by Susan Heim
(Decatur, IL, USA)
The Genius in Every Child
Parenting is not as complicated as we make it out to be. “The Genius in Every Child”, by Rick Ackerly offers concepts to uncover the hidden genius in every child.
“…our number-one job as parents and educators is to notice the children in our care and to delight in them.”: It is a line from the Introduction to Rick Ackerly’s book, "The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity and Creativity in Children".
The line accurately sums up his philosophy on child-rearing gleaned from 40 years of working with students, parents and teachers as a father, school principal and consultant.
When Rick Ackerly speaks of cultivating the “genius” in our children, he’s not talking about raising their test scores or making sure they’re prepared to attend an Ivy League college. Rather, finding a child’s genius is uncovering the teacher that resides within the child. As parents, it’s our job to create the conditions that help children teach themselves.
The Genius in Children shows parents how to:
• Instill self-discipline in our children
• Define and enforce boundaries
• Strengthen children as decision-makers
• Act out of love, not fear
• Encourage enthusiasm for learning
• Create the right emotional atmosphere for reading
• Build children’s self-confidence
• Respond to children’s suffering and disappointment …and much more
Ackerly demonstrates these concepts through true-life stories of the children and parents he has encountered over the years, including his own children.
He reassures us that parenting isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. Our kids have the innate ability to teach themselves when we create the environment in which they can do that.
By observing and uncovering the genius in our children, we find that they have a lot to teach us about parenting and raising little human beings.
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