Future criminal?

I was pointed to this article by [someone] on twitter. I can’t remember who.
If it was you, you can claim the credit and I’ll insert your name in between those square parentheses right there.

But anyway, having young children and being of a scientific disposition, I was immediately intrigued by the

…recently-completed study that followed the lives of 1,000 people in New Zealand found that children as young as three who were impulsive, easily-frustrated, restless and unable to think about the long term were far more likely to have criminal records, drug and alcohol addictions, and other health and financial problems.

because those are the kind of things that you obviously want your kids to avoid if possible.

It was only when I started reading the article further that I realised it probably (probably) wasn’t completely genuine:

Here are a few tests you can perform on your child to see if he or she is going to be a bad guy.

  • Age 3: Give your child a long book to read, like Gravity’s Rainbow or Finnegan’s Wake, to test his attention span. Can he finish it in one sitting? If not, he’s probably six or seven months away from meth addiction. Cut your losses and sell him.
  • Age 4: Test your child’s skills at thinking about the long term by asking her to come up with a 10-year financial plan for the family. If she can’t properly account for the family budget, her own education, and your retirement, she’s going to be an alcoholic.
  • Age 5: See if your son is easily frustrated by pretending he doesn’t exist for a week or more. Months, even! Does he get angry? Sad? If so, he’s probably going to become a murderer. Yikes!
  • Age 6: Can your daughter control her impulses? Test this by giving her a gun. Does she do something stupid, like shoot your spouse? She is probably already a bank robber. Call the police immediately and disarm her.
  • Age 7: At this point you should just be drug-testing your child every eight hours.

Which made me laugh.

It is, however, inspired by genuine research conducted by Duke University in North Carolina, USA, indicating that kids who are not taught good self control will make poor decisions through adolescence and will not amount to much, except perhaps in the murky depths of the criminal underworld.

Duke University are also conducting studies on the role of forests on the defaecation habits of ursines and investigating the chosen faiths of major religious figures residing in the Vatican.