It’s the beginning of a new school year and so I would like to offer you some thoughts and insights about the kind of education that can make an enormous difference to your child’s future – in either a positive or negative way. Ask yourself this: … ‘Are my children getting the kind of education that will prepare them for the challenging, demanding – and exciting – future they will be facing’? This is a hugely important question!
Certainly one of the first things you want to be sure about is that your child’s school uses the kind of teaching style that is driven by a school culture that aims to nurture and nourish the inborn and natural genius and curiosity of every child. I love this quote from John Holt’s book ‘How Children Learn’ where he describes exactly what you want to be sure is not happening to your child.
“Almost every child on the first day he sets foot in a school building is smarter, more curious, less afraid of what he does not know, better at finding and figuring things out, more confident, resourceful, persistent and independent than he ever will be in his schooling or – unless he is very unusual and lucky – for the rest of his life”
Your child is a genius in his or her own way. Be sure that, at least, at home, this genius is recognized and nurtured and encourage teachers to see it and do the same.
Is your Child Learning This …
Here are some of the critically important skills and information that kids will need to be able to successfully navigate the fast-paced, competitive world that they are going to be entering into. Check and see if your child is learning this at the school they go to. If they are – that is great news! If they are not, I would suggest that it is up to you to fill in these missing educational pieces for them. And the younger they start to learn this the better. Here are some of the things your child needs to be learning:
How to set dream big and set goals that line up with their true inner passion.
Understanding who they are and what makes them unique.
How to choose and nurture great friendships.
How to influence people and be a true leader.
What foods are good for them or bad for them and why.
How to make good nutritional choices.
How to make good decisions.
How to be aware of, and manage, their emotions.
If they are not getting this kind of education, in addition to the important facts and figures they are being taught, then they are only receiving half an education. I believe strongly that if the above aspects of their education are missing, this will make being confident and successful in life, extremely difficult.
You can provide this missing part of their education.
So I get it that there is no perfect school or that you may not be able to choose the school your child must go to, but you can provide the education I describe above, simply by the way you live, the conversations you have, the kind of role model you are for them and the values you live by. Here are just some things you can do:
- Create an inspiring dream for yourself and become a role model for your child of what it means to be a vision-driven, dream-inspired person.
- Tell your kids about your vision. Let them know how passionate you are about this.
- Explain to your kids why having a dream is so important and encourage them to speak about what their real passion is and what they dream of becoming.
- Feed the family tasty, nutritious healthy foods. Begin to build your kids’ nutritional knowledge in an easy, conversational way, teach them about good foods and bad foods and how our bodies responds to these.
- Show them how healthy eating is connected to being able to focus, think clearly, be smart, be good at exercise or sport and feel good about themselves. Let them understand the bigger, exciting picture – so that they see how healthy eating helps them achieve their dreams and goals. Be sure that they do not see the subject of healthy eating as being a punishment.
- All kids want to be ‘winners’ so teach your kids that a large part of being a ‘winner’ is learning to make good decisions about everything – about their behavior, the friends they choose, the things they say, the plans they make, how they treat others … pretty much everything. Show them a process for good decision-making.
- Above all else, teach them to truly, honestly, genuinely feel good about themselves. Help them identify (and proudly take ownership of) every characteristic they have that makes them special and unique.
You can read more about this topic in Chapter 16 of my book, Parents Take Charge. And there are 12 powerful parenting tools in Chapters 12 – 15 that will help you raise resilient, robust, confident, healthy, happy kids capable of marching proudly and strongly into the future.
And now I, and my wonderful Parents Take Charge readers, would love to learn from YOU. As parents we are all on a quest to do the best for our kids, and we can learn so much from each other. Please take 3 minutes to write us a comment. We would all appreciate it so much!