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Allow Your Children To Be Your Teacher


Dads know how to do everything - don’t they?

There are times when it may feel like you are supposed to have all the answers and know how to do just about anything. If you encounter a time where you don’t know, you might even fake it well enough that everyone thinks you know.

But did you know that not knowing how to do something could be a very rewarding experience?

Last night I had the opportunity to share a special moment with my youngest son as he wanted to teach me how to play the guitar. The fact that he had just had his first guitar lesson the night before was not significant, at least not in his mind.

Compared to my skill level playing the guitar, he considered himself the next Joe Satriani or Jimi Hendrix. Granted he only knows one chord at this point and can only play Three Blind Mice with a limited amount of success.

His guitar instructor has asked him to practice for 20 minutes every day and today he wanted to show me what he had learned. As he sat there with the pick in his hand strumming away at the strings, he had a smile on his face that stretched from ear to ear. Once he was done with his 20 minutes of practice, he asked me if I wanted him to teach me.

I’ve always thought it would be cool to learn how to play the guitar so I naturally took him up on the offer. He became very serious and his voice altered ever so slightly as he began to explain that I needed to place my finger on the 2nd string in the 1st fret - now strum the three strings. Rest. Repeat.

It was amazing to see how he embraced the things he had learned and had such a passion to teach me that same information. Of course he also had quite a few good laughs and told me that I really need to practice more every day because I stink at playing the guitar. I couldn’t argue with him because he is right but even if I was one of the greatest guitar players I would not miss the opportunity for him to continue teaching me how to play guitar.

The next time you see your children embracing a new skill or interest, take a minute to sit down with them and ask them if they can teach you a little bit about what they have learned. They may even come to you and offer to share their wealth of knowledge with you.

It is amazing to see the transformation in your child as they begin to teach you whatever it is that they have learned. This is a moment of pride and accomplishment for them as here they are teaching their dad, the guy that knows how to do everything, about something that is important to them. Not only will this fuel their passion for learning so that they can teach you more but it also teaches them that it is acceptable to ask for help if you don’t know how to do something.

Over the next few days, share your own special moment with your child as you allow them to be your teacher.

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    On September 27th, 2007 at 11:01 am, lornadoone said:

    At my in-laws’ house, there’s a little, embroidered wall hanging that says something like, “Dear God, If you need any help, just ask my dad. He can do anything!”

    (Perhaps playing the guitar was not included.)

    It’s great that you can give your kid the satisfaction of knowing something you don’t or being better at something than you are. I would imagine it promotes a lot of self confidence.

    On September 27th, 2007 at 3:28 pm, Kelvin Kao said:

    Maybe it’s because I have some weird kind of creative mind, but when I see a title like this, my first instinct was to reverse certain words, so I was thinking, what if the article is about “allow your teacher to be your children”?

    And then I realized that it does not make any sense.

    Nice story though. =)

    On September 27th, 2007 at 3:34 pm, Derek Semmler said:

    @Lorna :: That is a great saying. It really is great to see how excited my kids get when they have an opportunity to teach me something. I highly encourage giving it a try even if you already know what they are teaching you.

    @Kelvin :: Thanks, I struggled with the title for this and maybe I should have picked something a little better.

    On September 27th, 2007 at 6:32 pm, Kelvin Kao said:

    Oh, believe me, the title is totally fine. I just like to scramble words (and letters sometimes).

    Mentions on other sites...

    1. Understanding Teenagers » Blog Archive » Our children can teach us a lot - if we are open to it! on September 28th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

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