How My Son Learned to Solve a Rubix Cube
I post this message today in a personal vein. A few years back my, then, 9 yr. old son Andrew, received a Rubix Cube as a Christmas gift from a friend. He played with it a bit and then…put it away. Two years later, when he was ‘ready’ (interested), he decided/determined that he wanted to learn how to ‘solve’ it. So…he spent a few intense days watching these video clips online from an expert whose mission was to teach others’.
I will admit that I wasn’t too supportive. After all, there were ‘life lessons’ to be learned, chores to be done, textbooks to be read. But, at his insistence and….after seeing and feeling of his complete interest and determination – I decided to let him go at his own pace and follow-through on this passion.
After a few days of intense study and practice – he had mastered the algorithms and ‘solved’ the puzzle. He was thrilled, gratified and….accomplished. His friends were amazed, his family was intrigued and…his church leaders were impressed.
As a Mom I was actually surprised that he could do it and…fascinated to watch him do it over and over again; stumping others’ and intriguing those who watched in wonder. I hadn’t encouraged him to pursue it as my list of ‘important things in life’ (and in home school) did not include solving a Rubix cube. But, I learned some very important lessons from the experience and how I could parent better.
Each child comes with unique talents, interests and gifts. They have different learning styles and interests which make-up the package of who they are. If we make sure they ‘do life’ the same way as everyone else – we might be keeping them from developing their gifts and talents in the way that God intended them to do it and learning the most important things they were sent to learn. I believe that each of us have unique gifts and talents that we are asked to develop in order to bless the world. Perhaps we were ‘commissioned’ to learn and grow in areas unique to us so that our gifts could be better used to serve others’ and build the Kingdom of God.
As parents we are entitled to personal revelation in and for our families. I continue to learn how and what to do with each of my children and how to best support them as they strive to become the most effective servants they can be. It’s not always easy or convenient or….the way in which others’ do it — but…it’s the right thing for us.
Some of the things I learned were that:
1. All children are interested and talented in different areas.
2. If we get out-of-their way (yet offer support) they will probably surprise us.
3. Learning how to solve a ‘Rubix Cube” for Andrew meant memorization, dedication, brain-development, thinking for himself, motivation, mathematical skills, etc.
4. Andrew followed a project through until he was completely satisfied that he’d done what he set out to do. After a few months — he went on to develop new skills (with the same intensity) in harmonica and yo yo’s and….now, most recently, computer programming.
5. Andrew’s learning style is more ‘hands-on’. A classroom setting does not often work best for him. He learns better by actually ‘doing’.
6. Andrew likes to listen, ‘see’ and…apply new skills. He listens to books on tape and …church talk CD’s each night. His memorization skills have been practiced and sharpened by the things he’s personally undertaken.
7. Andrew learned that he could accomplish something that he set his mind to. That gave him confidence in himself and his abilities and….self-motivation to learn and study and become.
8. I needed to learn to listen to him and his interests and find ways to help him have the tools to succeed. We’ve found neighbor mentors when we’ve needed something extra and…they’ve often been willing to help for a short time. Many retired people appreciate feeling needed and often love to share their skills with the rising generation.