Do you ever think about your areas of weakness? Do you wonder if your kids will inherit your messy hand-writing? or your terrible ball skills? or your dislike of maths? or your unco dance moves?
I recently read a FB/blog comment in which the author criticised parents who allow their children to start school without ball skills. It occurred to me that I could be one of those parents next year! I have no aptitude for sport and Mr Sociable has shown little interest in ball games - as such, we don't spend a lot of time throwing, catching or kicking a ball.
That comment has made me think about all the things that I am not teaching my kids. All the things that they could be learning, but don't. There are things that come easily to me as a parent - teaching Mr
Sociable to read, creating fun learning activities, involving my kids in
cooking and doing craft together. But there are some
areas in which I feel pretty unskilled - particularly in sport. I don't watch sport, I don't play sport. I can't tell you the rules of soccer or basketball, I can't tell the the best way to learn to throw overarm. So how can I encourage my kids to overcome their sport handicap?
I've been thinking the example my Mum gave me while I was growing up. My Mum is not very interested in craft - she would rather do just about anything else than complete a scrap-booking or card-making project (I suspect she would even rather do the ironing!). But, my sister and I really loved it. So, she encouraged our interest by buying card-making equipment and doing card-making projects with us. She learnt how to do stencil embossing, paper-quilling and stamping. I remember spending lots of time at the kitchen table together, working on Christmas cards and other projects. Despite not being very interested in craft, my Mum learnt new skills and shared them with us.
So, last week, I decided that Mr Sociable and I should kick a ball around in the backyard. He was not very interested in the aimless kicking that I suggested. So, I created a goal against the fence, using our empty sandpit. Then he really started to enjoy the challenge of scoring goals! We weren't competing - just taking turns to kick the ball into the goal. He was able to start out pretty close to the goal and to try moving backwards as he got more confident. He did this task over and over again (and was keen to try again the next day!).
The thing that surprised me the most was that I actually enjoyed this activity. Even though I'm not very sporty, I enjoyed the time spent doing sport with my boys. Even though I felt out of my depth teaching Mr Sociable how to kick, I loved seeing his excitement when he managed to kick a goal! I'm not pretending to suddenly be a sport-lover, but I am keen to spend more time together in the backyard, kicking a ball around (I'm also planning to dig out my "Fundamental Movement Skills" information from school to make sure I'm actually teaching him the right thing ;)).
So, what about you? Can you see areas of weakness that you inherited from your parents? Do you have areas of weakness that you can see your kids are developing too?