Do you remember the Miracle-Gro® commercial where the gardeners compared tomato plants? One used Miracle-Gro® soil and the other used ordinary dirt? Our children are like that. By chance, if a kid is lucky he might grow up fine without parental intervention, but give a child what he needs and he can thrive. Guidance and opportunity.
There’s been a controversy for years between genetics versus environment. But in my opinion, you can take any child and put them in a healthy environment and it won’t make him Einstein. You can take an Einstein and put him anywhere and he will probably still be a genius. But most of us are somewhere in between. A smart kid without guidance can only go so far. Give her education, nutrition, and opportunity and she might be sitting alongside a few Einsteins herself.
The plumber, the roofer and the electrician sell us a cure. They come to our house, fix the problem, and leave.
The consultant, the doctor (often) and the politician sell us the narrative. They don’t always change things, but they give us a story, a way to think about what’s happening. Often, that story helps us fix our problems on our own.
The best parents, of course, are in the story business. Teachers and bosses, too.
We need to encourage our girls more to be smart, to be curious, to be strong, to change things, to ask questions and worry less about beauty and size 0 bodies.
Here’s a start: