A momma’s view is one thing, right? But we need a dad’s view too to have the picture complete. At least that’s what I thought, when I asked Eric from All In A Dad’s Work to guest blog for me. Frankly, I wasn’t too sure what he would come up with, but hey, he got some really valid points there. Things I would have not thought writing about…
There are some obvious things you will want your children to know how to do. You’ll want them to know how to feed themselves, read, write, do math, use the toilet, and brush their teeth. This all happens (or should) before they enter school. Most of what our children learn is in school. However, I think there are some vital lessons to be learned outside of school. Things they won’t get from the classroom.
How to burp
I know it sounds rude and vulgar at first. It also sounds like a typical “boy thing”. But, I’ve heard girls belch as loud and long as any boy. If you teach them to burp, you can also teach them when not to, like in the movie theater or at a restaurant or the library. Sometimes burps can held in. While other times they burst forth like the Kool-Aid Man. That doesn’t mean it has to rattle the windows. If they can be taught to burp loudly, they can also be taught to burp silently.
How to whistle
Like the seven dwarfs sang, “whistle while you work,” learning to whistle can be rewarding. I know when our son learned to whistle he had a one note song. He whistled that one note in various repeated patterns. It was only annoying until I realized he was doing it when he was happy, content, and playing. After that I started listening for it.
How to toss and catch
I’m not talking about a major league fastball. Throwing is important, too. For this, I mean a soft, under handed toss. This always reminds me of egg toss competitions where partners stand facing one another, start tossing an egg back and forth backing away from each other after each toss. The winner is the pair farthest from each other who can still toss and catch. This is mostly about spacial awareness, judging distances, and effort required to cross the gap. Think about how often you need to judge a distance – hundreds of times if you’re driving. But it’s also handy when tossing water balloons at your friends.
How to read a map
In this day of the GPS, maps are going the way of Blockbuster. However, they are still in existence where GPS may not be functional. Malls, airports, and hiking trails come to mind. Sure, you could aimlessly wander until you find what you’re looking for or you could read the map and go straight there. Even more important would be the map on a hiking trail. Lost is scary, lost in the woods even more so. For practice I have made maps of our house, mark the map where I hid something and Crash follows the map to go find it. Really, he’s a pirate searching for my buried treasure. Argh!
How to camp
Or more to the point, the joys of camping. I’m not talking about comfy camping either. No RV’s. No cabins. Just a tent, some sleeping bags, and maybe an air mattress to ensure little ones get some actual sleep. There is great joy roasting hotdogs on a campfire. Even more joy roasting marshmallows. Then to listen to the sounds of nature as you fall asleep under a wide open sky is something to remember. Whether it’s backyard camping or miles away from civilization, it’s an experience all kids should have. We are a huge fan of star gazing, picking out constellations, and watching for meteors. We have fun seeing who can spot the most satellites, too. When you’re camping miles and miles from light pollution, the sky becomes a vast wonderland.
How to share, if they want to
Notice that clause I threw in there? It’s not always necessary for kids to share. Sure it’s nice of them to do so, but not required. For example, if Crash and Bang take a toy to play with to the park and another child approaches them and asks to play with their toy, I do not always make them share. It’s their toy, after all. I wouldn’t just hand my car over to anyone, why should they hand over the toy they’re playing with? It works in the opposite direction as well. If Crash or Bang ask another child to share and they don’t want to, I’m certainly not in the position to make them. Instead, I explain to Crash and Bang that it’s not their toy and suggest going to find something else to play. However, if the boys are playing with something that doesn’t belong to them directly and someone else wants a turn, then yes, Crash and Bang are required to share, take fair turns, and play nice. Especially if it’s my turn.