Children love to learn. In fact, you can’t stop them from learning; it’s inherent in their very being. They bounce through their first handful of years tasting, smelling, touching, and listening to everything they possibly can; they are authentically in love with learning. The key for parents is to acknowledge this inherent love for learning and make sure they select the right people, places, and circumstances to continually support their children as they venture out into the world. The good news is we haven’t been left to our own devices. We’ve been given a tool to help keep our children’s love for learning alive and well: intuition!
Throughout my career, I’ve spent hours coaching parents about the power of intuition when raising and educating our children. My message is always the same: The most important thing you can do for your child is to trust and follow your intuition. It doesn’t matter how much formal education you have, how much research shows you should be doing this or that, or how many experts with PhDs are telling you what you need to do or not do. At the end of the day, no one knows what’s best for your child better than you. If you follow your intuition, your child will be in the right place getting exactly what they need 100% of the time.
As I was raising my sons, Brock and Gabe, this intuition was my preemptive comfort. It made me aware and cautious of potential hazards, told me to take numerous head counts while at the park, and allowed me to look in on them just one more time before going to bed at night. Once my children were in school, it let me know which teacher could provide the best possible learning environment, which adults truly had my children's best interests at heart, and in no uncertain terms, if something was going on in my child’s education that was tampering with their love for learning instead of honoring it.
I trusted my intuition, even when it meant I had to buck the system with its scary rules and intimidating people. I trusted it even when I didn’t have any facts, logic, or wordy rationales to back it up. Once, it spoke to me and told me to pick up a phone and call home just in time to find out that one of my boys had been in a terrible bike accident. It wasn’t a literal voice (although I have talked with parents that have had this experience) but more of a knowing feeling that something wasn't right. In this case, it prompted me to ask the clerk in the store if I could use her phone (this was way before cell phones).
I experience my intuition as a feeling; a sort of hunch or “hum” telling me that something is up or not quite right. We may call it different things, and each of us may experience it a bit differently, but the common thread is this: it’s an internal mechanism we have and it’s quite powerful. My experience, plus the testimony of multitudes of parents I have worked with over the years, has been that when we trust these feelings our children end up with the best possible educational solution, and we find their joy for learning alive and well. Conversely when we don’t pay attention to it, we leave our children at risk for losing their inherent abilities and love for learning.
So, listen to and trust your intuition about your child and their education. No one knows the best learning environment, curriculum, teacher, or school for your student better than you. If you are tempted to waiver, giving in to self-doubt, please contact me! I will remind you in short to trust yourself, to listen to and follow your feelings, and provide you will a long list of other intuition-following parents you can call on for support.
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