As teachers of our children, we expect our scholars to learn new concepts and build upon them to further their knowledge. My goal was to raise our sons (and now my precious grandchildren) to be life-learners. In order for them to have a desire to do so, I need to be a role model. Here are my thoughts on how this can be beneficial to us and them.
The struggle is real. When my family sees me try and fail they are watching me continue to try repeatedly until I am successful or I fail (example- rock hard breadsticks). They see they are not alone in learning something new. I feel like I have a renewed sense of what it is like for each of my students when they are learning something new.
We are role models. By observing you and me, our children see how we problem-solve; we don’t quit; we go over the directions again (and again), and we make corrections. Our children see that we don’t just sit down once and be successful every time. It takes time and practice, practice, practice in order to achieve success.
We are willing. We are willing to continue through the frustration of failure to see the project through to completion. When things are h-a-r-d and I feel like quitting, it makes me try harder when little eyes are watching me.
Our attitude is everything. I have certainly had my shares of getting upset and walking away. However, I do try to maintain a positive attitude throughout a new skill being learned and talk about what I learned. If (and when) we fail, it’s a good teaching moment to discuss how we are going to do it differently the next time.
You have permission to fail. Not everything comes easily and sometimes we just aren’t very good at certain things. My sons would get frustrated when I would hand back an assignment because they hadn’t done it correctly. I had to evaluate whether it was my lack of explanation or their failure to understand. We learn from our mistakes and try again. Sometimes you just have to put it aside and come back to it later.
What is something new you would like (or have) to learn? Can you share your experience with your son/ daughter? By trying something new we continue to model that we are all life-long learners. ( I am learning about technology :(, morphology for teaching language skills, and what staples to stock in my pantry.)
Have a great week! ~Lisa~
I really like your list on being a role model. I think many times we forget how challenging learn can be. I also think that as adults, from time to time, we should learn new things as well….and not just things that come easily. For example, I started studying for my CMA exam (Certified Managerial Accountant) and some day are super hard. I have had to dig in and figure out some things. And even with the program I purchased, they do a great job of covering the majority of the material but there are a few times where I have found that I still had some holes even after the lesson. It was up to me to realize I had a hole and then it was up to me to fill it. And when I am faced with this challenge, what do I do? That is where the rubber meets the road. I can’t expect my kids to just mildly, compliantly, nonchalantly accept struggles as if they weren’t a big deal. I have shut the laptop and walked away. Sometimes I just need to eat a bowl of ice cream before I can even start the next lesson! But I do get up on the horse and keep trying. Actively realizing that I can feel overwhelmed in my own studying (and I have done accounting work for 20 years so I have a lot of knowledge in this area) has brought much understanding to me as parent watching my own kids struggle. Personal experience has changed my perspective on being flexible in my children’s reactions to hard challenges (for example, it really is okay to shut the book sometimes and step away, even if it is for a day or two) and it has brought me deep compassion in how I help them preserver (for example, sitting down next to them and doing as much handholding as they need while they need it).
Thank you for sharing, Daneale. I appreciate your candor and sharing, what an encouragement to keep on going!