As parents, we are the first and most important teachers to our own children. We are responsible not only for their safety, health, and comfort – but also to make sure they learn to put their own dang things away and say “thank you” and “please” and to not eat off the floor at Target.
We also try to teach them things that are in our own arsenal of talents – whether it be cooking, painting, soccer, baseball, writing, bowling, or poker. Some kids are receptive to learning from their parents – they love for their parents to show them how to bake or how to ski or how to drive a car. But some kids would rather their parents stay a few sidewalk squares behind them or basically stop telling them what to do.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a great teacher to my kids. I think I let our personal relationship cloud the good I try to do with instruction, my patience runs thin, and my expectations maybe too high. And maybe, just maybe, my kids have a harder time learning skills from me or their dad than they do from a stranger or an expert. Maybe my kids just don’t listen to me anymore. Because they are tweens and they are smarter than I am. Right?
So when I told the girls they had an archery lesson with a professional, while they were nervous to meet someone new, and show their skills to a stranger, I think they were excited to go to the next level in the sport. I don’t shoot – but Jed does – and he has enjoyed teaching them. But I think we all realized that for their love to continue, they needed to either join a club or have lessons that did not come from a parent.
We headed to A1 Archery and met Dana for their lesson. They thought she was the coolest person on Earth because she is a mom, a marathon runner, an instructor, and competes professionally at the sport.
And within just minutes, Dana had the girls shooting better than ever. She took the skills they already knew and just tweaked them a bit and boom – “bullseyes” all over the place. Their confidence soared and now they want to shoot more. I would love to see them join a team or club – but am not sure that will ever be their personality. What I would love to do though is start an archery club at their school to get more kids into this fun sport.
In the meantime though, I think the girls now get to show Jed a few new things to improve his shooting. And now that Astrid has her own bow – well she has some amazing older sister teachers to give her some pointers.
And for now I’ll just continue to stand back, smile, and watch my kids continue to learn.
Disclosure: I’m working with Genesis to promote their #BullsIDidIt program, but all words and opinions are my own.