The Special Role of Parent as MindGuides

The Guiding Relationship that naturally develops between parents and their children provides a unique parent-child collaboration that promotes mental growth. Typically-developing infants are motivated to engage with their parents because initially, only parents can provide an optimal balance of safety and challenge that allows growth to take place. There is also the (not so small) matter of their shared relational history. After all, who else knows the child better?

Related: Developing the Brain through MindGuiding

Parental Guides are Unique Life-Teachers

Participating in a MindGuiding Relationship is likely the only time in your life when you will be provided with a life teacher, free of charge, who is so completely devoted and invested in growing YOU: your ‘self’, your mind and your ability to function autonomously. And there is no other teacher who has such a well developed relational history with you. This incredible person is:

Someone who has spent your whole life getting to know you.

Someone who shares a primary mission with you – growing your mind and ‘self’ while preparing you to function autonomously in a CUSP world.

Someone who strives to become an expert in helping you grow.

Someone who shares a large bank of co-created experiences with you and about how you have worked together to get to this point, hopefully resulting in lots of hard-won knowledge. Someone sharing a strong relational history; allowing you to resume where you left off each time you get back together. Someone who has shared years of excitement with you over each new small mental discovery and each small step towards autonomy; even if the changes were so small that nobody else might have noticed them.

Someone who can determine what is a productive challenge for you; what is one step ahead of what you currently understand and mentally can do. Someone who can provide you with a personalized learning platform, whose operating knowledge is being continuously updated and adapted. Someone who understands your strengths, limitations and vulnerabilities and the best way for you to learn, as well as what is too difficult for you at this time and what would be too easy.

Someone who knows when to challenge you and when not to challenge (when your resources are low). Someone who will remain alongside you -making adjustments and providing the necessary scaffolding- without removing the opportunity for you to experience your own Agency and your own Becoming. Someone who knows when to refuse to take your hand when you feel unsteady and when to take your hand when you are about to fall.

Someone who will show you which parts of your experience to spotlight and save for your future self. Someone who will make their own mental processes more transparent and understandable for you.

Someone who knows when best to function as a model, a facilitator, a collaborator, a challenger, a limit setter or a cheerleader. When to step to the side, line up alongside or take a step back. When to assign you a ringside seat, but leave you in the audience. When to assign you a small, but real, ‘bit part’ in the play. When to give you greater responsibility. When to allow you to fly solo.

Someone entrusted as your autobiographer until the role is fully transferred to you. Someone who can remind you of where you come from – how you began and slowly became who and what you are now.

Someone temporarily entrusted as the keeper of your future. Someone who can provide you with and support your own visions of what you may become and what you are becoming. Someone who helps you generate and affirm different possible selves.

Focus on the Family

This unique relationship is why RDI programs focus on equipping parents to be the first, and best, MindGuides for their children of any age. Learn more here.



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