What are we really teaching our children?

After last weeks post about my frustration at seeming to be limited in life and parenting by the numbers on my bank account I’ve not really had the heart to write this week.  I sat down to write this evening and I didn’t have an idea so I logged out, ate dinner and then remembered what I wanted to say and it isn’t unrelated to that posts, or more to the point the generous, encouraging comments it received.

As the title suggests I’ve been pondering what we teach our children and I suppose how we teach our children, but as ever this is a sideways thought on the subject.

Today I took Isabelle to the park, we went on the swings, we kicked a ball and we flew a kite.  On the way there we met a three legged cat and on the way back there was a tantrum.

At home there were cuddles followed by a lunch ignored in favour of splashing in the rain.  Baking cakes, playing, going to the supermarket to buy grow bags so that back home we could pot up the tomato plant seedlings.

Then blowing bubbles in the back yard.

You get the idea.  A busy day of doing.

So what was I teaching my child?  Well without intending to teach her anything in particular in doing I am sharing knowledge, developing skills and encouraging her own confidence to discover and learn.

In the half hour it took to make cup cakes these are just a few of the things that my daughter did:

  • Improved gross motor skills and balance standing on the chair to help.
  • Improved her fine motor skills and learnt about measuring when she scooped the ingredients from the jars to the balance.
  • Learnt about textures, temperatures and taste by spilling the eggs and mixing and tasting the cake mix that used melted butter.
  • Found out she doesn’t like honey and spice cup cakes, luckily I do.

And of course I’m teaching her how to make this cake out of all the other cakes we make, I’m teaching her to bake and giving her the skills to feed herself, perhaps a family and also giving her a skill she can pass on, if I say so myself that’s not half bad for a grey day in May.

So whatever you do with your children this week, do something and know that you are teaching them even if you don’t know just what that is just yet.

Which reminds me I really must thank my mum for teaching me to bake.

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4 Responses to What are we really teaching our children?

  1. fireflyphil May 2, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Well, there you are, you see. That’s a lot of enjoyable, valuable things just in one day!

    • Ruth May 9, 2011 at 2:41 am #

      It was a lovely day and another lovely weekend this weekend, all full of doing!

  2. Michelle @utterlyscrummy May 2, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    What a brilliant post!

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that baking, creating, and just doing things together teach our children so much. We are confronted by negative numbers when checking our bank account and it is depressing even though we are doing all we can to turn it back to positive.

    I think we underestimate how much more valuable it is to spend time with, rather than money on, our children. In the holidays I give my daughters a free cardboard box each from the supermarket with cheap paints or chalk and they use their imagination to turn it in to a car, boat, princess carriage, rocket, playhouse for fairies etc. You don’t need loads of money to have fun with and teach our children, just patience and time to spend with them.

  3. Ruth May 9, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    Thank you Michelle,
    I know that my child is so busy in the week that all she really wants is my attention and company at the weekend. It is good to reflect that in keeping her company I am also helping her develop and learn.

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