The Foundation for Success
35 years ago, Elane Scott attended our early development parenting course, How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence. 35 years later, Elane’s daughter and son-in-law attended the same course and learned how to give their child a strong foundation.
Mother’s comments about her experience:
“That one week at the How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course, 35 years ago, made me realize how important my role was as a mother. I learned that the decisions I made to meet the earliest needs of my infant daughter would affect her forever. It became evident to me that being her first teacher was not a romantic notion. Watching the mothers at the IAHP class demonstrate with their tiny children, how they enjoyed reading, playing violin, or doing brachiation (arm-over-arm swinging), while politely interacting and enjoying each other’s company was thrilling. No one had told the mothers I was watching that their children were exceptional, at birth. The mothers were from all around the world, all classes of education, and different cultural backgrounds – and all believed their children deserved the best opportunity to learn from the very beginning.”
Elane’s daughter’s experience more than three decades later:
“Sitting in a frigid lecture hall, I looked around the room at my fellow seminar attendees. At various points I saw tears of joy running down cheeks, jaws fully dropped in amazement, and more than a few perpetually nodding heads. After 30 plus years of hearing about The Institutes from my mom, I was finally able to personally attend the How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course. The parents, grandparents and teachers surrounding me were learning about the extraordinary capability of children, especially infants, and how they could be directly responsible for joyously cultivating tremendous intelligence within the children in their own lives.
Questions and praise overflowed at every scheduled break time. They simply couldn’t believe what they were hearing and witnessing, even though demonstrations of what was possible for tiny children were live and real. My husband’s comment to me was “Why isn’t this just common sense?” To which I half-jokingly replied, “Because you grew up in the woods, without T.V., the Internet and societal pressures warning your parents about the hazards of being alive.” So many of the attendees were thrilled to finally have direction about what to do with their infants – about the possibilities – rather than directives about what not to and what to be afraid of.
In honesty, I cried too. Not because I was necessarily sharing in the “A-ha!” moment of my peers, but because I was gleeful that so many caregivers were finally getting it as to why babies are not meant to stay wrapped up in a blanket, lying on their backs, staring at the ceiling for months on end. I was also deeply saddened that so many were hearing this message for the first time.
In the end, the message we gleaned was about creating a joyous and enthusiastic learning environment for children, not feverishly trying to create a baby genius. I understood that more profoundly after reflecting on why I always loved school and flourished in environments that focused on drawing connections between subjects rather than teaching them in isolation. (That is how The Institutes leaders encourage parents to teach, by drawing connections). Now I know that’s exactly what my mother and father did. It set the stage for a lifelong interest in learning.
Recognizing parents as the best teachers a child can have, while also recognizing baby as an intellectual sponge, ready to learn from day one, is really what the program was all about for me. It is a message that I can only hope grabs more parents, grandparents, extended relatives and caregivers of all sorts, quickly and deeply. We and all future generations will be infinitely better for it.”