In the movie Captain Fantastic (2016), Ben is raising his six children in complete isolation from the civilized world, cultivating intelligence and physical well-being through consistent yoga, running and martial arts exercises, as well as reading in the evening by the bonfire. His children are raised to be exceptionally smart and wise for their age, although not quite adapted to the imperfect and ignorant real world. Of course, in this case, the conditions are extreme and hard to be achieved nowadays, however, is there any way to learn something from this story? Is there any way to become a smarter, brighter person and share the same mindset with your children?
The remedy for an everyday boring routine and standardized program is the courses and workshops, where you can learn almost everything, even if you, as a parent cannot fully dedicate your time and attention to your children. Creative skills, that are proven to be the most valuable in the 21st century, can not only be inherited but developed in a natural way. Just as crafts can help to develop creative thinking, dance and musical instruments will teach children to use their body for the self-expression. The skills are being gradually improved over time and this is how children learn to everything about patience and concentration. They get to enjoy their first achievements. Attending schools and studios is an important point in childhood to learn how to communicate with others and build your first connections. It is a great opportunity to get accustomed to the busy tempo of life, learn to balance out the school and leisure. It's equally important finding your own mentors and teachers, who are able to provide enough inspiration, examples and answers to the questions related to their field of knowledge. Even though knowledge is important, every successful project and performance undermines inspirational guidance at some point.
It is worthy to consider the future: with the rise of AI and automation, less and fewer people will be required to perform manual labour, which does not require any in-depth knowledge. With AI keeping hold of almost every industry, only high-skilled knowledgeable professionals will find a place in the future world. It will need out-of-the-box thinkers, fast-thinking creative personalities. This is why it is important to develop the skills and knowledge from an early age and attending school can be not enough to discover fully your abilities and talents.
The dedication to the self-development can be quite a challenge for both adults and children. Below you will find some recommendations on overcoming those constraints and encourage your children to keep on following a meaningful lifestyle starting from childhood.
Not all people end up doing one career throughout their lifetime. Moreover, most creative entrepreneurs were engaged in absolutely different spheres of work and education throughout their life and still manage to effectively use their diverse background to create empires. Emilie Wapnick called those people "multipotentialities" because of their hidden superpowers, including idea synthesis, rapid learning and adaptability. These people are born this way and since childhood, they are impatient to try and discover more and more different activities. If you recognize your children in this description - do not pressure them to narrow their focus but rather leave them the freedom to have as many experiences as they want.
Attending activities can easily become a habit, especially of being practised from an early age. It's great to have such family habits, as evening discussions or running in the morning. Just like children from the bilingual families have learned two languages effortlessly and naturally, other skills, for example, critical thinking can be developed through regular family reading sessions.
According to the Buddhist principles, it is important to fully acknowledge the meaning and purpose behind every action. Instead of forcing your kid to read a book, create an intrigue, make it convincing that this book is worth reading. Pirates and hidden treasures, adventures on the abandoned island... You can present every book from the school program in an interesting way. And they are actually worth reading.
"Expedience is the following of blind impulse. It’s a short-term gain. It’s narrow and selfish. It lies to get its way. It takes nothing into account. It’s immature and irresponsible. Meaning is its mature replacement."
This is the quote from the book 12 Rules for Life, where Jordan Peterson mentioned the importance of rational decisions and avoidance of the blind pursuit of instant gratification. Remember that everything that we have achieved in the 21st century is a result of the sacrifices of the people, living before us in order to receive benefits later. They started storing food and thinking about the future. Successful people sacrifice, they delay gratification. This rule can create a hard challenge and even many adults are unable to fulfil this principle; this is also why it is important to acknowledge it and teach your kids not to follow their instant gratification instincts but rather work hard, overcome idleness for the greater cause.