My wife and I recently had an opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons. Our two regular, daytime childcare providers chose the same week for their summer vacations.
Instead of scrambling to find replacements we do other things. We decided to take a little break ourselves and go to a nearby hot springs retreat for a few days.
I have some relaxation and enjoyment in one of the warm pools. I had this interesting conversation with a man who had been a ski instructor for over 15 years.
Child knows he can
The resort where he teaches in Utah has some kind of harness. It allows the instructor to ski with a child as young as 2-3 years old. The harness gives the child the feeling of skiing freely while ensuring his or her safety. The instructor is always connected and supporting the child.
In this way a child grows up “knowing” that he or she can ski. They never have the awkwardness that older children or adults experience when putting skis on for the first time.
Their bodies and brains get programmed early on to believe that skiing is normal. They believe it is natural, and that they know how to do it.
Teaching a child that she can do it
The next morning, I took my daughter for a walk in her new stroller. We meander alongside a gurgling creek. I notice that she is having trouble getting her bottle out of the mesh cup holder.
She kept trying, coming very close, until finally she looked up at me, clearly asking for help. My first instinct was to reach down and take the bottle out of the pocket for her.
But I resisted that urge, and instead, encouraged her to try again. “You can do it.”