Do as I say, not as I do: How my 4-year-old spotlighted the power of experiential learning
By Dr. Greg Sher
Life is easiest when it’s simple. The older and more educated we get, the more we complicate things. Just ask any toddler – they often have things sussed out quicker than an adult.
My “Bring Daddy to Daycare” Experience
Pre-pandemic, my daughter’s childcare invited the parents to come in and explain to the children what they do.
I thought it was an excellent idea. I was excited to go in and start educating preschoolers about the importance of good posture. Especially how to sit properly when using devices. But then, reality hit me and my enthusiasm slumped.
How in the world was I supposed to explain to my 4-year-old and her friends what a chiropractor actually does?
Half of them don’t know what a skeleton is. If they do, they think it’s the funny, spooky-looking thing from Halloween.
Secondly, not one of them could pronounce Chiropractor. Not one. Not even my daughter. If you ask her what I do, she will tell you I am a “Pirate Practor”.
(I must confess. That sounds far more exciting than my real job.)
After some deep thought, I remembered the power in experiential learning. If I could re-enact my job simply and visually, the kids would be able to follow. So, I demonstrated the correct posture to stand. I showed them how to sit properly, and importantly, how not to sit. By following my lead, they learnt that slouching isn’t good for you.
The Clarity of Experience
How many children have been told not to touch the oven, as it will burn them? 90% 100%!* Well, that is my *guess! The reality of it is, just like children, adults learn through experience. No matter how many times we are told something, sometimes we must learn ‘hands-on’ for it to really sink in and take notice.
Experiential learning is the key. As human beings, we imitate the ones we want to emulate. Kids copy their parents. Parents copy … sporting heroes? Celebrities? Other adults we admire?
Instead, I encourage you to learn from your children. Watch a 2-year-old pick something off the floor – perfect lifting and squatting posture. And, no one has had to teach them the technique. Make sure you don’t slouch on the sofa – you don’t want your kids copying that!
At Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic, we put you first. We believe in offering chiropractic care that enables you to make informed and educated choices about your health. If you are suffering pain and would like to talk to us about how we can help you get mobile and active again – get in touch right here.