Or how do I teach “Look at it, listen to it, smell it, touch it, and then, if nothing else goes wrong, lick it.”?
The question of my personal parenting purpose has been hanging around in the back of my head for some time. I mean, what is the essential skill or skills I want to make sure my daughter has? I don’t mean reading, or driving, or other crap like that. There are professionals out there to teach that stuff. I mean essential skills like self-reliance, self-evaluation, courage, kindness — the important things you can’t just leave to teachers and television. So when I received this comment from a friend (one of the most astute people I know and an avid girl gamer to boot, which becomes relevant later) it really hit home. This is what I’m supposed to teach her as a mother! “Look at it, listen to it, smell it, touch it, then lick it.” It strangely encapsulates the best skills of assessment, planning, deep thinking, empathy, problem-solving, courage, and wonder that I’d like my daughter to have by the time she’s 25 or so. (I can discuss why 25, but that’s a different post.) (more…)