Michael Jackson’s death as—what else?—a learning moment
Friday, June 26th, 2009
How parents of gifted children can take canny advantage of Michael Jackson’s death:
• Give your offspring the okay to choose the King of Pop for a role model “as long as you explain that heroes are ‘complex people with less than flattering attributes,'” writes Project GiftED blogger Melissa Greczy, a woman who likes to point out that one of her daughters founded a charity at age eight while the other is experiencing a “musical breakthrough.” As an alternate role model, she considers Superman. Who has a nose.
• Scrutinize your kid in days to come to see if “especially vulnerable to anxiety about death.” This might indicate that she’s gifted, explains Heather Siladi, a San Diego Public Education Examiner. (It might also indicate that she’s just vulnerable to that shot of the stretcher that CNN keeps showing over and over. Or to strange frail men who style themselves as military dictators and then play with chimps.) You can then seize on “this excellent opportunity to explore how music affects culture.”
• Use selected songs from MJ’s backlist to teach your child about: diversity; the difference between stop and go; the alphabet; and the value of aspiring to “Soul Train” dance standards. According to this list (featuring some great video clips), “Dirty Diana” is not enlightening.