96 year old’s “The Venus Project” makes me think about parenting

20150714_112309I think the husband will appreciate this man.
Below is an interview with London Real. Jacque Fresco is 96 years young.

His ideas are full of evidence based practice (Science), he combines sociology/psychology with technology and advancement, he wants to get rid of all money, he talks of having the book library next to a musical instrument library, next to the next library where we can ‘borrow’ what we need to grow and be (well and happy).

I’m going to read his book “The Best That Money Can’t Buy”.
I’m gonna ravage his website: www.thevenusproject.com.

I’m particularly interested in his ideas around parenting and education. One thing that stuck from this jam-packed-with-provocative-guidance/fresh-ways-of-living-of-a-1-hour-interview was to allow the kidlets to do.

“Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play – Magda Gerber.”

20150714_111903Do, Do, Do.
This morning i watched the 5 year old spread manuka honey on fresh molenburg for her school lunch. I kept my mouth closed. Breathed through my nose. Held my hands behind my back.

So what if she has to start again (and uses a little more bread and honey) because she put holes in the bread from being too robust. Maybe those holes won’t bother her anyway? This life is her physical experience. She learns from doing. She may not need to learn the same experiences as i did. She doesn’t have to re-enact my life.

The greatest gift i believe i can give her is TRUST. Trusting this journey that is hers is ‘juste’. When i worry i lose that faith (in her, in the process, in living). When i TRUST it’s implied i believe she has the expanding skills, wisdom, beautiful self to find the way through the way she needs to. The way that’s ‘juste’ for her.

This may seem slightly outrageous when talking about a 5 year old. I am still teaching her explicitly when I notice she hasn’t ‘picked something up’. Just the other day i told her, “When people visit our home and come into our house we say hello (I’m reserving the look them in the eyes for another time). When they leave we say good-bye. This may make them feel like we’ve noticed them and care for them and appreciate their visit.”
“Ohr (never know how to spell this – it’s so not the same as ‘Oh’)”, she said.

But – could i have phrased this as a question. I’m interested in how i can phrase learning. Can i ask questions (to encourage her to learn or perhaps assures me she understands) rather than give a reminder or teaching? I’m talking around safety, learning the read, domestic skills, social skills – the lot.

Asking questions effectively – this is the difficulty of teaching (well).

Who’s doing the thinking? The person doing the thinking/experiencing/exploring is the person doing the learning. Is the teacher/adult asking questions or giving instruction? If the latter – who’s doing the more learning?

One thing i will report is asking questions requires me to be present, to be mindful, to connect with the kids, look them in the eye, listen, SLOW DOWN Mummy.

“Observe more, do less.
Do less, enjoy more – Magda Gerber.”

I’m interested in the notion of observing.

20150714_114133As an observer, as an adult, as a teacher/parent can i find the question to ask?This is what i wanna learn. There must be a form – one can learn (to ask questions)? Deep questions . Open ended questions. Rather than asking a question with the intent of a student/child answering with the statement we have (already) in our teaching/parenting head.

I can be the HOME. Can i learn to observe, trust, allow. Can i encourage perseverance, resilience. Can i listen, empathise, soothe, care, when she ‘falls’ rather than trying to stop the fall and disallowing her the full experience the full spectrum of life (the suffering beside the elation).

“Scientific observation then has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.- Maria Montessori, Education For A New World

These ideas of observe observe observe are in line with:
Emmi Pikler – The Pikler Collection
Magda Gerber
Maria Montessori
and more recently
Teacher TomInstead of commanding ‘Be Careful’.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed – Maria Montessori.”


In a nutshell i’m being mindful of this atm:
– observe more do less
– ask questions more direct less
– trust
– allow kids to do, to make mistakes = learning
– slow down
– make eye contact (which helps me listen / hear and see)
– explicitly breakdown social, physical skills i have oberserved they haven’t ‘organically’ picked up.
– remember ‘I am the model’.

For only as we ourselves, as adults, actually move and have our being in the state of love, can we be appropriate models and guides for our children. What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become – Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Without further ado the interview you’ve all been waiting for:

London Real’s Brian Rose wrapped up the interview by saying, “I’d like to invite you back here in 4 years for your 100th birthday – I’m sure you’ll still be fighting.”

Fresco jumped in with, “I don’t know how long I’ll live, nor do I concern myself with that.”

Disclaimer: This blog post was a 1-hour product of procrastination! Now for the iponz visit. Argh. This too shall pass.


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