Kate’s Corner: Exploring New Frontiers with Your Child
Posted November 16, 2009on:
Once upon a time, we brought a new puppy into the house. A puppy is a baby with four feet and fur. He put everything in his mouth. He pooped where he shouldn’t have. He cried at night. He was very expensive. And yet, we adored him and instantly couldn’t imagine life without him.
My children were older, yet became totally consumed with and excited about the introduction of this little pet. They took on new responsibilities. They were attentive to, and curious about, the many changes they saw in the puppy’s behavior and growth. They were mindful and helpful. They had a wonderful time while learning something new.
No, I’m not trying to convince you to buy your children a pet! I’m just using this example to point out that introducing your children to new things and experiences is an invaluable part of your role in their lives. Among other benefits, it can lead to some wonderful discussions, teaching you more about your child even as it teaches them to evaluate their experiences. Ask them: What’s different? What’s similar? What do you like best? What don’t you like? How does this “something new” personally affect you? What new responsibilities are there for you? Did you enjoy this? If not, why?
We often fill our children’s lives with too much of the same thing. It’s easier, cheaper and more convenient for most of us to repeat activities and situations. While it is absolutely valuable to allow children to find comfort in familiarity, it is also essential to introduce them to new aspects of life that may have far-reaching influence: A pet, a garden, a food, a destination, a toy, a friend, a job, a color of paint, a visit to a gallery, an author, a project, a picnic spot, a play, a song, a joke, a game, a recipe. New is different, and different can be good!
What a privilege to experience, with your children, the variety that life offers us. Anything you introduce them to, no matter how small, may very well become something they love forever. No matter how old they are.
Make Learning Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director