Thursday, October 28, 2010

Teaching Children to Think, Part 1

Children aren't born knowing how to think. I used to think: Hey, they have a brain. Why don't they use the thing? We clean our dishes after every meal every day, why do I have to remind them to do it?
I own a basin wrench. That doesn't mean I know how to use it.

We've been stripping cabinets and repainting them. We have a trash can in the garage to collect all the dirty paper towels and such. Daniel's job is to collect trash cans. He came into the garage, where I was priming cabinet doors, to get the trash can. He left the door open and Misha made a mad dash for freedom. I yelled: Grab Misha! She can't be out here!
Daniel, with hands around the trash can, panicked. "I can't!"
He couldn't figure out how in the world to get Misha when his hands were full.

I used to think I shouldn't have to micro-manage my kids. They know what we do every day. They know what's expected. They should just do it. Micro-managing would make my life harder, I reasoned.

I was wrong. I was forever frustrated with all the things they forgot. And then I started to see all the times I left my plate on the table. Or got sidetracked and left my pajamas on the floor while I ran downstairs to do something "urgent". And I started micro-managing my kids.

Part 2 here.

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