Question: Harvard Kennedy School Professor Ronald Ferguson coauthored a book about raising successful children, The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children. He and coauthor journalist Tatsha Robertson provide “The 8 Roles of Good Parents.”
The first role is “the early learning partner.” The parent engages in trying to interest the child in learning and making learning and problem solving fun even before the child begins school.
What does it mean to be a learning partner to a child?
Answer: When a parent speaks, he or she introduces and explains to the child in advance these sensations, these relationships.
Question: Does he at the same time encourage the child to be the first in the class?
Answer: No. It’s not about competition, it’s about the correct attitude.
Question: What kind of attitude should it be?
Answer: To instill the appeal of knowledge in a child.
Comment: The second role is called “the flight engineer.” This is a parent who controls the environment of a child and intervenes when something goes wrong.
My Response: This is natural. The environment determines a person and their development.
Question: Can a parent step in and move a child to a different environment if something is wrong?
Question: Is this not coercion?
Answer: No. This is an adjustment that must be made from above.
Question: What if a child likes it there?
Answer: It does not matter what he likes.
Question: To such an extent? Almost forcibly? Do you just move him or her to another school?
Question: What kind of environment should I move the child to?
Answer: The one that helps the child to develop and does not limit or create any false ideals before him.
Question: What should be the ideal of the correct environment?
Answer: Free, extensively developed, friendly, not restricted in any way.
Question: Is this what an environment should be? Does this include teachers, classes, and friends?
Answer: Of course, everything.
Comment: The third role is “the fixer.” A parent ensures that they child has all that is needed to succeed, that no opportunity to improve the child’s life will be lost.
My Response: To do this, you need to educate a parent first.
Question: What are the main opportunities for improving a child’s life?
Answer: Society, environment. Nothing else.
Comment: The fourth role is “The revealer.” A parent-revealer expands the child’s view of the world by showing them the world and opportunities available to them and takes them to museums, libraries, and exhibitions.
My Response: That’s right. I was raised that way. My father took me to the movie theater all the time. He was a big movie fan. We had a movie theater where they only had movies about artists, musicians, and great people. We went to all these movies once a week.
Question: Did this expand your view of the world?
Answer: Of course! Since then, I have not seen these films about great artists, musicians, and people of art.
Comment: The fifth role is “the philosopher.” Parents help their child find purpose by asking deep questions about life and answering them. Do you think it’s right for a parent to be such a philosopher?
My Response: It is necessary to awaken such questions in a child that puzzle the child and that he or she tries to answer somehow.
Question: What questions would you awaken in a child?
Answer: It depends on the age and the character of a child. It’s not easy.
Of course, questions about the basis of the universe, about life, about nature that surrounds us.
Question: Can we ask a child such questions as “What was I born for? What is the meaning of life?” Or is it too early for him and we should not do this?
Answer: I do not know. This should be done very carefully. I do not want to advise.
In principle, children have these questions in childhood. Then they forget. “What do I live for, where do I come from, what am I for, what am I?” And so on. This is still a pre-hormonal development. Then the hormones start kicking in, and everything ends at that.
Comment: The sixth role is “the model.” These parents define important values for themselves and instill them in their children.
My Response: I am not sure about that. My parents’ values were to make me a musician. It was, of course, terrible. I did not appreciate this at all and could not appreciate this. I did not like to work mechanically on myself, to play scales for five or six hours a day and more things like that. This dryness killed me. I could not stand it and did everything I could to break away.
Question: In general, is it correct that parents define important values for themselves and instill them in their children?
Answer: That’s how it turns out! There is nothing you can do.
Question: Does it mean that the main thing is to educate parents so that the correct values are instilled in them? And then the children will follow them.
Answer: Yes, that’s right!
Question: The eighth role is “the GPS navigational voice.” The voice of such parents continues to sound in the child’s head even after they have left home. What do you think about that?
Answer: That’s right. This remains, and this is very important. However, it’s just a navigator. Therefore, it is necessary to check the values that parents have and that they want to instill in their child.
Question: In other words, do we need to check this “navigator”?
Answer: Yes. This is a problem today.
Question: Are these values basically all egoistic by and large?
Answer: Of course. We need to educate parents. Take all these values and instill them in parents, and let them educate themselves with this.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 9/14/20