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Let Them Learn From Their Own Experiences

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            I'm not talking about the big stuff here like stepping out into traffic. I'm talking about all the ways I thought I had to protect my young daughter from disappointment because of what I had learned. Stuff like if you eat all your Halloween candy in the first two days, you won't have any for the weekend or if spend all your money at the beginning of your holiday, you'll have nothing left if you see something you want to buy later, blah blah blah.

           When Kid #3 was around seven, we gave her a roll of film to shoot in our camera. It was a delight to watch her fall into the photographer's stance and click away. And click and click and click. My own feeling of scarcity clicked in, too, and I decided that I had to save her from the disappointment of running out of film too quickly. I thought I should educate her on the matter of, “If you use up all of your film now, you won't have any to take pictures of the farm when we get there.” Yet, all I did was ruin her enjoyment of the moment and undermine her confidence as a budding photographer.

            As a parent, I should have just let her be disappointed and learn for herself anything that she needed to learn. Or maybe she wouldn't have been disappointed at all, but just accepting. Or maybe I could have bought her more film. But film and developing was an added expense and it would be perfectly fine to let her learn to deal with disappointment. Or maybe she wouldn't have even been disappointed. ARRrrghhhggg! I'll never know because I tried to control the situation instead of letting it unfold. Sometimes I'm a slow learner.

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Juanita lives in the Canadian Rockies and has been a mother for nearly forty years. She has three children with a 22 year age spread between the oldest and the youngest. During this time Juanita has also worked with youth in a variety of capacities including as a rehabilitation worker in the public school system and as program director and facilitator for a local youth group centre.


Magic and mysteries have been a life-long pre-occupation of Juanita's and she has published one book Almanac of the Infamous on the unexplained and unsolved. She also is known for her mystery entertainment parties (mysteryfactory.com) for children and grown-ups. Staying in touch with a playful spirit and miraculous possibility is something that she feels is vital to passing on to our children and retaining as adults.

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Guest Wednesday, 22 November 2017