One of the principles put forward in this book (Zen in the Martial Arts) has guided me as a martial arts teacher, mentor and parent.
” The martial arts sensei is very much like a Zen master; they have not sought out the student, nor do they prevent them from leaving. If the student wants guidance in climbing the steep path to expertise, the instructor is willing to act as a guide — on the condition that the student be prepared to take care of themselves along the way. The instructor’s function is to delegate to the student exactly those tasks for which they are capable of mastering, then leave the student to themselves. The student may choose to follow in the footsteps of their guide or choose an alternate path, but the teacher leaves it up to them.”
The concept of giving tools and then providing an moderate amount of guidance on using them is critical in my experience and opinion. By doing so you helping the other ‘fish for themselves’. This avenue for building self reliance also requires self control on the part of the teacher/parent/mentor. Every mistake cannot be corrected. They will never own it for themselves until they are allowed to play with it. After all most growth is done through experience is it not?
Look at our reliance on lecture in the educational system, yet most of us are visual and Kinesthetic or touch learners are we not? Are we really ADD or ADHD or is it that we don’t provide a balance in the classroom?
In teaching physical movement, we able to teach the sciences and math in a way that may increase understanding in under achieving youth and young adults. When algebra and calculus are demonstrated through shooting a basketball, physicals can be shown through passing a football or hockey puck. Chemistry can be shown through making koolaide. But since we don’t use these types of demonstrations so that they can visualize during a test then we’re depriving them of tools for success.