An A-Ha Moment...

"Teaching gives knowledge. Training gives skill. Teaching fills the mind. Training shapes the habit. Training enables a child to make use of that which is already his posession." -H. Clay Trumbull

As I read this I was struck by how true this really is. This week my reading brought me back to this a-ha (and no I don't mean the band) moment. Teaching gives knowlege and Training gives skill. I can remember when the children were younger asking them to clean their rooms and becoming so frustrated at the result they would call me in to see. "Your Barbies are still on the floor. Why are your dirty clothes not put away? Look, your bed isn't even made." I began to dread checking their rooms and would often allow them to neglect the chore while I picked up instead. But what was I truly teaching them? That if they didn't do the job correctly someone else would follow through for them? Surely this was not reflective of my parenting worldview!

Of course it wasn't. How could I expect them to do the job to my expectations when I never gave them the proper tools to use for the job? They had the knowledge but not the skill. And so I began creating a list of how to clean each room in the house with every possible detail imagined. I printed them out and brought the children to the room to learn how I expected each chore to be accomplished. I remember even finding a short video on YouTube that taught how to propely clean toilets. :-) With the checklist on hand, demonstrations shown, and proper guidance I handed back over the task of cleaning. Upon completion, we would go through the list to assure that things were completed.

There was a greater sense of accomplishment for all knowing how to do the job but also having the skills to complete the job.


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