“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”~ Benjamin Franklin
Experience is indeed the best teacher. However, as much as I hate to admit it, I am guilty of having robbed my children of important learning experiences. My nurturing personality, desire to get things done quickly,(and in a certain way) combined with my children’s disarming “cuteness” have often caused me to do things for them that they could and should have done for themselves. (Please forgive my lack of modesty here. Have I ever mentioned that my youngest has dimples?). Making the transition from “manager” to “coach” as a parent is difficult for many reasons. However, it is critically important to build the necessary life skills and self confidence our children will need in adulthood.
To make the transition:
- Consider your child’s age and stage of development. What can they do? Look for tasks your child is physically able to complete in a reasonable amount of time. To avoid overwhelming him, decide on a few new things at a time. Give him time to master a skill to build confidence and interest in learning more.
- Discuss with your child why the chore is important and that you believe she is capable of success. Show her how to properly complete the task by doing it together. This may take several ‘training sessions.’
- Always acknowledge your child’s progress. Be very specific with your praise to ensure he knows just what he should repeat.
Lastly, step back and watch her work. Resist the temptation to have things done exactly the way you would do them. Keep your focus on the end result. She may have her own style or approach when tackling a problem. Give her the opportunity to stretch herself and practice problem solving. You may even learn a few new things!
Copyright © 2013 Gardener Parenting Consultants, LLC