Those First Steps!
I watched my granddaughter get up for the twentieth time. In her pursuit to learn to walk she was determined. She would take a few steps and then fall. If she was daunted by the task, I couldn’t tell from her grin. Each time she got up, she grinned wider, even squealing with delight when she toddled for more than five steps.
So you know what is coming next? That’s right, a question. What happens? When do children stop having fun learning new things? When do our children’s little falls become, great stumbling blocks on their road to life?
Many children keep their enthusiasm for trying new things, however, too many of our children are burnt out on learning new things, trying new foods, and even sometimes going to new places by the time they are in the sixth grade. What happens between birth and eleven years old, that many children are just unmotivated? Imagine if eleven-year-olds had to learn to walk. Some children will jump in with glee. They would take in stride the bruises they get in the process of learning.
However, too many children will languish on the ground until their parents come and pick them up. Unfortunately, parents will have to move their children’s legs, to get them to walk. This (moving their legs) can go on for quite some time, that is, until the child realizes that not walking is more unbearable than learning to walk. It can take children years to learn this lesson.
What about us adults, what are we modeling for them? Maybe it’s our example, maybe our children are watching us? They see that our lives are in an ongoing rut. So why should they invite challenges into their lives, when we are afraid to look a challenge in the face, and grin? The more I think about it, our children’s lack of interest in learning is probably a direct reflection of our disinterest in learning.
Let’s show our children something different. Maybe we can start a new hobby, or read the thickest book ever… with our children. Maybe we can take up a new dance class, or go on a hike… with our children. Let’s put more life into our lives, and into their lives.
Smile, while you learn please, children are watching!