I’m always thinking of what I can do to give my kids a better advantage than I had. Ultimately that’s what any decent to great parent wants- their kids’ lives to be better than their own.
My husband is a pretty decent self trained musician. He’s dabbled in various types of bands and he has a passion for music and electronic music equipment. One day I noticed him meticulously show our oldest daughter how to tune a guitar. How interesting? He was working hard at showing her how to listen; how to turn the strings; how to hold the guitar. She sat quietly as he went through the quick lesson. I ended up leaving them as they worked on a very easy set of melodic chords.
Lately, I've been training our kids in the morning to get up and run (rain or shine) in an effort to establish a healthy relationship with running and discipline. As a former athlete, maybe it’s my expectation that they’ll love sports, but really I just want them to experience what it’s like to set a goal; make a sacrifice; work with others; and feel small and large accomplishments.
Parents are the largest resource hub available to their kids. If their father and I worked each day (in a noninvasive way) to gift our children with our knowledge day-by-day, when it’s all said and done, what greater individuals would we have cultivated? The skills, the experiences, the interests, that parents have acquired throughout their own lives are excellent catalysts for building a foundation for their children.
We will naturally share our interests with our kids because, they're our kids. But sharing what we love or what we are good at with our children, isn’t a guarantee that they will love the same things we love. In our excitement to share our own interests, talents, and skills, we should never assume that their outcomes will be our own. Teaching your children is not easy. In fact, it can be very frustrating. But if you work with your child in a loving and open manner, it’s a great opportunity for both the parent and the child to grow in patience and appreciate their similarities and differences. In the end, it’s the exposure to our knowledge-base that will guide their own exploration through life. That exposure is critical to their development and confidence building.
Our skills, talents, and knowledge are a tangible set of shareable assets that we can pass down to our children. They may or may not fall in love with what we love, or become great at what we are great at, but exposing them to the idea that adults have an appreciation for life experiences is a great model for their own journey through adulthood. When we share with our children we create new memories, tender moments, and we inspire in our children a desire to be passionate or good at something. Even if our kids do not love the same things we love, the exposure to our loves, teach our children to have an appreciation for living a full life.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.