Do you remember that muffled sound played on the Peanuts cartoon, whenever a nagging teacher or parent hassled Charlie Brown’s gang?
That’s what I think I sound like to my teenagers… when I remind them to do something… or worse, when I try to teach them something.
I’m an educator by profession — I work with kids for a living. In spite of my training and experience, however, my teenagers are better off learning some skills and lessons from someone else.
Through my kids’ lives, I’ve hired outside experts to tutor and teach my kids skills such as driving, skating, and skiing (to name a few). I’ve registered them for all kinds of programs, in spite of my own ability to impart information and model skills effectively and patiently to kids of all ages.
Why waste the money?
I want to maintain a healthy relationship with my kids. They know how to push my buttons, and aren’t interested in listening to me about many things. Also, I’m not an expert in everything. There are better teachers out there for many skills and lessons.
Should you outsource?
Outsourcing is necessary in our fast-paced society:
There are negatives for outsourcing. Here’s the other perspective:
Balance is the key.
Think about what matters most in the long run to you and your family. Resist outsourcing too much, and too soon.
Never be just a spectator in your kids’ lives — be involved! Shrug off the odd “eye roll” from your tween or teen when you do teach them something meaningful, and then pass the torch to an expert when it’s appropriate. And don’t feel guilty about it.