1. Subconscious Programming
“Our subconscious minds weren’t programmed to look to mobile devices for entertainment; we inherently looked to one another.” (Preface p. xii)
Subconscious programming is not a mainstream idea or concept. Most people generally believe that the choices and decisions they make each day are made of their own free will. But this is not necessarily true. Our subconscious minds are like computers, and the programs that govern our behavior are downloaded early in life, without our knowledge or permission.
In the first seven years of life, a child’s brain is in a state that is equivalent to being unconscious (this is why most of us have no memory of the first few years of life). During this time, everything that the child sees and hears creates connections in their brain which, like a computer program, becomes a part of that child’s guidance system. The character, personality, beliefs, and values are typically established for life. This does not mean that they cannot change, grow, or adapt. But what happens during the early stages of development tends to make a person who they are for the rest of their lives.
It is vital that parents are not only aware of what is going into their children’s precious little brains, but that they also take responsibility for it.
2. Look at the big picture.
“When people are expecting, they usually use the phrase “we’re having a baby.” Although that statement is absolutely fitting, it is thoroughly incomplete. You are not just having a baby… you are having a person! (Preface, p. xiv)
Babies are the most beautiful, precious, innocent beings on the face of the planet. But they are only babies for a moment. “Turn around and they’re tiny, turn around and they’re grown. Turn around and they’re a young one, with babes of their own.” It is not wise to have a myopic view in any aspect of life, but especially when it comes to having children. Young women often tend to focus on the beauty of childbirth. They look forward to carrying a life inside their bodies; breastfeeding, playing with, cuddling, caressing, and holding the baby. I will admit, those are all things worth looking forward to. Like me, many young women look forward to having someone to love.
Before making the decision to become parents, we must develop the habit of broadening our perspective, widening our lenses. We must think long term. Go beyond wondering what the baby will look like, or what color his eyes might be. Try to imagine what kind of skills he/she might possess. If you have a son, what kind of man will he grow up to be? And above all, know that you are making a life-long commitment, because parenting never ends.
3. Parents Are Their Child’s Primary Teacher
“The success that my sons are experiencing now began the day I chose to sit them down as toddlers and teach them their ABCs, and the day I decided to stand my little ones around the piano and teach them music theory.” (Preface, p.xiii)
All the concepts and principles listed in this book are important. But this one holds a considerable amount of weight in determining whether a child will grow to be successful or spend their lives struggling. You are responsible for your son or daughter’s education and learning to read early gives them a strong foundation upon which to build. Studies have shown that many children in low-income households enter the school system as blank slates and, unfortunately, spend their entire lives trying to catch up. Many parents are so busy trying to make ends meet, that they fail to take the time to teach their babies to read. They wait until preschool, or even worse, kindergarten, and then expect the teachers to do their job. If you wait until your son or daughter is in school before teaching them to read, you are doing them a great disservice and sending them into a world for which they are severely unprepared.
We should also teach our children whatever it is that we know best. In my case, it was music. The early years that I spent pouring all my musical knowledge into my sons set the stage upon which their careers are flourishing today. This does not mean that we choose their career path for them. That is a choice that they must be free to make when they are older. But at least, with the knowledge we give them, they will have more options.
“I envisioned myself showering my baby girl with all the love my mother gave me, and then some!... Long before I met my husband, I spent lots of time painting a vivid picture in my mind of what kind of mother I planned to be.” (Introduction, p.xxi)
Although I was unaware of it at the time, there was a very powerful principle at work as I envisioned being a mother. The Law of Visualization is at work in every aspect of life. Everything that happens, everything that is built, every business, ministry, organization, or career, happens in the mind of the builder before it is manifested physically. Buildings are built by the architect long before the contractor lays hammer to nail. Businesses are created in the business plan before anything is bought or sold.
The fact that I was able to see myself as a successful, attentive mother had everything to do with my ability to overcome every obstacle that I faced. Because I had created the experience of motherhood in my mind long before it happened, when I did have children, everything that I’d envisioned came to pass.
5. Music on the Brain
· “I started taking piano lessons at the age of seven.” (Preface, p.xiv)
Learning to play a musical instrument has some of the greatest benefits to a child’s developing brain. According to the New York Academy of Sciences, “Playing a musical instrument demands extensive procedural and motor learning that results in plastic reorganization of the human brain.” What this means is that the brain of a child who learns to play an instrument and read music has many more neural connections than that of a child who merely watches tv or plays video games. It is not the only determining factor in the child’s cognitive skills, but it does give them a definite advantage in their educational journey.
Below is a link to a Ted talk by Anita Collins describing “How playing an instrument benefits your brain”