We all have expectations for our children to do their greatest, but how do we foster a love-affair with knowledge and nurture their developing minds?
Every child deep within wants to do something amazing. When I stand in front of a group of children and I ask them how many of you want to make a massive difference and do something extraordinary in the world, everybody’s hand goes up. Even 5-year-olds have a dream to do something amazing. It’s innate to want to do something amazing in our lives.
Every child also has a set of values, a set of priorities that they live by. In the 1950s it was believed that children were blank slates and their parents had to impose values on them. But it’s since been established that children already have these values and to be able to fulfil these values, they wake up their genius, their potential.
So, instead of imposing values, suppressing their own and forcing an autocratic, dictatorial kind of approach of learning onto children, it’s wiser to find out what they’re inspired by naturally. Even parents with busy lives can awaken their children’s genius and potential. Take a look at what they fill their space with, how they spend their time and what energises them. Children tend to surround themselves with things that are important to them and want to spend time on what energizes them.
In my book, ‘The Values Factor’, I list a series of criteria to use to determine what a child’s personal values are. Often when you ask children what they value most, they will respond with a series of social idealisms. Instead their true values are revealed by what their life truly demonstrates. You have the responsibility as a teacher, a parent, as anybody who’s caring for the child, to communicate in their values, just as you would with any adult, or anybody in business, or anybody in life. There is no age that it’s too early or it’s too late to do this. If you can see the child as a genius, your Pygmalion effect will bring out the child’s genius. Honour their natural values, communicate within them and watch what natural genius emerges.
Five criteria to determine a child's inner genius
1. Nurture their values: Instead of imposing suppressive, autocratic, dictatorial approaches of teaching onto children, it’s wiser to find out what they are naturally inspired by and care about and communicate within what is truly most important to them within their highest values.
2. Become familiar with what’s familiar to them: Look at what they fill their space with, because they tend to surround themselves with things that are important to them.
3. Observation is key: Look at what the child is demonstrating, because this is what is important. Then ask yourself how is whatever that is important to them helping you?
4. Rules of Engagement: If you cannot see how whatever is important to them is truly helpful to you, you will autocratically want to change and talk down to them. And, if you can’t see how what you’re going to teach them and bring to their lives is going to help them in their highest values, they’re not going to become engaged – they’re not going to see that it’s really important.
5. It’s never too early or too late: A masterful teacher in Houston, Texas that I once observed started with 2-year-olds and by the time they’re 13 - 18, some of them were already honour students and even professors at universities because she’s learned this art of awakening their inner genius throughhonouring and communicating within their highest values. Dr John Demartini uses the same method with “8-year-olds and 6-year-olds and 4-year-olds… and even 60-year-olds… it doesn't matter”.
Dr. John Demartini is a human behaviour specialist, educator, author and the founder of the Demartini Institute.
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