The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart. (Mencius, Chinese philosopher 372-289 BC)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

You can tell they're growing up ...When Dad isn't always right!

Taken from Centre Parcs website

Being the Dad of a small person can be very good for one's ego. I spoke last week about my promotion to DIY demigod in little Dubmeister's eyes. He loved to mimic me and work alongside his guru as he sought to learn from the master. You can revisit that post here.

The second reason why the fatherhood of the very young does wonders for one's ego is that in our preschooler's eyes we are never wrong.

Daddy (and Mummy of course) know everything. They can fix stuff, they can find stuff and they are the fount of all knowledge.

Want to know WHY Dinosaurs no longer roam the Earth? Ask Dad.
Want to know WHY there are stars in the sky? Ask Dad.
Want to know WHY Granny smells? Don't be so rude!

I soon discovered that as long as you sounded confident in your answers they believed you! It was fantastic.

Sadly that illusion of all-knowingness does not last. It is first chipped away by the arrival at the age of 4 or 5 of the TEACHER.

Teachers, as we all know, live in the classroom cupboard where they infuse knowledge and chalk dust and emerge every morning at 8am like intellectual butterflies to spread knowledge and cheer wherever they go. They know absolutely everything from the time right now to the answer to 8 times 6 via "What is the capital of Peru?"

No parent can compete with that.

E's friend Bess (aged 7) put me in my place on a recent trip to the beach when she informed me that as her teacher had said that the journey to the seaside would take 2 hours - that must be absolutely the case and I was clearly hopelessly optimistic in estimating a journey of 90 minutes.

And yes, I was right and teacher was wrong, and yes, I did cheer inwardly and no, I didn't crow about it to anybody (until now).

Once the original facade has been chipped at there is no going back as your progeny slowly comes to the realisation that you do not actually know everything and in fact there are serious gaps in your knowledge.

From Wikipedia
The Dubmeister has recently started to take great delight in bamboozling me with Year 8 slang. (Any idea what "Pone" means? - No, me neither.)
Dubmeister has always been a boy of obsessions. One of his more recent obsessions was with the planes of the Battle of Britain. He doesn't bother asking me about these.
More worryingly, E has recently found me wanting on knowledge about Dinosaurs and M has discovered that what I know about the Ancient Greeks can be squeezed onto the back of a postage stamp.

I guess there are two ways to react to this situation. You can either give up and succumb to the inevitable or you can use this as an opportunity to learn from your kids and respect them as the fascinating individuals that they are growing into.

I favour the latter.

Where are you at on this journey? Are you still a "know everything teacher" or have you (like me) recently become a learner? Would love to compare notes.

Speak soon

PS - More "You can tell they're growing up when..." coming next week.

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