Your Child's First Teacher
By Nancy Lu
The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
- William Ward
A Parent's Role as Teacher
You are probably seen or heard of extraordinary children who excel academically.
These kids are outstanding in art, math, and literature. They are editors of their
school newspaper and leaders of campus clubs. They seem to be successful in everything
they do. When I look a group of outstanding kids, I see behind them the hands that rocked
their cradles. Their parents can not "make" them do these things, of course. Every child
is a unique individual with his own subjective consciousness, with his own ideas that,
after a certain age, are so strong no parent can force him do anything.
Rather, I think of a parent as a farmer preparing a fertile and hospitable place for his
seeds to thrive and flourish. He plows his field, sows the seeds, then labors day after day
feeding and irrigating them, getting rid of bugs, and watching over his field with love.
The rest is up to Mother Nature and the innate potential in each seed. At harvest time, the
bounteous crop brings joy to the farmer.
The first several years of a child's life are the time of most rapid brain development, and
the time of greatest learning. These are the years before formal schooling. In addition to
providing for our children's physical and emotional needs, we are their very first, perhaps
most important, teachers. What we do during this time can determine if they wither on the vine
or blossom gloriously.
In the years I have been involved in education, I have come to know many enthusiastic,
dedicated, sincere, and admirable parents. There are parents, however, who have a laissez
faire attitude about parenting: "Let him do whatever he wants!" or "Let nature take its course!"
They greatly underestimate their child's ability to learn, or believe that all learning takes
place in school. Or perhaps they underestimate their own ability to raise an outstanding child.
I'd like to remind such parents that a good coach can train a champion athlete without being a
Other parents are extremely anxious about actively teaching their child. They worry that they
don't have all the answers, and that what answers they can find in books or from experts may
not apply to their situation. They worry that single false step, as in chess, may cost the
entire game. None of us ever feels fully prepared for such an important role. Our intuition
and our love for our child will see us through when ready answers can not be found. And,
thankfully, children are resilient. Our attitude and commitment towards our role may be more
important than what we actually do.
Children are born of parents but do not belong to them. A child is a separate, unique individual,
but his education lies in his parents' hands. From the very first days, you must establish a
clear, firm standard and then follow through. You can not expect obedience when he is grown if
you ignored discipline when he was small.
Children accept what is right when they are given guidelines; no one wants to be a nuisance.
Today's indulgence will be tomorrow's regret. Communicate with them every day as they grow.
The roles we play as parents will also need to keep adjusting to their growth. You are now
like a strong, solid, irremovable tree that they can always depend on. As they get order, you
should become a friend they can trust, talk to, share opinions with, and count on for emotional
When their wings are strong enough to fly, they should soar to the sky, because you have already
given them the tools they need to survive. Even if they fall or get hurt, they know how to pick
themselves up because you gave them the confidence.
A child who is loved treasures life, respects life, and appreciates life. A child who is loved
wants to hold on to every moment and make it brilliant! You raised him from infancy to the day
he spreads his wings and soars to the sky; you can feel gratified that your hard work has paid
off. We can not return to the past, but we can always reflect it in the future.
Preparing Your Child for the Future
Parents must be concerned not only with raising a healthy, well-adjusted child, but also with
preparing her for her place in society twenty years from now. The future world that awaits our
children will be far more complex than today's world. We can see how rapidly computer technology
has advanced; in the wake of this progress, people across the global information on the internet,
it is certainly true that a scholar can know the world without stepping out the door. Children
today already know more about the planet and the importance of protecting it than we did when
we were young.
As the world becomes more complex, people will be more increasingly dependent on one another,
and tasks will require the combined efforts of many. Her ability to communicate, negotiate, and
bring out ideas in others will be very important. As competition between people intensifies
and the pace of change increases, she will have to be flexible and, above all, able to quickly
absorb information and learn new skills.
Survival in that future world will require the highest intelligence possible. We must do all in
our power to develop that intelligence in our children. How well your child thrives in the future
will also depend upon her enthusiasm for learning, her ability to think creatively and
independently, and her moral and ethical sensibilities. The foundation for these elements should
be laid now, in her early years, by you, her first teachers, and reinforced throughout her
childhood and adolescence.
Nancy Lu has two highly gifted children. Her son has an IQ of
194 and entered college at age 10. He got his Master in Computer Science from Stanford University
at age 16. Now he is 19 and is working on his third year of the Math Ph.D. program. Nancy's daughter
is also highly gifted with an IQ of 189. She is a Jr. in college majoring in English and Theater now.
Their stories have been broadcasted around the world. Ever since then, Nancy has poured her
experiences on raising two children with high IQs into a book titled
"Raising IQ: Help your children reach their full
Raising IQ: Help your children reach their full potential
A child's intelligence is like a diamond in the rough. Our job as parents is to
discover and polish it so that it shines to its fullest. The author emphasizes
in this book the intellectual capabilities of the child, how to stimulate his
brain to its greatest possible development. With author's guidelines and
suggestions will help nourish and maximize the innate intelligence and talents
with your child begins his life.