he wasn't going to be coaching that week. I'm ashamed of my thoughts to this day. It wasn't until I was older that I figured out the wisdom and kindness that he had. It took a lot of failure and years for it to really sink in hard.

Kids won't understand hard work until they have a reason to - the question is how to get them to understand. It's not always apparent from their viewpoint, especially when you're talking about something that comes "easily" or easier to them.


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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 04:53:02 PM »

Is this something about the Mindset mentality as well - i.e. understanding that intelligence or ability in a particular area is dependent not just on natural ability but on effort?

I'm hoping that by encouraging my kids to regularly carry out tasks that are challenging for them and to enjoy the challenge and understand the satisfaction of practicing something until you really "get it" that they will naturally develop an understanding of the need and benefits of working hard towards a goal, whether this be physical or other types of effort.  For example, my 5-year old finds piano practice quite frustrating at times but she gets a real sense of pride after working hard at a particular piece and then realising she can actually play it.  She often lectures me about the need to practice to get good at things LOL

I did quite a lot of extreme physical sports at uni (mountaineering and rock climbing) as a means of learning how far I could push myself and succeed.  There is a fair amount of torture about ascending to a 6000m altitude Andean mountain peak!!!  It was very motivating but largely because it was a goal I had set for myself rather than being forced on my by someone else.

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