Thursday, July 05, 2007

Learning from our children

As parents, one of our responsibilities is teaching our children. Imparting our life's lessons and knowledge onto them.

While that's true, we should not be blind to the lessons they can -- and do -- teach us.

My youngest son (age 6+) and I were playing Tuesday evening, and he "invented" a new game. The game was throwing Whiffle Balls into a plastic basket (kind of looks like a small, round clothes basket, but with a handle) from a few feet away. The object of course, was to see who could throw the most balls in during our respective turns.

After the first rounds, neither one could keep a ball in the basket -- they'd hit inside, but bounce off and out.

Plastic on plastic can make for a too-bouncy of a game.

So, my thought to try to resolve the problem was for us to throw lighter. Don't toss them too high so they bounce out; just a gentle toss.


While I was coming up with my own solution, my son wondered away a bit and gathered some of the fresh grass clippings and laid them at the bottom of the basket.

Problem solved!

No longer were the balls bouncing out. They landed softly (at least the ones that made it into the basket) and stayed.

So, he taught me a lesson.

To solve a problem, sometimes you have to change the situation rather than change your approach.
-- Michael