A wag might remark that it’s not all that difficult – just take a gander at the competition. A statistician argues that parents as a whole can’t control for the result. A public school educator demands parents not try because “ability status” is pernicious. A psychologist insists that parents are only burdening their children with their own unresolved issues. A social worker claims that a home study is needed first.
But if you’re a mother or father, even a prospective mother or father and excited about your new role, you’re not listening. Instead your mind’s eye already sees your children as more caring, brighter, informed, talented in some dimension like music, harder working, focused, reverent, loyal, honest, happy in their own skins than other children.
Although maybe you’re not all that sure you know how to make that happen?
But the how turns out to be very simple. You produce an exceptional child the same way you produce an unexceptional child, by shaping their spirit in a manner calculated to produce that outcome. Because in the end it’s all about a child’s spirit isn’t it? All about get-up-and-go, a child’s vision of what’s exciting, interesting and important, where they want to be some day and what they believe can be achieved? How hard they’re motivated to work on relationships, their studies or improving themselves.
And how is a child’s spirit shaped?
Well the evidence seems to be that it’s produced by the inevitable hard knocks and hopefully a lot of Christmas mornings, with the affection they hold for parents, siblings, their grandparents. With some fears – often irrational. Later on sexual stirrings. But by and large what shapes a child’s spirit from the earliest days are the morals they absorb from the stories they’re offered. Indeed it’s little understood in today’s world but as a parent it’s your job to feed their spirit with good stories as much as it is to feed their body with good food.