She held the drill steady in her hands as he held the wood in place. She pulled on the trigger and watched her screw go into the board. He was teaching her and she was listening. She was eager to learn so that one day she could do it on her own. That is parenting. We teach them, they listen, they do it on their own, one day they teach and another learns. It seems like an easy concept right?
So much preparation happens before the moment of eagerness and learning the skill ever begins. As parents we have to take care of that baby, nurture them, love them and help them to grow. Through our time, involvement and love we give them security, confidence and a thirst for knowledge. It happens day after day from birth through adulthood. We rarely notice we are teaching them but we have not stopped since the day of their birth. At birth we taught them they were worth bringing into the world to begin with and that we would meet every need they would encounter. We taught them independence when we guided them to walk, talk and run. We taught them the importance of the written word when we read to them. We taught them that education was a priority when we took them to school, helped them with their homework, and attended school conferences. We taught them to pray when we prayed as a family, or they heard us pray out loud. We taught them how to love their spouse by the way we treat our spouses. We taught them how to care for a house, job, yard, bills, neighbors and family as they watched us daily. We continue to teach them through our daily lives how to live.
Her eagerness to learn did not begin at age 11. Her need to listen and be with her father did not happen recently. It was cultivated by a relationship that he nurtured from her infancy. Her ability to listen and follow directions did not come from instinct but learning through the years. Her need to be independent came from years of security and confidence in herself.
We as parents start teaching by loving our children from the day of the birth to the day of our own demise. It doesn’t stop when they enter the world and leave our homes either. We are still their parents and they are still watching us. They still call for advice, stop by to talk and eventually they will bring their children, our grandchildren to us as well. The cycle never ends. That is parenting and although it seems like a simple concept it takes a lifetime to cultivate.