Why pay someone for bike lessons?
Over the past 10 years, we’ve noticed that parents are paying someone to teach things to children that have been learned at home for decades.
This week’s tough question is:
Why pay someone to teach your child to ride a bike, or throw a ball, or set the table, or bake a cake?
Parents often say, “Family is the most important thing in our lives.” but their actions don’t necessarily match their words.
The only way to build connections and teach values is through time with your kids, eye-to-eye (shoulder-to-shoulder) contact and conversation.
Prevailing culture and advertising may tell us that the thing to do is to sign Johnny and Cindy up for bike lessons and etiquette classes. We encourage you to take a moment to ask yourself
What opportunities are my child and I losing when someone else is there to help them reach those milestones?
It is certainly easier to pay someone else to deal with our kids’ frustrations and failures. Perhaps there is a belief that our kids need to learn everything from an expert.
At Parenting Power, we believe that when you don’t know how to do a task, it’s worth paying an expert to teach the skill. (If you have never skated before, it’s tricky to teach your child to skate.)
We also believe that when you do know how to do something, taking the time to teach that to your child has a huge return on investment:
• your child learns a new skill
• your child gets time with a parent
• your child learns that you value that time
• your child learns that you are still there when he doesn’t get it right
• your child learns that mistakes are okay
• your child learns that she can get through the frustration and persevere
• your child learns your family values
• you get the fun of being there when it suddenly works
• you both get the joy of a shared project
• you both get the memory of the time spent together
Whether it is cooking, skiing, manners, table-setting, ball-throwing, or biking. If you can do it, take the time (no, make the time) to teach it to your kids. It is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
This week: Think back to something you enjoyed learning from your parents – was it baking at the counter while standing on a chair beside mom or grandma? Maybe it was a great card game? Share the joy of teaching your kids one new skill.