1. Marry a smart man. (If it is too late for this, then have an affair with a smart man who looks just like your husband).
2. Don’t make your kids join activities they don’t care about, like swim team and Leadership Club, which will take up all their thinking time.
3. Let them mess with stuff from a young age, like electrical outlets, scissors, and whatnot.
4. Allow them to play Brick Factory in bare feet on the driveway when they are four. Even if you don’t really know what this means, you can tell by their delighted hoots that the dropping of bricks from increasing elevations (that is, from atop buckets, from atop buckets on strollers, from atop buckets on strollers in wheelbarrows) must be cognitively stimulating. Ignore the disapproving looks and organized parent-child baseball instruction going on across the street as you sit in your lawn chair and read.
5. Give them plenty of unsupervised basement time with their peers. While there is a 50% chance that they will turn out to be Trench Coat Mafia types rather than National Merit Scholar types, it’s a risk worth taking because there is so little effort involved on your own part.
6. Occasionally feel terrified that you should be more of a Tiger Mother, and hammer them with music lessons and chores and homework follow-up that lasts anywhere from a week to three. Then resume your normal position on the couch with a good book.
7. Support your local teachers because, frankly, they’re doing the heavy lifting.
8. Have interesting conversations about current events and all the cool stuff they are learning on the too-expensive laptops each of them owns.
9. Get into screaming matches with them about all the ridiculous ideas they’ve developed because they have somehow gotten the impression that they are independent creatures entitled to their own opinions.
10. Try to preclude your middle son’s expensive texting episode with the girl in Canada. That was just a waste of money.
11. Watch Star Trek.