How Parents Support Their Children’s Milestone Activities
Guest blogger P J Caposey described his daily challenges in teaching his kids how to manage their laundry. Should we give them access to the washer and dryer at age seven or wait until they’re teens? This is a dilemma parents have struggled with for generations.
All Night Washing and Drying
My adult daughters started washing their clothes around age twelve. Both had clothing allowances and they purchased expensive clothes. When they spilled something on their clothing, it became my problem if I could not remove the stain. That was when I decided that they could manage the washing machine and dryer. Added challenges included washing clothing all hours of the night for a sporting event or washing one item because it was needed for school. Thankfully, the washer and dryer were located in the garage so we did not hear the machines at night. There were a couple of times our daughter left lipstick in her pocket and everything in the wash load was ruined. My spouse hand scrubbed each piece of clothing with a cleaning solvent to wash out the lipstick. My daughter has never forgotten this kindness.
And What About Sports?
When the girls were not washing their clothes, they were participating in various sports. We quickly learned that we were not permitted to talk or cheer during games. We had to stay quiet even when we attended five sporting events a week.
Now I am a grandma and the stakes are much higher as my granddaughter is a very competent select soccer player. Thankfully, we did not cheer and only clapped at a recent exciting game. We now have been cleared to watch more games next season.
After each game, there is lots of time to reflect and discuss the various plays and activities. This is my time to shine and just listen and encourage. It is so much easier supporting my grandkids’ sports as I can walk away and not worry about the daily practices and ongoing difficulties on the field.
Gaining New Skills with Each Generation!
As a grandma, I have learned how to bounce a soccer ball off my head! I also impressed my granddaughter that I actually know how to play volleyball. The other day, my grandson was eager to show me his increased baseball skills. Guess who was not able to pitch over hand? I could only pitch under hand. All of my pitches nearly hit my grandson. He loved it and had a great time trying to hit anything that I pitched to him.
I am thankful that I can now fully enjoy the various sports and daily activities with my grandkids. Relish the journey as it passes quickly and gets easier with each generation of family members.
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.