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Listening to the Engine

Listening to the Engine

So last time we talked, we talked about teaching my daughter when to talk and what to say. That hasn’t really worked because she’s 5. Plus, it is way funnier to let her figure it out on her own. But in the last few weeks, I’ve also learned the biggest part of the language game is learning how to listen to my kid.

Yes, I’m the problem here. I’m the impatient one, and that’s probably because she’s asking about things and learning things that I already know. It’s because I already know them that I easily become frustrated by her search for knowledge. And I know that makes me a horrible person. (I hope we’ve already established that.) But I’ve got to be better about shutting up and listening.

I should be in awe of her quest for knowledge and the desire to know things. I should be shouting from the mountain tops about how smart she is and how she seeks knowledge, learning and facts like King Arthur sought the Holy Grail. Yet, because I’m an idiot, I see it as a frustrating roadblock to all the cool things that happen when you actually acquire the knowledge.

That’s what I admire about teachers. They have the patience to help acquire knowledge. I couldn’t ever teach elementary school. I’m more of a high school or college-type-of-guy. I’ll take the acquired knowledge and help refine it. Both are totally necessary, and the truly well-rounded do both.

Kids are like a car. You’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. If you want a Prius, you’re going to build it cheaply and get from one place to another while making as little noise as possible. If you want a sedan, you’ll give it strength, good intent and hope it stands the test of time. I don’t want my kid to be green or a sedan. I want a muscle car. I want my kid to be the kind of car that everyone admires. The one that makes a little noise and reminds you why you love cars. I’m not asking her to destroy the environment, but I sure as heck want her to leave a footprint.

Cars need gas and kids need wisdom. without oil, you can’t have gasoline. Without knowledge, kids can’t have wisdom. It takes time to refine oil into gas, and it takes time to turn a car into a muscle car. You listen to what it’s saying, and you give it what it needs. Kids are the same way. It’s time to shut up and listen.

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