Training Day

Training is NOT

Bossing people around. Giving instructions. Nagging. Reminding. Cajoling. Commanding. Doing it for them as they watch. Expecting perfection. Wanting them to do it your ONE superior, fabulous, efficient and morally correct way.

Training IS

Asking them if they would like to learn how to do something (and then accepting the answer). Watching what they already know how to do. Building on strengths. Expecting mistakes. Embracing creativity. Learning to love a lumpy bed, a messy worksheet, a baggie full of Doritos and all the Doritos on the ground.


When you are tired, grouchy, over caffeinated. Do not offer to train when you mean they have to do something. Do not train when the child is upset, tired or grouchy. Do not train when it's game time. Do not have child practice tying shoes when it's 5 minutes to out the door time. Do not have child set the table when your boss is coming to dinner and you really care about how it looks and you're going to do it over again anyway. 


When you are both in a good mood and willing to work together. Train on something the child wants to learn. Train when you can take the long view - child's room will be neat and tidy when he is 37 AND it's important to practice now. Train when it is NOT game time (again, I can't emphasize this enough) - try new foods at snack time (not at dinner time), practice tying shoes before bed (not when you need to get out of the house, in a rush!), crack a dozen eggs with nothing in particular to cook (not when you only have two eggs for your recipe you are making to take to tonights potluck).


Imbue the child with possibility and creativity.  Work with their strengths. Training blossoms at lots of different times. That means that even though it feels like they will never fold their clothes, or put them away, or heck - even get them into the dirty clothes bin for gosh durn sakes - keep planting and sowing the seeds. In our family garden we never know what's gonna bloom when. Training is relationship building (nagging is relationship draining). Training is an investment. Invest early, invest often!