"Dad how to you reverse the drill?" This is what I overheard as I was walking by the garage where Tony was showing his youngest son how to build a rail for his new passion, scootering.
Tony and I had just had a conversation the other day about the value of teaching kids the skills they will need in life, be it for a hobby or skills to fix and build things. There is a saying, "Don't give them everything you never had. Teach them everything you never knew." This is pretty much our approach to parenting.
We have a blended family and Tony's boys are with us 50% of the time. My three children are adults now. What few years we have left with Tony's boys before they become adults, will fly by!
When Tony was growing up his grandpa Bob taught him how to use tools, how to fix things, even how to catch and dispose of a bat. Though that bat experience was a tad traumatizing for Tony. These are the memories that he cherishes as an adult, and the skills his grandpa Bob taught him, are skills he uses often today.
Like it was with Tony and his grandpa Bob, these are the memories the boys will remember and hopefully cherish the way Tony does. It's important that we don't lose sight of what we are here to do as parents. We aren't here to show our kids a good time. Though it's a win win when they are having fun.
We are here to prepare them for adulthood. To live in a world that we might not be living in, at least not for the duration of their lifetime. To be independent and self-sufficient, productive members of society. This is our job as parents.
We have been thrilled to see his oldest son pick up Tony's love of fishing. The kid is a natural. He recently caught a 10 lb Bowfin, which he was very proud of. He was beaming and worked hard to catch it. Tony has been working with him on his fishing skills for years. Now his son can get all his own gear ready and he regularly fishes with friends, even teaching them what he knows.
Parents sometimes have a tendency to pack so much into such short periods of time. Kids are run from one scheduled activity to another. Where in there is the time to just be? To hang out with your parents, to learn from your grandparents?
Parenting is much more than about what we can give our children. It's more about what we can teach them. Isn't that why we are here? To guide them through childhood into adulthood? We have found that when we spend time with the kids teaching them what we know, they have fun at the same time. Kids are curious sponges who want to become independent.
What you teach a child will be with them long after anything you give them. Don't you think? Share in the comments what your favorite childhood memories are about.