Ken Jennings: Don’t Believe Your Parents

“Because I said So.”  Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings on the myths and warnings parents give their kids.

Don't worry about standing near a window in a thunderstorm, despite parents' warnings, says Ken Jennings. (Bahman Farzad/Flickr)

Don’t worry about standing near a window in a thunderstorm, despite parents’ warnings, says Ken Jennings. (Bahman Farzad/Flickr)

Parents with kids come fully loaded with instructions, passed down from who knows where.  No swimming for an hour after lunch!  Don’t crack your knuckles, you’ll get arthritis!  Don’t cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way!  But how much of that stuff is true?  And how much is just hanging around from some medieval flash of misinformation?

All-time Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings is re-emerging as a kind of judge of folk wisdom and tidbits.  He’s tested a hundred-plus pearls and duds of advice passed down by moms and dads.

This hour, On Point:  Ken Jennings goes true/false on what parents tell their kids.

-Tom Ashbrook


Ken Jennings, author of Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids.  You can find an excerpt here.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today “There were so many that I always assumed were true, but I guess for me it was the thing about drinking eight glasses of water. That was like a Bible verse for me growing up.”

Christian Science Monitor “Parents always tell children eager to watch storms to stay away from windows while lightning is flashing. Technically, they’re right – Jennings says that lightning can go through a window that’s closed, and there’s often metal on a window, which can electrocute you. However, while it’s never a bad thing to be on the safe side, Jennings says there are only about 300 lightning mishaps a year in America. That puts chances of you being hurt by a storm at what is actually one in a million.”


Check out this trailer for Because I Said So.

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