When our Langley Daycare staff discussed this proverb, it really made sense and we wanted to share some of the information. We’re sure you’ve all heard it before. ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day’ teach a man to fish and you feed him for lifetime.’
So what is the significance between this proverb and our children? When you think about it is completely applicable to our young ones today. In this day and age with the cost of living (yes, even in Langley), it is very common to find both parents working. This means a busier life for parents and family. As a result we tend to look for short cuts. Some days we may not even notice how many we take when raising our young ones.
How often do you do a task for your child that they could have easily done by themselves? Whether it is taking a plate over to the counter from the table when they are finished their meal, or tying up their shoes. These are tasks that by the age 5 a child should easily be able to do on their own, however as busy parents – ‘we just do it for them’ because at the immediate time it is faster and easier. The proper approach is to teach them often enough and they will eventually become more proficient and not have to ask in the future.
The above is not limited to some of their tasks however how we let them think or not as well. Rather than making our kids think for themselves, how often do we just provide an answer to a question. How many times have we been on an important call and had a child interrupt us to find something in the cupboard that they should know and be allowed to access? This could be a small item like honey. When our kids ask us questions, we need to work with them to let them solve the answer to their question. We should not be so quick to provide it to them. This will help them with not only figuring things out on their own, but will also help with confrontations. How many times have you heard a couple of kids disagreeing and as a parent, stepped in, given direction or separated the kids? Rather, we should work with them to solve their own disagreements letting them sort the bulk of the disagreement out on their own.
By solving our children’s decisions and conflict for them, we deprive them of child age appropriate duties or tasks. This can have further negative effects into their teen years and as an adult. Kids need to start learning at an early age and learn to think for themselves. This will help them and yourself in the long run. All it takes is a bit of practice. The feeling you have when you can sit back and watch them become self-independent is amazing.