Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Episode Twelve: Share Their Hobby

Two weeks ago we talked about sharing your hobby with your children and how it gives them an insight into you as a person and what you do when the cats away. This week we are looking at sharing their hobby but with a totally different aim.

This week I got my children to share one of their interests with me. I had a bit of a head start with this idea because I already knew what hobby this would be and I knew that this idea would make their day. This week I learnt about a game called 'Minecraft'. A game that my two sons are absolutely obsessed with and that I have tried very hard to avoid.

Just a quick run down: Minecraft is a game my sons have on their iPods played in a world where you need to build structures, or dig holes, fight zombies and try not to get killed. It sounds like my worst nightmare but they love it. They know I'm not a huge gamer so I've managed to avoid playing it and avoid getting involved in any discussions about the finer details of the game. This has suited me. But, it also provided itself with the perfect Idea for Dads.

To begin with, I explained to them that I shared my hobby with one of them and that I would like them to share one of their hobbies with me. This got a lukewarm response. When I said, "I would like you to teach me about Minecraft", they went nuts. So that was that.

The aim is not really to become a Minecraft addict like them, but rather for them to share their passion with their Dad. There was a big focus on explaining the game, giving an overview, teaching me and then letting me have my own go. It turns out the game is a lot harder than I thought it was. I didn't enjoy it but I got a great deal of satisfaction from their teaching me.

I don't know how successful I was, but the aim behind this idea was to teach them how to teach other people; To teach them how to explain something to another person. I have started a new job and have had a lot of days where different people in the business have taught me things. I've noticed that some people are great teachers and some are not. I began to wonder whether this is a natural occurrence or whether it comes with experience. So, why not start that experience early?

While my sons were explaining the game, I gave them prompts, things they could tell me. I asked them the right questions to move the conversation along. At the end of it I learnt a lot and they really revelled in the idea that they were experts and could teach their Dad a thing or two.

If your children aren't game-obsessed you could ask them to explain their favourite TV program. Or get them to tell you about their favourite toy. Or even get them to show you around their kindergarten. The possibilities are endless. The aim remains the same: Teach them to share their knowledge and their wisdom and who knows what you're setting up to do in later life.

Have fun!

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