Parenting

Teaching Your Child To Lift a Car


Yesterday my husband Wade took the day off (that's one of the really cool things about having your own business!). The only bad thing about yesterday is that two of the kids are still sick-they have that cold with the horrible cough and congestion.

So, needless to say, I've been going a little stir crazy and was so happy for the extra help.

The kids were excited too. They love spending time with their Dad.

In fact, on days he does work, there's a terrible commotion when he comes home. As soon as the van pulls in the driveway, the kids run to the window and start yelling, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" in that familiar, excited child chant. Next, as Wade comes up the sidewalk, they all scramble to get to the front door-usually getting in trouble for pushing to see who gets to stand right at the opening. Finally, the front door opens, and everyone cries, "Daddy, you're home!" They jump up and down while they wait for their turn to be picked up and hug.

There's nothing my kids like more than spending time with their Dad, and I hope the same is true for you too!

So, on Wade's day home yesterday, he decided that he needed to get the garage organized. Of course, everyone wanted to go out and help; and I was just to eager to get some breathing space. Since the garage is heated, they could have a little fun without it slowing down their immune system.

They were probably out there for three hours, but it seemed like only three minutes before they were back inside and desperate for something to eat.

As I fixed them something, I listened to stories from the garage. One that nine-year-old Nathan told me really caught my attention.

Wade prefaced the story with the fact that he's teaching Nathan to be a problem solver. While they had been working, he told Nathan about a problem and how it was solved.

Afterward, Wade had asked Nathan, "Do you see how you can solve any problem when you want to?"

"Yeah," Nathan had answered, "well, yeah, except I know I can't lift a car?"

How like Nathan. He is so exact and tries to immediately think about any exception that may exist to any statement or principle.

But now Nathan picked up telling the story, "Yeah," he laughed, "I told Daddy there was no way I could lift a car!"

I was all ears.

"So, Daddy said I could do anything I wanted and took me over to the car and I lifted the car."

What! Nathan lifted a car? Did Wade tap into some type of mental super-strength for my child to lift the front of a car?

"So," I asked, wide-eyed, "how exactly did you lift the car?" I wasn't really sure I was prepared for the answer!

"It was easy," Nathan said with sparkling eyes, "I put a jack under it and pumped it up."

"That's wonderful!" I exclaimed, amazed at my husbands lesson. It was actually two lessons: 1. You can solve any problem, and 2. Think beyond the obvious.

I needed that lesson. When I was thinking about lifting a car, the only thing in my mind was someone putting their two hands under the bumper and lifting it up. But in actuality, using your mind to come up with a solution is more powerful.

That's the type of thinking that allowed a man to invent the steam engine. That's the kind of thinking that allows us to drive 70 miles an hour in vehicles of total luxury. That's the kind of thinking that got a man on the moon.

The lesson to use your mind to find solutions for the "impossible" is more valuable than I can describe. Take a moment today to reveal to your children the awesome power they possess!

Laura Bankston is author of Cooking with Kids Curriculum: "Homeschool Cooking in a Box" and the "Homeschool Cookbook". She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com


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