IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE

Love, peace, music

If a parent does not provide meaningful activities for the child, the world will do it for them.

Chuck Malone

As a teenage product of the 60s I was constantly aware of the generation motto

“If It Feels Good, Do It.”

Later in life as co-parents of 5 active children my wife and I actually learned the baseline of this iconic statement with our first child, who was all about feeling and touching… and tasting. As he learned to crawl and develop a first level independence, new horizons were opened to him. Those food morsels that lay on the vinyl flooring in the kitchen had once been objects of attention and wonder. Now that he had gained mobility, however, free will took over and to a crawler who had not yet developed an understanding of discipline the flat-line world of the kitchen floor opened new vistas of exploration and entertainment.

As a parent we learned to gently turn our child in another direction, or place a colorful toy in his hand to distract him from his intended morsel-target. But as he grew older and more independent it became harder to just “distract” him from making potentially harmful choices. We had to get creative.

Being creative in a time-starved world filled with constant demands and responsibilities takes time, energy, planning, and yes… a bit of creativity. But in today’s world of instant gratification, if a parent does not provide meaningful activities for the child, the world will do it for them.

What if I told you that there is a way to build lifetime memories and perhaps continue your legacy into future generations? Maybe even reduce the risk of the child making choices that would lead to inappropriate activities?

It’s all about the experience!

The premise I am writing this blog under is that “all” experience is for our good. There was a time in my life I doubted that premise very much (topic for a future

blog). But in the context of this blog’s narrow subject matter as it pertains to Family, let me just offer this for your consideration… “Experience defines us.”

If I buy into that premise as a parent, then my attitude toward how creative I get in providing experiences takes on new meaning (more to come on this in part 2).

It also affects how I view experiences that “happen” to my children, as opposed to those I “cause” to happen.

As a parent there is much outside our control when it comes to monitoring the influences that surround our children once they become exposed to the outside world; yet isn’t that how they grow and develop into mature adults, capable of making independent choices?

My parents paid dearly for me to take trumpet lessons when I was young. Later in life, the scholarship offered to me paid for a good portion of my college expenses. I don’t remember wanting to quit along the way, but knowing my selfish nature I most likely did when it interfered with my fun. Yet, as I gained a little stature among my fellow musicians as one who could at least hit some correct notes it had a positive influence on my character development. Trumpet lessons and music in general provided a wholesome channel for that teenage energy.

I am probably the only person ever to have been “fired” from my high school auto mechanics class. If it’s all about the experience, I really got a dose of negative one day when my auto mechanics teacher came up to me as I was staring into the cavity exposed by an open car hood and gently (or not so, I really can’t remember) turned my shoulders away from the subject auto and said quite firmly, “You are ‘fired’ from this class. Please go take another class of instrumental music,” as he pushed me out the shop door.

I remember quite vividly walking across the school yard back to the building used for music instruction – the building I had just departed before being fired from auto shop. My music teacher was surprised to see me, but made a place in his schedule for some private tutoring during that hour. This led to a future friendship and being invited to be the drummer, vocal, and brass player in his little trio that played at a local lounge. This led to larger venues and cash flow that put me through college.

It’s all about the experience!

Personal Note: For the record I didn’t quit on my auto mechanics education just because of a negative experience. In fact I was hired by Standard Oil (white uniform, hat, and rag) to wait on cars as they pulled into the gas islands and determine their needs, which often resulted in selling and installing a new set of tires, or a battery, shock absorbers, fuel filter, radiator cap (so there Mr. Auto Mechanics teacher!) and a plethora of other services needed by Route 66 travelers to save them from being stranded on this very busy highway due to auto failure.

The training I received from this job as a high school senior set the foundation for my lifetime career of serving others as a real estate professional.

It’s all about the experience!

I was fortunate to have had parents who allowed me to pursue my interests as well as their own for me. And they didn’t storm the school admin office demanding the removal of the crazy auto mechanics teacher who scarred their little boy-teen for life, either. Nope! My dad just smiled when I told him about being fired. Sometimes you just have to let time prove them wrong.

It’s all about the experience! (Stay tuned for Part 2)

No Comments

Post A Comment

seven + 6 =