For many families, January is a time to take a breather. With the holidays behind them they can now take a break from all the busyness of the Christmas season. But in my household this is not the case.
The holiday decorations may be put away and we are done with holiday parties. (My family and I hosted eight parties!) Now we’re onto the “fix it” project list, which is a mile long. This is the time my husband and I look around and see all the things in the house that need fixing.
I always knew that I would have to marry someone that would be able to fix a problem in the house instead of calling a repairman. That was how my father and grandfathers did things and I expected my husband to be the same. Thank goodness I married such a man! So, this past weekend the toolbox came out and my husband, children, and I got to work.
I have a question for you. Do your children know how to use tools? Not home repair hand tools, but the tools necessary to be successful in school and take ownership over their lives? In my experience working with students and their families, most do not. Parents are often doing work for their children with constant reminders, showing kids the right answer way too soon, not allowing for failure, or stepping in with teachers without their children’s input.
Instead, it is our role as parents to give our children the tools to take on ownership of their own work and ultimately their own lives. Consider some of these “tools.”
- Learning how to use a planner to organize assignments and due dates.
- Documenting questions to ask teachers before kids go to class.
- Allowing failure to be an opportunity for reflection and growth.
- Setting up an email account so the child can email teachers directly.
I often use the analogy of a toolbox when I speak to parent and teacher groups. I see a lot of children as having empty or ill-equipped toolboxes. Mom and Dad, it is our job to fill those toolboxes AND show children how to use each tool effectively. With this knowledge, they can take pride in their work.
In upcoming blogs, we’ll go deeper in developing the “how-to” of each tool. My husband’s toolbox is full of helpful gadgets. Let’s help our children pack their toolboxes with the skills necessary to be successful in their endeavors.
By Megan Stone
Wife to Rick, Mom of 2
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member, Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.