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A Father Is Their Child's First Teacher

Jan 9, 2008
As I have looked back over my life as a child and a young adult I have discovered that I learned more from dad than any other person. His influence on my life impacted me and helped develop me as a student and as an individual. There is no doubt that a everyone is nothing more than a compilation of things that people have said to us and have done to us. My dad always had plenty to say, and did many things with me as a young child that helped me develop my interests, and many of the unique talents that I have today. He was a dad who was much older than the father's of some of my friends. I was born when he was forty six years old. By the time I was 12 he had already had one stroke and didn't have the physical strength to do many of the activities that young boys enjoy participating in with their father. He might not have had the strength to play baseball, football, or basketball with me but, anytime I wanted to participate in these activities he took me to the event and watched and supported me. Anything that I wanted to be involved with he watched and critiqued my performance. He became a student of the activity and became my first teacher.

As a father of two daughters myself I have learned that I have to take on the role as an educator for my children. .As a divorced dad it has become a challenge to involve myself in my child education because I don't see my kids on a daily basis. I do however call everyday and I am very aware of their academic progress and their day to day activities. I am a participant, a student, a supporter, and a teacher of their academic program. I have been an educator for 30 years and have taught more students, teachers, and parents than I care to mention. I believe that my success will not be based on how well I educated someone else's children, but how well I educated my own children. Stephen Covey explained in is book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that a person has to achieve private victory in their life before they can have any form of public victory. In very simple terms I have to see to it that I successfully educate my own children, before I can have a part in the education of someone else's children.

WAYS TO BECOME YOUR CHILD'S TEACHER

As a dad we can initiate or participate in activities that help our children succeed academically. Helping our children learn can increase their success in school. It is extremely important for our children to be independent learners. We want them to develop a hunger for knowledge, and become lifetime learners. The frequency with which we interact in positive ways with our children will reflect our investment in our child's education and communicate to them the importance of doing well in school. Here are some steps that we can take at home that will make a positive difference in our children's education.

When your children are young read to your children, and as they get older encourage them to develop a love of reading on their own. The internet has become the tool that kids use for school assignments and reports. Encourage your kids to do some conventional research and take a trip to the library with them to find the books that they can use to complete a report or a project.

Establish daily routines with your kids that encourage times for homework and other activities. As a divorced dad I have to be sure to schedule time for my kids to visit my home on school nights. I have not been as successful with this with my oldest daughter Sarah as I would have liked. She is now almost 17 years old and has a very independent spirit. She is doing well in high school and chooses to visit my home on a very limited basis. That's okay. My involvement is going to grow exponentially as she begins to prepare to go to college. I will have guide her through this process and assist her in making wise academic and career choices. My younger daughter Grace is in the 5th grade and visits me 2-3 days a week. We do homework together have dinner and talk about her day, as well as my day. I enjoy sharing stories with her about what I did during the day. She also enjoys hearing stories about my childhood and what my father was like when I was a little boy. I have to be sure to take small steps, and monitor my progress and development as I attempt to take on this role as an educator for my children. I know that I am not perfect. I do know this though, every moment that I spend with them, and every positive word that I say will help me build stronger relationships with my children. Being divorced may not have been the very best thing for my kids, but it has forced me to look at my role as a father and use the time that I spend with them as an opportunity for them to view me as their first teacher.
About the Author
Jim Burns is one of America's most inspirational educational speakers. His humorous and insightful presentations touch and influence his audiences in an unforgettable way. He is best known for his presentations on Bullying, Motivating Disaffected Students, Diffusing Power Struggles,& CharacterEd http://www.dadtalkzone.com/
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