I was reminded again recently about how important the foundations for life are that parents create for their children.
Max was playing with a toy- the kind you put rings around a small pole and the lights blink when it slip on correctly. He was too uncoordinated to conquer it. As I watched him try, I was frustrated for him. He kept trying, however, and continued to fail.
Common sense, isn't it? You probably would start by using two hands to level the ring and gently push both sides down so it slips nicely over the little button that signals the lights to blink. But then I thought, I bet I learned this trick too at some point before my recollection. So is it really common sense or was it that I had the opportunity to play and explore and figure out how the world works? Maybe a little of both?
Experience is a key to confidence and competence. Knowledge is only a small part of the equation. The more experiences we have, the more well rounded we become. Parents can create these experiences. Sometimes this takes money, but I think mostly it takes time and attention. Plant a seed, throw a ball, make oatmeal, kick 'em outside and let them play together to for a few hours.
They might not remember the actual experience, but what they did learn sticks with them, they will build on it, learn more and more. One day they will have a valuable skill that they have no idea how they know what they know, but they know it.