Recently, I saw a bike camp for children. Not an extreme mountain biking program or a distance training camp, as you may expect. No, I saw a “learn how to ride your bike” program for young children.
Here we go again, wa s my first thought, but then my second thought was, that is enough! There are swim lessons, ski lessons, learn to ride your bike lessons, cooking lessons, art lessons, music lessons, etc. I have even seen a lesson for kids to learn how to catch a ball. Yes apparently, people are outsourcing throwing around a ball with their own children.
However, the problem isn’t limited to lessons. Don’t get me started on what is going on with early age preschools. We are sending kids to “school” at younger and younger ages. Putting them into educational programs before they are even out of diapers. People, if a child is not toilet trained, they do not need to be learning Chinese or STEM activities!
But, you know what really bothers me about this push to outsource our children to the “professionals”? It isn’t the classes. I am sure my child would enjoy a biking class. What bothers me, is that we are sending a message to parents that they are not capable to teach and train their own child, when in fact this is a lie. Who better knows how to train a child other than their parent?
I want to shout it from the rooftops, YOU ARE CAPABLE.
If you have a desire to teach your child to read, then teach your child to read. If you want them to ride a bike, then get them into the street and guide them on a bike. If you want to teach them to ski, then hook up a guide rope and teach them to ski.
We need to take back some of our autonomy and stop outsourcing our role as the parent.
Let me clarify. If you do not know how to swim, then by all means, find your child a lesson. My intention is not to shame all parents who have children in lessons. But rather, I want to empower the parents who do desire to teach their children, and yet wrestle in doubt because of a world that says they are not capable.
Personally, we have taught our kids to swim, ride bikes, ski, throw balls, read, and write. We did, however, outsource music because I myself did not learn music past a few years of beginner instruction. Clearly, I am not against all lessons, but I want you to be confident in your abilities. I want you to know that God has given you children that you know best, and that you can raise, teach and train.
So perhaps, save some money. Spend some time with your child and do the work to equip them. Then when they soar off on that bike for the first time, you will be the one beaming with pride.
You are capable. You are, and don’t let anyone cause you to doubt your capability when it comes to your own children.