19 Jun How To Plant Grass And Grow Kids
I bought a big bag of grass seed to fill in the bare spots on my lawn that winter had left behind. Since my son Michael was out of school on Spring break, I gave him the assignment of spreading the seed over the lawn.
“Put the seed in the spreader, and when it is all distributed, go over it with a rake,” I told him.
My instructions would have been clear enough to someone accustomed to dealing with planting grass, but young Michael’s prior experience was limited to mowing it and playing in it. He did not understand that the purpose for the raking was to embed the seed deeper in the ground so it could have something to root into once it germinated. His history with rakes consisted of gathering up things, so when he was told to “go over” the distributed seed with a rake, he dutifully began raking the seeds into piles, until his mother noticed what he was doing. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to get those little seeds to move any practical distance when coaxed along by the narrow tines of a rake. I got a text from him at that point. “Dad,” he asked, “didn’t you want me to rake the seeds into piles after I spread them?”
Children tend to fit into two extremes. Some of us come into the world demanding to know not only the “hows” but the “whys” of every instruction given to us, while others, like Michael, are more than happy to leave the details in the hands of those older and wiser.
Neither of these life strategies works well in every situation, so as we get older, we become better able to recognize when to ask more questions and when to trust and obey. I believe this grass seed experience will be a powerful lesson for Michael that there are times when it is important to ask more questions before proceeding with an unfamiliar task that has no seeming purpose.
I’m very pleased with Michael’s academic performance this year. One of his goals was to make honor roll, and he proved to himself the power of setting goals by achieving A-B honor roll for the first time in his life.
There are two things I require from my kids with regard to school, and the first one isn’t ‘A’s and the second one isn’t ‘B’s. I tell them I don’t really care about the grades they earn provided they 1) have a phenomenal atitude, and 2) they do their very best.
Attitude and effort are the best indicators I know of to ensure success. If you approach any challenge in life with the right attitude, you might still fail, but you will at least fail knowing you gave it your best. Failure, I tell my kids, is nothing to be afraid of. Being afraid to fail is crippling to success. So have a good attitude, don’t be afraid to fail, believe in your abilities, and the grades will usually follow.
What kinds of challenges have you faced with your kids? I’d love to know your stories!