Toki Pona is a tiny human language created in 2001.
“tenpo kama lili la, mi jo jan lili” translates to “Soon, I will have a small person.”
Toki Pona has ~140 total words. The entire grammar can be learned in a single day. Toki Pona is very easy to pronounce – it only uses the most basic consonants and vowels found in every language.
And Toki Pona is extremely “buildable”. With only ~140 words, every new word is an invention of your experience. You don’t have to know the special word for “rain” because “telo sewi” (“sky water”) makes perfect sense. You don’t have to know the word for “coffee” because “telo seli pimeja” (“hot dark liquid”) or “telo wawa” (“power liquid”) get the point across.
Easy to understand, easy to pronounce, easy to improvise – I would imagine that these features make it a fantastic first language! Let’s give babies the tools to communicate their needs and thoughts and questions as early as possible.
The only problem is becoming fluent in a language that only ~5,000 people speak 😅
I recently found a fun book called The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know–Your Kids. It might be a fun read someday!
I discovered a lovely documentary called Lessons from a Calf, where a classroom of 3rd-5th graders care for a calf over multiple years.
There were multiple points in this film that made me gasp. I don’t want to spoil anything, but children get it. They can understand how the world works, and how it relates to their own lives. They can process difficult emotions and moral quandaries.
When did you realize that cows were made of meat? When did you realize that you were made of meat?
Most parents try to create sterile environments for their children: no death, no fear, no grief, and no responsibility.
This documentary convinced me that the rawness of life can teach incredible lessons. Taking care of other creatures seems to be a great way to raise ethical, empathetic, responsible, smart children.
Well, I’m going to be a dad in a few months.
Which means it’s time to hit the books!
Beginning research areas:
general developmental biology
general developmental psychology
parenting throughout history
Interesting book recommendations for now:
Interesting book recommendations for later: