I have been doing a series of webinars for the RDI Learning Community on the foundations of MindGuiding where we look at the first few years and what is being developed through the important guiding relationship between parent and child. As we sort through the research and navigate the subtleties of the different stages of development, I am reminded that we have to keep focusing on what we are building towards.
The ultimate goal in RDI programs is the development of Dynamic Intelligence, which happens through MindGuiding. And in thinking about this goal, two ideas are key:
Dynamic: We use this word in contrast to static; where things stay the same and are predictable. Dynamic brains are needed to function in a complex, fast paced and ever-changing environment where options must be weighed and decisions must be made.
MindGuiding: What is unique about human beings and the relationship between parents and children, is that we are able to influence the development of the mind of our offspring. Other species engage to develop behavior; teaching movement, being with the herd, using a tool etc. But humans engage around mental development. Our unique advantage is we can actually develop the mental processes of our children to be optimal for the culture where the child will be living.
Through MindGuiding, we are developing the dynamic mind. When we speak of the mind we are not talking about things we know or the information or formulas we have. Instead, we are talking about building mental processes that allow us the ability to optimally:
- Envision potential futures
- Counter-factual thinking
- See different ways we might approach situations
- Imagine productively
- Infer what others are feeling and thinking
- Generate multiple possible ways of responding to a challenge
- Use feelings in a productive way to make judgments when the environment is too complex
- See decision-making as a process where we balance different variables
This is what we are shooting for and our ultimate; to build the MindGuiding relationship that allows for the growth of a dynamic mind.