I consider myself a teaching mom. I don’t necessarily break out the workbook pages, but I am constantly looking for teachable moments. Life lessons in the midst of everyday situations.
About a week ago, my 7 year old son mentioned that he’s not a good runner. He had gone to a cross-country track meet with my husband and thought it was cool, but assumed he wouldn’t be good at it because the other boys at recess are faster than he is.
I took this opportunity to teach a life lesson. My brother, his uncle, is very fit. He’s a runner. He has competed in half-marathons, triathlons, and is working toward doing a full marathon. This is how my son knows him. But, growing up, if you would have told me, or especially him, that he would someday be a runner, we would have laughed. He was always a gifted athlete, but he hated running. He made All-State as the Center of his football team, and he was BIG. He left the running to the guys for whom it was natural. But, he has learned to run.
As an adult, I have realized that most things in life can be learned. I taught Theatre Arts, and have a passion for teaching people to act. I always had a natural ability in the area of acting, but I remember when my eyes were finally opened to the fact that acting is a skill that can be learned. I have such incredible gratefulness toward the college professor who taught us real, tangible skills. For me, the skills brought me to a new level. But what I love about teaching acting is seeing people who never thought they could act, learn that they can! I have seen kids and even adults go from being shy wallflowers with almost no confidence to being excellent actors, because they learn the skills.
There are people who pick up a guitar and play it beautifully the first time. There are others who take off as soon as someone teaches them how to do it. Then there are others who are terrible at first. It doesn’t come naturally, but they spend hours and hours practicing the small things, until they can finally play a song.
When it comes to having a neat and orderly home, I am the one for whom it doesn’t come naturally. But as I try to teach my children, skills can be learned. I’ve made lots of excuses in the past and felt completely justified because keeping a neat home is legitimately hard for me. But the more I practice the skills I need, the better I become. If I keep practicing, and don’t give up, maybe someday I’ll be good at this!