How do your children perceive you? Do you remember discovering things about your parents that as a younger child you never really understood or considered a reality? I’m not talking about deep, dark secrets, I mean ordinary aspects of their humanness.

Were you surprised when your Mom told you about a time she endured a broken heart? What about when you found out your Dad used to be in a band? Or maybe your heart was forever changed when you saw your mother alone, on her knees in prayer. Are you one of those kids that figured that your conception was the last time your parents… you know…

Was it a process? Learning that your parents are real people, with real experiences, feelings, struggles, passions and talents?

As a child I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house, which was the only house on a beautiful lake in Maine. My cousins and I spent a lot of time in the water while my grandmother was working very hard at maintaining their house and several sporting camps and serving the guests of those camps. It was unusual for her to do anything “fun”. I remember one day in particular. It was a beautiful sunny day and the kids were all in the lake, as usual. But on this special day, “Gram” put on a swim suit (who knew she had a swim suit?) and came in the lake with us. That was over 30 years ago, and yet the memory is still vivid. I saw my Grandmother in a new light. I saw another dimension of her humanness. And it was a blessing.

If we really want to connect with our kids and if we want our life to make a difference in theirs, we have to let them see us being real people. We don’t want them to see us as one dimensional beings, put here to be a chauffeur, nurse, and chore dictator.

Our children need to see us;

  • Crying
  • Laughing
  • Praying (while crying and laughing!)
  • Working
  • Flirting with their dad!
  • Working through disagreements
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Offering forgiveness

And because we want our children to develop a love for learning, it is imperative that our children see us learning. But not just learning anything, learning what we want to learn.

What message are we sending to our children if our only involvement in learning is to facilitate theirs?<-Tweet that) I’ll spill the beans; we’re telling them that learning is for children.

And that would be tragic.

Another memory I carry with me is of the season in which my mom decided to take lessons in cake decorating. I was young, but I remember feeling so proud of her, and admittedly a little bit more aware of her individuality. I loved seeing the cakes she brought home (and eating them of course.) I thought it was very cool that my mom could decorate cakes. Imagine my surprise and pride when my very own “regular” mom actually made a wedding cake for a friend. She probably has no idea, but that left me with an underlying inspiration to learn fun things. Thanks Mom!

We need to be modeling interest-led learning for our children. If we don’t, we teach them by default that learning is not for adults. We’ll spend 18 years teaching our children how to learn, only to leave the impression that when they grow up they will be too busy to learn. Sounds like 18 wasted years to me.


Next week we’ll look into how we can model interest-led learning for our kids. I know you’re busy. I’ll show you why it matters so much, and how you can make it happen. Make sure you sign up for my mailing list so you won’t miss next week’s article. Just leave your info in the box at the top right corner of this page where it says Free E-book.


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