Childhood Behavior

Do you remember when you first mastered tying your shoes or whistling?

These are what I call “Original Learning Experiences”, learning something for the very first time.

Most people can’t remember many (if any) of their original leaning experiences. I can remember trying to tie my shoes, but not mastering it….when I finally “got it” (I never learned to whistle.).

I see a lot of kids (who are still learning things for the first time) with parents that are frustrated because “He just doesn’t seem to be “getting it”!, “She is so slow at times!” or “He’s just doing this to frustrate me!”.

Now, every situation is different but I have noticed in a fair amount of these cases that the problem is that the parent has forgotten that there is a time when you learn something for the very first time. If you are still having a problem with this concept, think back to the time you first understood what sex is all about….You recall that “Ah ha” moment. That was your original learning experience in that area.  Children have them ALL THE TIME and sadly, many parents don’t realize this and/or have forgotten having them themselves.

What other original learning experiences are there for children?…riding a bike, getting dressed, making breakfast for yourself, making breakfast for one of your parents, going “potty”, taking a bath by yourself, understanding death (through the loss of a close pet or a grandparent, brother, sister, friend or parent), the first time you stole something, the first time you lied, the first time you felt guilty, etc.

It is easy to forget these things.  It is important to remember them….for the sake of your children and your parenting.

I remember a father in my office that was so frustrated at his son.  He’d asked him to help him rake the yard.  The father was in the front and the boy, about 7, was in the back.  After a while by himself, the father checked on him son and found the boy trying to knock leaves (the yellow and red ones) out of the tree with his rake. The boy was earnest in his efforts to help.  The father was angry.  I told the father a story about myself.  For the longest time, perhaps until I was 7, I always thought of the season of “Spring” as a time when a big spring would bounce around the earth, skewering people and taking them to heaven (Yeah, I was a little morbid as a kid!).