How often have you felt totally inadequate by not being able to achieve in areas that others do?
When I was young there were some studies and activities I knew I was good at but some definitely not. Unfortunately, as we all know, some skills are given more credit by the school system and by society than others, for example math and science as opposed to art, metal or woodwork, cooking, sewing and/or music.
We know there are some occupations that require a massive amount of learning, resulting in huge salaries and a great deal of prestige. We are thankful for their skill when we need it. However, if a surgeon's car breaks down in the middle of a snow storm, who will he call? Who will he be eternally grateful to see show up to deal with his issue? The guy driving the tow truck and the guy who knows how to fix his Bentley.
My husband just retired from the school system after 52 years since he started teaching. As the years have gone by he has become increasingly frustrated by the fact that manual skills such as woodwork, metal work, cooking and motor mechanics have been taken out of the syllabus and PE, music and art are in rotation, giving children less time in these classes. They are not seen as having enough value in society to warrant spending so much time in them. What is the result? There is now a shortage of manual skills in the workplace.
There is a serious message here about how our children feel about themselves.
We need to:
- Give value to all skills.
- Expose our kids to all kinds of activities to see where they shine.
- Ensure they are following their dreams and not yours.
- Appreciate and encourage differences between family members.
- Ensure they have every opportunity to be the very best they can be in whatever is 'their thing'.
In saying all of the above, we do need to ensure our kids be proficient enough in all basic skills e.g. math, writing and social sciences to get by in the world they live in.
Never allow yourself or your kids to feel inferior because you/they 'failed' something. If they need to have that skill, get them extra help. Give yourself and your kids a big thumbs up for what you do excel in and compliment all those you know in their area of expertise. It gives them and their specialty more value.
So what if a fish can't climb a tree? It just needs to find the right environment and it's off.
Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families