If we, as parents and educators, believe that every child is driven by an internal “genius” – an energy that naturally, without adult steering, will lead toward the discovery of the true “self” – then it is essential to keep asking ourselves, with every activity, lesson or during the daily grind:
- What is the goal of teaching?
- What is the goal of parenting?
- Is the goal to “GET” good behavior?
- Or is the goal to “foster the unfolding”of the self?
At the End of the Day
However, if the true goal is to raise thinking children who can, and will show up, discover themselves, solve problems and learn through experience, feedback, mistakes and natural consequences, then we can give ourselves permission let go of beliefs that do not support this goal.
Instead of focusing on external structures like punishments and rewards or rules and authority, we can choose to step back and support the “genius” by trusting the child to learn and grow, even though mistakes and messes are sure to happen.
We can do this because we believe children are driven to find the right path, want to engage with the world and will discover a sense of self without our interference.
At the end of the day, we, as parents and educators, can never stop asking ourselves – what is the goal?
“Focusing children’s attention on a discipline system is a waste of human resources, because all children start off loving to love, create and learn.” – Rick Ackerly