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LEARNING TO RISK
When we are very young, we often look at ourselves and the world through eyes that have been taught to think incorrectly. We want to be strong, yet we think of ourselves as weak. We have great fantasies of ourselves as accomplished actors or athletes, and yet we view ourselves as untalented in everyday situations. In order to match the inner vision with the outer reality more accurately, it is necessary to help children to think of themselves as in total control of themselves. Fears and wariness must come to be viewed by children as self-imposed limitations; otherwise they will always blame external circumstances for their inability to achieve their inner dreams of greatness. Young people often fear their own greatness, and while they would love to become heroes, and can even envision themselves doing so in imaginary circumstances, self-pictures of their limitations severely restrict their real accomplishments. It is imperative for parents to help their children to look more authentically at their possibilities for greatness. A child cannot maximize his potential for greatness if he is afraid of the unknown or is encouraged to be fearful of new ideas, adventures, or people.

Parents spend a great deal of time training children to avoid the unknown by encouraging them to adopt the adult point of view without question. We teach them to be obedient and to never question an authority figure. We encourage them to eat the same kinds of foods, to see the same kinds of movies, to attend the same religious services, and to adopt our prejudices. We keep them inside when itís hot and when itís cold. Any unwillingness that children of any age have toward attempting new things, meeting new people, exploring new ideas, or wandering into unknown territory is in fact an inhibitor to their own greatness, as well as a severe barrier to their being a no-limit, neurosis-free human.

So what can you do to have this no-limit attitude for your family? According to Dr. Wayne Dyer in his book What Do You Really Want for Your Children?, encourage your infant from the very beginning to do things for herself. Let your baby feed herself, and praise her mightily when she gets it right. Let your toddler dress himself, and donít say a word about its being wrong side out. Let your preschooler decide whether or not to wear her coat (but you can decide to have it in the car or at school). Avoid all labels, like shy, good boy, athlete, messy, or sweetie. When children have disputes, let them know that you are aware that there are two sides. No-limit persons find themselves on the opposite side of authority a great deal of the time, and so will your children. Encourage them to ask ďWhy?Ē And most of all, be a role model for no-limit living yourself.

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