You can do it, but I can’t!
Parents can’t always do the things their kids are supposed to be learning.
Did you know that not all parents have managed to master some key childhood skills? I’ll even include myself with them, just so that you know I’m not judging anyone. It becomes tricky to encourage your child that "anything is possible" when you aren’t able to do something yourself. “Why not?” your kids will ask and you may struggle to find an answer.

"But I don't know HOW!"

Take some childhood milestones like learning to tie shoelaces or a neck-tie. For girls, these are lesser priorities, as girls’ school shoes are often buckled, and fewer schools are requiring neckties.

So those aren’t too serious.

What about riding a bike? There are lots of kids whose parents lived in an area which wasn’t bike-friendly, weren’t wealthy enough to afford one or who simply didn’t see the value in bike-riding. That said, many children develop a healthy relationship with the rules of the road and an understanding of road users by wobbling around the neighbourhood.

Still, it’s not vital to have bike riding as a skill.

Swimming is harder to avoid learning to do- most schools which have the facilities require pupils to learn to swim. Even if it’s not a school-learnt skill, many kids pick it up by spending time around a swimming pool, river or dam, or by taking swimming lessons. But there are plenty of parents out there who can’t swim. Being able to swim has obvious advantages, including being able to rescue a child in the water.

It’s difficult to encourage your child to be brave in the water if you can’t swim!

I can’t drive. There you go- there’s my confession. But it’s something I need to do, so it’ll be back to the driving school for me, soon. Wait. I can hear a ghostly primary school teacher's voice there, whispering, "there's no such word as 'can't'..."

And that’s not such a bad thing. There will always be things I’m dreadful at doing, like tuning in a TV, for example, but I’m prepared to learn. There could be an opportunity for other parents out there, too. Instead of saying “I can’t...” you could learn alongside your kids. We’re never finished growing up, after all.

Back to parent school

Not only will you learn some new skills, but your children will see you in action, willing to push the boundaries. That’s a pretty positive example to set, right? I know I am thoroughly impressed with adults who go back to school in order to get that certificate, or who master an art having only taken it on later in life.

Cooking, biking, swimming, typing, sport, education- the list of challenges you could tackle is endless. Just please, whatever you do, don’t ask me to learn maths.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

What’s the one thing you never got the hang of that you’d like to learn now?

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