In the old days, parents raised children to be seen and not heard. Today, most parents shape great students by seeing them, hearing them, and exposing them to tons of positive experiences, including books, music, art, and athletics. Intentionality is the key. A beautiful garden doesn’t grow on its own. A gardener cultivates it until the flowers bloom.
In a recent conversation, I discovered that I learned to read at an early age because my mother introduced me to the alphabet, flashcards, and easy five-word books. She also read to me. Unknowingly, I repeated her practice and read to my children, too. When our kids were four months old, we began their nightly book-reading routine. The time we put in paid off. We lived by this advice:
Of course, some kids are born with great gifts, like the three-year-old opera singers and the geniuses who do calculus at age nine. Our exceptional kids (exceptional because they’re ours) deserve great head starts. Everyone connected to a child—parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, babysitters, teachers, librarians, and neighbors—can invest in shaping future generations of outstanding students.
Who are you investing in and what’s your plan?