In the Back of Your Mind…

It is a question that lingers in the back of your mind; are we doing the right stuff for our kids? Are we feeding them the right foods, providing the right guidance, the right toys, the right opportunities, the right schools, the right teachers, the right….? – a cascading and seemingly endless list of choices.

The most important thing we do as parents: Instil the right stuff in our kids. Done right, it will last them a lifetime. The trick: to realize that though the right stuff doesn’t show up until the early teens, the instilling process begins very early – it is anchored in the first five years.

Welcome to The Acorn Assignment
The moment we become a parent we are given an assignment; a duty or obligation to find the conditions that enable the natural potential of our child to emerge and unfold.
The Acorn Assignment has a very narrow focus: to provide you with the knowledge, tools and techniques to instil the right stuff in your child, to fulfill that assignment to the best of your abilities.

Images of Dad

A Timeless Truth
I picked up “Images of Dad”, from a dry cleaner somewhere in Ottawa many years ago. I have passed it along to several friends and without exception it raised a chuckle, but little else. However if we take a moment to look deeper, I believe we find a timeless and valuable truth in parenting.
As I read this, my mind cascades through a series of quick snapshots of my dad as I grew up. A second read stirs up a parallel string of images, reflections of how I believe my sons viewed me as they grew. As I read it a third time, I step into my father’s shoes, and imagine how my dad evolved in response to my grandfather. While many aspects of our lives have changed since my (great, great..? ) grandfather’s time, a child’s evolving perspective of the world and significant people around him or her is timeless. Continue reading “Images of Dad” »

Case Study: Billy Elliot

“Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out, the trick is finding it” (From movie trailer: Billy Elliot)

The movie Billy Elliot (2000) is an entertaining and inspiring movie with a refreshing non-Hollywood style plot. There has been renewed interest in this work in 2010 by way of a Broadway musical featuring music by Elton John.

Though the film is good entertainment for any movie fan from six to 86 years old, it also provides an excellent fictional case study in natural potential aka ‘special talent’. It captures the many unpredictable aspects of our nature potential, the interaction between inner elements and external conditions and the often crooked path it follows to maturity. From the standpoint of the Acorn Assignment, this picture is worth a thousand words. Continue reading “Case Study: Billy Elliot” »

In a Nutshell

The Acorn Assignment is a simple fresh take on parenting: There is a natural potential in every child, – like the acorn from an oak tree, it will lie dormant until it encounters conditions suitable for growth. Our Assignment as parents is to create and maintain an environment that will unlock and enable the full …

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The Book: ‘The Acorn Assignment’

The goal of this website is to help you fulfill the Acorn Assignment – to get you to the sweet spot/right stuff with the least amount of effort. The learning material will come in two steps, the book “The Acorn Assignment” and an online community, the Acorn Guild. This post is a preview of the …

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Natural Potential: A Tough Nut to Crack

Natural Potential – not something we casually discuss in conversation, if at all. It arises a day or two after your child is born – holding that tiny bundle of joy in your arms, you consider the potential within. It is a timeless moment; you are in awe of the vast possibilities – an astronaut, …

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In the Back of Your Mind…

It is a question that lingers in the back of your mind; are we doing the right stuff for our kids? Are we feeding them the right foods, providing the right guidance, the right toys, the right opportunities, the right schools, the right teachers, the right….? – a cascading and seemingly endless list of choices. …

Continue reading »

The Right Stuff

A key part of the “fresh take on parenting” promise in the Acorn Assignment is a narrow focus on a specific outcome – ‘the right stuff’. Given this is a vague concept I want to take a first exploratory dive into what this phrase means in the context of the potential in your child. For …

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Case Study: Billy Elliot

BE

“Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out, the trick is finding it” (From movie trailer: Billy Elliot) The movie Billy Elliot (2000) is an entertaining and inspiring movie with a refreshing non-Hollywood style plot. There has been renewed interest in this work in 2010 by way of a Broadway …

Continue reading »

Images of Dad

Images of Dad

A Timeless Truth I picked up “Images of Dad”, from a dry cleaner somewhere in Ottawa many years ago. I have passed it along to several friends and without exception it raised a chuckle, but little else. However if we take a moment to look deeper, I believe we find a timeless and valuable truth …

Continue reading »

Parenting as a Creative Process

Kris-Workshop

‘Parenting as a creative process’ is one of several core themes I will explore in this blog. This post is a quick overview of the concept. Something was missing? – this was one of my first impressions of the whole parenting arena. It reminded me of the cartoon puzzles I enjoyed as a kid. The …

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Book Review: “Faith of a Child” by Stefan Lanfer

tfoac cover

Greater than the sum of its Parts From cover to cover this book was an enjoyable read. No blatant advice, no rants just a refreshing series of simple stories from the life of a new dad coming into his own. I was attracted to this book by the authors desire to fill a gap. He …

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The Parent-Child Dynamic

JJ-shoulders-Web

The growth of a child is a fascinating process, particularly in the first five years. This takes place on many levels, from physical growth to the subtle learning of language, motor skills and morals. In this post I will provide an overview of a key concept in effective parenting, something I call the parent-child dynamic. …

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