Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Raise Children Effectively?

On Friday 12, my first daughter Sophia finished the high school (Abitur) at the German School Shanghai. The whole family went there for the celebration. Sophia got the best scores at the school and received in addition three awards in Physics, in arrangements for different activities and for the competition of best foreign schools.

After the celebration some parents came to my wife and me and asked: “How do you raise your children?” This was a very good question. Honestly we never thought about it before. It is like to ask a slim person, how she keeps her body slim. Most likely she just does not know, because she was slim for the entire life. Sophia got always the best scores.

But when we reflected our experience with Sophia’s education, we may want to mention one thing that contributed most to her success. Sophia tried to do a lot of things in early years including writing creative texts, designing web sites, playing theatre, playing piano, participating technical camps and participating reading competitions.

During the course of years, she some times shifted the interests. What so ever jumped into her mind, we always encouraged her to do. When she was successful, we were happy with her. When she wanted to do something else we said that’s fine to try something new. For selection of university and subjects we never had any preoccupation and instead asked her to explore herself what she really likes.

So what did we really do in her development? Not much. We leave her in free run, encourage her to try new things and play some role models ourselves. And we are extremely happy with the results and the little time we have invested.

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