Learning Naturally

When our boys were younger we took their lead when they were learning new things.  The took to crawling all on their own, even if it was a rather unique way of doing so.  MJ always had one leg sticking out funny that would propel him along.  But we let the figure it all out.

They learned to talk each at their own pace and encouraged their efforts.  Somehow as soon as they hit a certain age I felt the pressure to begin 'teaching' more and letting them discover less.  We are still on a journey, balancing where I should step in or not.

I was reminded of their natural abilities to learn new things in their own way this past week.  I wrote a little about that here.  A friend generously gave us a pair of skates that happened to fit MJ.  TJ was very persistent in asking for skates too.  So we got some used ones.

When we went to the local park to skate outside the boys were so excited.  They described exactly how it felt to move about and the sensations of being on ice.  They didn't mind falling because they cheered each other on for standing for a few seconds.

My husband and I each took hold of one child and helped them out onto the ice.  We didn't expect our younger son to catch on as quickly so we held him up and pulled him along.  When MJ said he wanted to do his own thing we know from experience to let him.  He an be a tad stubborn (determined and persistent).  He got down into a pose that looked exactly like how he used to crawl and get around the ice happily.

TJ wanted to get going like the big kids.  We both attempted to give him instruction.  I positioned his feet, demonstrated how to push off and move his feet.  He began getting frustrated and lost that sparkle for new things.  He was trying hard to understand what we were saying and couldn't quite make his body move how we wanted him to.  He fell and wanted to give up.

I am so thankful that I recognized what was going on.  Was it a big deal if we just let him do his own thing here?  Who is he learning to skate for?  Why not just let him take the lead?

So I gave my son a big hug.  Let him know that he could move about however he felt most comfortable and to have loads of fun.  I stayed around incase he asked for a hand and cheered on his efforts.  Oh the excitement was back again.  Both my boys were so very proud of their first day of skating!!

We've been back on the ice since and still they are so pleased with shuffling around.  I love being a part of this process and watching them learn new things.