Meditations on patience and teaching

My son took a field trip yesterday to a place that teaches children how to cook. I have to admit that I’ve been less than great about that at home. Half the time when he wants to help I’m trying to make dinner and get it on the table quickly because everyone’s hungry. The other half of the time I wasn’t planning on cooking anything but he wants me to and wants to help. I want to raise boys who know how to do for themselves. I guess that means I need to teach them, doesn’t it? He’s old enough now that he can help with pretty much everything if only I gave him the chance.

Patience is something that I never had much of until I had kids. I’ve learned some but obviously not enough. When I’m doing something, I want to do it my way without inturruption. Yeah, that’s going to have to change quickly. The older one is eight. He’s old enough to learn how to do laundry and have regular chores and start learning to cook. That means I’m going to have to cultivate patience enough to teach him. I just have to remember that waiting for him to do something is not time wasted, it’s an investment in his future. So, we’ll start small and work our way up. Teaching him to cook food that he likes. Doing his own laundry once in a while. I just need to remember that the goal isn’t to get it done quickly but to teach him the skills to do it for himself.

It’s worth remembering that. I am going to have to learn a lot of new things in my life and I want my teachers to be patient with me. I need to remember to extend that patience to whomever I am teaching. I’m learing as the years go on that good things take time. I can’t expect anyone to pick things up immediately and know how to do them. Including me.

As far as teaching, if the person I’m teaching isn’t getting it, I need to remember that it’s not them being dense or trying to frustrate me, it’s me not teaching in a way they understand. My husband doesn’t learn the way I do. I learn by reading or hearing and taking notes (one of the reasons I loved school so much for so long). He is a hands-on learner. If I tried to explain an engine to him using diagrams and books, he wouldn’t understand as well as if I gave him am engine and let him take it apart and rebuild it. Everyone has their own learning style and if one way of explaining something doesn’t work, I need to try another that plays to different parts of the brain.
I have no idea how my younger son learns yet so there’s going to have to be some experimentation there. My older son seems to be taking more after my husband in terms of his academic strengths, so my teaching is going to have to be more hands-on and math centered. Difficult for a liberal arts kind of gal, but not impossible.

All of this is to say that I need to remember to cut everyone, including myself, some slack. I need to take the time to teach my kids, or whoever, whatever it is, in a way that makes sense to them. They say patience is a virtue and, whether you’re talking about a garden growing, or a child, I’m learning that it’s true.

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4 Responses to Meditations on patience and teaching

  1. Okay, I’m gonna cut you some slack. You must have written this in a hurry because it is full of typos. You don’t HAVE to post everyday. Teach your son while he is interested and he will be able to fend for himself instead of always calling on you.

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