Here is what I hear in those words: To an Infant/Baby/Toddler/Child, every new thing is all-the-way new – and, accordingly, all-the-way everything. For a while, at least, the new person/place/thing/event/experience has no companions with which to compare it. It is sui generis, ne plus ultra – unique, irreducible and plausibly mesmerizing.
That matters to me, because stuff like that sticks with you. Call it imprinting, call it influence or simply call it a big show on a small stage, first impressions are lasting – and aboriginal impressions can last a lifetime.
Accordingly: If Toddlers and Children learn to go at things the ThriversEd way, they’ll never approach anything any other way, for the rest of their lives.
Simply getting there first does most of the heavy lifting, but we’re getting there first with a strategy, a plan and an ever-growing sheaf of tactics – all aimed at getting children to lead themselves along the D/S DISC axis, instead of being led, with catastrophically-diminishing success over time, toward the C/I alignment.
The “why” of C/I? Was Marx that prescient, that obstinate or did he just get lucky? That’s a question for another day. It remains that C/I education is exactly ass-backwards – completely opposed to everything that has worked in the past and that should work now – but it is remarkably successful at producing lifelong human misery for everyone afflicted by it.
ThriversEd comes at everything the other way – starting simply by impressing the verb “to thrive” on young minds again and again. A mastery of that one idea might be enough for a child to be able to undertake his own upbringing, but there is lots more we can do.
I talked about The Marshmallow Challenge last night, and in due course I’ll take up some of the other ThriversEd games – The Dutch Uncle Game, Stone Soup, Family/Jam Band, etc.
The games provide regular consistent practice in the qualities and virtues that make us human, fungible appropriate-authority roles provide leadership practice, and the PEAK evaluation process, doing evaluations and being evaluated, establishes both a standard of values and an improvement metric for achieving it. ThriversEd is still always about fun, but it’s fun with an underlying premise, and that premise is simply this:
First impressions are lasting.
DISC is cultivated, but typically only by accident and inattention: Parents cultivate the qualities they want or need to see in the child right now, not what will be best for him for life. That’s how people get broken – even when no one is actively trying to hurt them.
What’s worse, broken people rarely want to be fixed – and never from the outside. This is the error behind all attempts at adult persuasion: Without a raging conflagration of internal motivation, people would rather hew to the painful errors imposed on them by their lifelong DISC pre-dispositions than make even small changes in their habits.
The solution? Start strong, stay strong. We can’t fix broken adults, but if we teach Toddlers betters habits before they have mastered any bad habits of their own, we can move every child we see toward the D/S alignment, and away from the C/I path to human misery.
Everything is new to a child? You bet. Better still, first impressions are lasting. It’s daft to teach bad habits-of-mind to kids by negligent default, but it is very wise to teach them how to thrive instead.