Happy New Year to all our wonderful families 1/1/2015
Hurt kids have taught us so much. Among the many things they have taught us is to pay attention to wellness. They have forced us to ask the question is average normal?
When our hurt children could do things that average children could not do, they forced us to face the fact that average is decidedly not normal. Perhaps most importantly, they have taught us to dream big dreams.
Is there a bigger dream than the dream of seeing a blind child see or a deaf child hear? When parents started making those dreams come true, we were emboldened to dream a little bit for our well children too.
Dreams don’t cost anything.
So many years ago, we dreamed of a world full of well children who were intellectually, physically, and socially superb. We imagined that we would not have to wait for a thousand happy accidents to have such children, but rather that we could raise our children on purpose.
We believed that if mothers knew how the brain grows and why it grows the way that it does, then mothers would lead the way.
The Evan Thomas Institute was founded as a school for mothers. It may well be the first such school in history. If there is any other school anywhere on planet Earth even vaguely like it, we are not aware of it.
When we started our school for mothers (yes, we have had some fathers who turned out to be excellent mothers, too) we looked for bread-and-butter mothers. We knew that these mothers would be the most likely to devote the time, the energy and the creativity that were required to fuel the Gentle Revolution.
These mothers traded a second car, a better vacation, a more comfortable and financially secure life for the privilege of being home with their own children and teaching them. Our mothers (and fathers) have always been characterized by the fact that they would rather be with their own children than with anyone else in the world.
The school for mothers that was a dream four decades ago became a reality.
When we began our Early Development Program, most of our children were babies. In fact, the oldest student was four years old.
We set out from the very beginning to make our kids generalists. Suzuki had already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that all kids could be violinists. Indeed, history is full of child prodigies who were superbly capable in one area. But we wanted generalists, not specialists. We wanted our kids to be excellent in many areas.
There were two reasons why we wanted children who were highly capable in many areas. The first was that we did not want to decide for our children what they would do when they grew up. We wanted each child to make that decision.
The second reason was that we knew that all children have tremendous potential and ability. We were absolutely convinced that tiny kids could learn absolutely anything if we were smart enough to teach it properly.
The goal for each tiny child was to achieve intellectual, physical, and social excellence and then, in the fullness of time and experience, to decide for himself what he wanted to make of his life.
Now we can look back over the last 40 years and ask, how have we done?
What are our graduates like? Are they as good as we hoped they would be? Are they going to change the world for the better? What kind of parents are they?
Are they as good as we hoped they would be? The answer is no, they are not as good as we hoped they would be.
They are much, much better.
We knew that as they grew older they would have to give up their generalist ways and specialize. We were wrong. They continue to love to do many different things and they do all of them well.
You may have the impression that these children moved through their lives with an ease and confidence that is rare in young people today. Your impression is correct.
You may also note that they seem to be very close to their families compared to other young people today. They are.
No one can deny that it has been a lot of work for their mothers and fathers – it has.
Has it been worth it?
I have never met a mother or father who did our early development program that did not feel that the results were not worth the effort. Never.
In fact, parents say that the pleasure of being with their children, teaching them, and watching them grow each day was the single greatest experience of their lives.
If you give a tiny child plenty of love and attention and teach him about the world around him, will he be a more loving, more sensitive, more intelligent, more capable child than he would have been?
The answer is yes.
But you knew that already didn’t you?
Happy Birthday, ETI and happy birthday to the thousands and thousands of Better Babies around the world whose parents read the books or attended The How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course
Well done to each and every mother and father. What a magnificent job you have done. Now you have another fifty plus years to enjoy the fruits of your loving labor. More than a few of you are now grandparents, happy that you saved some of those Bits for your grandchildren.
Well done to each and every child, many now adults. You have made us proud. Now get on with fixing up this planet. It needs you very, very badly.
Well done to that dreamer Glenn Doman, who started this gentle revolution and has inspired an army of gentle mothers and gentle fathers to make the dream come true.
Well done to the staff of The Institutes, who took the dream and made it into a practical, workable battle plan that worked and then loving taught it to those great mothers and fathers.
Are there any predictions for what we can accomplish in the next 40 years?
Let the dreaming begin.