I always welcome offers of help from my children. While their help might mean that whatever I am working on will likely take longer to complete and might not be as elegant as if I did it myself, I value the time together and the opportunity to teach them new skills.
One day I was using an electric cord powered hedge trimmer and my 12 year old asked if he could help. Of course I said yes and instructed him in how to trim the hedge I was working on. As he was doing this, he wasn’t paying careful attention to where the cord was. I warned him three times to pay attention to the cord – otherwise he might cut the cord. Each time he was careful for a while. The fourth time he wasn’t paying attention, I didn’t say anything and sure enough, he cut the cord. Sparks flew and he jumped. Lesson learned!
We all learn lessons from the school of hard knocks as my son did in this case – and we can learn by embracing what others before us have learned. I have learned plenty in the school of hard knocks. With the passage of time I’ve become better at learning from others’ experiences. I hope my children will learn more often from the mistakes of others rather than their own.