The secret to education that every Zen master knows

Have you ever wanted a guide to help you educate your baby or pre-schooler? Something comprehensive and empowering but easy to digest?

As a former nursery and primary school teacher, I’ve often thought about writing such a book. Once I even made a list of everything I wanted to include, and then set about editing the information down into the essential elements. After a lot of pruning, this is what I came up with:


Pay attention.


This is true. You don’t need a teaching degree.

All it takes is attention.

Just observe your child. Sit back and let them play while you watch them. You can take notes, if you like, though it’s not necessary.

Keep your awareness on your child and their needs. Keep asking yourself questions about what they need, why, and how you can help (while avoiding the temptation to do it for them).

A baby’s arms flail about. Why do they do this? Is it at random? Are they trying to achieve some kind of result? What could that result be? Could you put something within the baby’s reach that could draw her attention to the movement of her arms? A jingly toy, perhaps?

As her co-ordination improves, perhaps you could offer something she could reach for, or even grasp. What shape would such an object have to be? And how would you present it? Simply put on the floor or dangling from a baby gym? During tummy time or when on her back?

What could you learn about your child just by paying attention?

Stop and observe them now, for five minutes. Don’t interact with them. Just sit and watch their play.

You’ll be amazed at the things you notice.