CalG / Nolo -- I just got back from a trip & noticed this story by CalG about an experience with his son:
|Originally posted by CalG on June 21, 2002 09:47 AM: ...The snow was pleantiful, but it was a bit of a storm...Sitting on the windward side of the chair to provide some shelter...I offered that the weather was bad and how most people would be looking for indoor shelter on a day like this. I commented that instead, we were out in it...My youngest son, 5 or 6 at the time, showed his smiling face straight at me and with an undeniable enthusiasm voiced "AND HAVING FUN N N!".
I realize that the topic of the thread is officially "performance or experience", but I don't feel that the importance of incidents like this to kids was fully noted in subsequent posts, so at the risk of causing some thread drift I'm going to add my $0.02.
I had an experience almost identical to Cal's a couple of years ago with my (then) 7 y.o. daughter. She and I were skiing with a close family friend, a cert Nordic instructor, on a very snowy, blustery (but not very cold) day that kept *everyone* else inside the lodge. We had the mountain totally to ourselves on what would have otherwise been a very crowded weekend. Like Cal, we shielded my daughter between us on the chairs, and picked runs where her she wouldn't be blown back uphill.
The three of us coming down the runs in a tight little group must have made quite a sight - me in front on Alpine gear, a little 50 lb willowy girl in the middle, and this giant 6'7" telemarker taking up the rear, all of us obviously having the time of our lives in the excellent conditions.
Nolo then asked CalG a superb question:>"What did your 5 year old learn from the experience you gave him that day? "
Nolo - I can't speak for Cal, but I can tell you that this was one of the most significant days (skiing or otherwise) in my kid's life. She often recalls it with the fondest of memories and a tremendous degree of pride.
First, I'll try to put down some of the general things that I think she learned that day:
1) Self-confidence, particularly in her own outdoor / athletic abilities, especially relative to other kids. She came away with a "field of expertise" that she can call her own: "None of the other kids in school could have ever done that".
2) Not following "the herd" (ie, in the lodge) is sometimes better.
3) Trust trustworthy adults (both immediate and extended family). Listen to, respond courteously, but don't implicitly trust random adults (eg, gapers who made comments like, "Why are you out in weather like this?", "Your little girl is going to freeze!", etc.). I was very pleased when (after one of the gaper comments) she asked, "What in the world was she talking about? I'm not cold, and this is the best day of skiing in my entire life!".
4) Setting a good example for her by letting her see adults *really* enjoying themselves having good wholesome fun.
5) She realized that she can fit perfectly well into an adult situation, and wasn't treated "like a kid".
There were obviously many more general lessons she learned, and, in addition, she obviously learned a whole bunch of skiing / technical lessons including:
1) Skiing highly variable snow (eg, slab to powder pockets).
2) Her first couple of pow-8 loops.
3) How to keep warm and pace yourself under rigorous conditions (eg, occasional stops).
4) The importance of keeping together in low-viz conditions (eg, "Your job is to look behind you every few hundred feet to make sure that TeleGuy is OK and hasn't plowed into a tree.").
5) Handling wind, particularly bursts of wind.
6) Selection of appropriate terrain (eg, narrow trails so you can see the trees and they give you some protection from the wind).
Nolo, if you are a parent yourself, or through your role as a teacher of children, I suspect that you know full well the incredible importance of moments like this to kids, and, in your usual way, that the real intent of your question was to stimulate discussion of it. Good on ya.
Obligatory "performance vs experience" comment:
This was definitely an "experience" day for her. No technical pointers for her, no incidents of her showing off for the camera on that day. All I did was a bit of facilitation and getting her in the right place at the right time.
Tom / PM[ June 24, 2002, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]